Grace!

GiftGrace is such a freeing word.  Most of life is about working for something.  We work for paychecks.  We work for the approval of others.  We work for good health.  We work for raises and bonuses.  Because we are so used to working for stuff.  The idea of God’s grace on our behalf is very freeing because it causes us to rest in him despite the hectic pace of lives of working.  Don’t get me wrong, working hard is important, but in the Christian life, we work hard to pursue God because he has accepted us by grace and empowered us through his Holy Spirit.  The foundation is grace and the pursuit is through grace!

The Bible says, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13).  Here Paul tells believers to work hard to continue their Christian life of obedience.  But we see that this pursuit is accomplished because of God’s work in us–causing us to will and work for his pleasure.  This is the power of the grace of God!  Schreiner, in his book New Testament Theology, says, “Any good that believers do is accomplished by God himself.  Their obedience is not autonomous but rather energized by God.  He gives his people the desire and ability to obey him… All human obedience testifies to God’s power and grace in the lives of his people… keeping the law of Christ (the call to live by love) is possible only because the new age has been inaugurated in Christ and because the Spirit has been poured into the lives of believers.”

If you are burned out, maybe it is because you are tying to subtly work for God’s favor.  I have been there many times!  But the encouragement today is about the freeing idea of grace.  God has saved us by his wonderful grace (Eph 2:8-10) and he wants us to walk with him in good deeds by the power of his grace (Php 2:12-13).  This is why living the Christian life is unique, good works are based on the gift of grace, not the basis for which we are given the gift.  So it become a daily reminder for us… we love and serve him because his love and grace empower and motivate us to do so!!

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