From The Applause of Heaven by Max Lucado:
God does not save us because of what we’ve done.
Only a puny god could be bought with tithes.
Only an egotistical god would be impressed with our pain.
Only a tempermental god could be satisfied by sacrifices.
Only a heartless god would sell salvation to the highest bidders.
And only a great God does for His children what they can’t do for themselves.
God’s delight is received upon surrender, not awarded upon conquest. The first step to joy is a plea for help, an acknowledgment of moral destitution, an admission of inward paucity. Those who taste God’s presence have declared spiritual bankruptcy and are aware of their spiritual crisis. . . .
Their pockets are empty. Their options are gone. They have long since stopped demanding justice.
They are pleading for mercy.
God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them. ~Matthew 5:3
Have you come to Him in utter poverty of spirit?
Bow down. Bow low. You have nothing good enough to give.
You are bankrupt…spiritually.
His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation. ~Luke 1:50
“Meanwhile the tax man, slumped in the shadows, his face in his hands, not daring to look up, said, ‘God, give mercy. Forgive me, a sinner.'” ~Luke 18:13