Genesis 33:8-9: Not necessary.
“8 Esau asked, “What’s the meaning of all these flocks and herds I met?” “To find favor in your eyes, my lord,” he said. 9 But Esau said, “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.” NIV
Jacob hoped he could ‘buy’ ‘’favour’’ in his brother’s eyes; he sought to win him over with his gifts. People try to do this with God. He must look at our religious observances, charitable acts and the like, and respond: ‘What’s the meaning of all this? Do you think you can win my approval with good deeds?’ The truth is many people think they can.
Norman Grubb, in his book ‘The Spontaneous you’, says we try to cover our tracks with religion, or a bit of good philosophy. But God has to bring us to a place where we realise we are helpless to save ourselves. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation. We can’t purchase it by trying to be as good as possible. Jesus has paid the price in full. We have to trust Him to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
Prayer: ‘Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling.’