This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.
– 1 John 3:19-22 (NIV)
by Dave Whitehead, Author of Making Sense of the Bible
The bad news is that we constantly make internal rules to justify our acceptance to God, then we fail at keeping our own standards and feel condemned. The good news is that God is greater than all of our rule making and breaking. His mercy overrides our pitiful efforts, and his gospel, or good news, empowers us to keep his commandments.