“Now this is our boast. Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.” 2 Corinthians 1:12
There is a daily struggle for us as Christians to continually rely on God’s grace, to lean on Him and not rely on our own understanding or strength. The moment we rely on self, we return to a legalistic attitude and action. It’s so subtle. Even religious actions like prayer and meditation can slip into a legalistic mode. If I pray and meditate with the idea that I can manipulate God to do what I want, then I am engaging in religious activity with wrong motive. My will and desires become the central motive and legalism is behind it.
We are to pray, worship, and meditate not to get God on our side or to make Him do what we want. We do these things because God is already on our side and He has claimed us as His redeemed children through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. I, we, must continually return to that understanding that God gifts undeserving humans purely out of love and mercy. There is nothing we can do or must do to earn His favor.
Daily I want to bask in that good news of grace. D. L. Moody states: “A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough today to last him for the next 6 months, nor can he inhale sufficient air into his lungs with one breath to sustain life for a week to come. We are permitted to draw upon God’s store of grace from day to day as we need it.”
Worldly wisdom says “x” amount of performance earns “x” amount of blessings from God. Grace says God just wants our works to be done as an extension of a grace-based relationship. Once legalism creeps in, the relationship gets tainted and the unconditional love of God becomes a theory rather than an experience. Go to God’s storehouse of grace often. Bask in His grace. Enjoy the relationship He has established with you as His dear child and He as your dear Father who loves you unconditionally. And allow your actions to flow from a heartfelt overflow of gratitude for all He has done for you through Jesus Christ.
Pastor Mark