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Author Topic: God's Grace Sets You Free--Purpose Driven Life Devotional  (Read 3990 times)
artsymominnc
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« on: February 11, 2008, 04:56:12 AM »

God’s Grace Sets You Free
by Jon Walker



Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. (2 Corinthians 3:4-5 NIV)


Grace. If you carry away only one thing from these devotionals, my prayer is that it will be a mind-transforming, behavior-altering understanding of God’s infinite, indestructible, and immovable grace.


Not just a quick, yet correct sound-bite explanation – like the “unmerited favor of God” – but the deep, ancient meaning of grace that stretches across the depth and breadth and width and height of God’s character.


This is on my mind because these devotionals present some high standards for Christian discipleship. My hope is to press us both – myself as well as you – toward an honest assessment of our faith, a deeper commitment to our beliefs, and most importantly a sacrificial, wholly-abandoned love for our Lord.


The standard is high; in fact, it’s impossibly high. That’s why we need God’s grace. I can’t, but God can. My confidence is in the healing, cleansing power of Jesus Christ; my competence comes from God, and God alone. (2 Corinthians 3:4-5 NIV)


Although I strive for these standards in my own life, I repeatedly fail, but that doesn’t mean I should settle for a mediocre, warmed-over faith walk or stubbornly hide behind a devilish denial that I did and do fail. I cannot walk the walk without Jesus in me – but with Jesus, I can.


Knowing this, I can set my mind on the things above, not focusing on the things below, such as my failures, my strength, my weaknesses, and all the material, temporary matters that keep me focused only on the things in front of me.


Instead, I can get out of the way, inviting the Holy Spirit to work a transformation in my life. Whether I succeed or fail, I fall upon the grace of God. I remain immersed in his grace, knowing I cannot create myself holy, but the Spirit of God within me and the blood of Jesus Christ allow me to connect with, and be cleansed by, a holy God.

We are God’s workmanship, not creations of our own hand. (Ephesians 2:7-10)


If we don’t understand God’s grace, we stand in danger of growing weary in our walk with God, descending into a quiet resignation that the abundant life is just a notion to describe our “sweet by-and-by” future in heaven.


Or we’re in danger of descending into legalism, believing we can somehow reach God’s holy standard through our own efforts. In effect, we’re saying we can achieve godliness without God’s power! We behave as if we become one of God’s children by the things we do or the things we don’t do and not from the extraordinary grace of God.


As if.


We become like the foolish Galatians, who began their Christian walk with the Spirit, but then they began to behave as if godly goals could be reached by human effort. (Galatians 3:1-5 NIV)


The apostle Paul, who struggled with legalism, taught the Galatians that the law was only put in charge to lead us to the grace of Christ. (Galatians 3:23-25) The Spirit of the living God transforms us by writing the law into our hearts rather than on simple stone tablets. (2 Corinthians 3:3) The godly standard is set within, where it cannot be lost, diminished, or forgotten, instead of on tablets of stone that can be broken, misplaced, or simply ignored.


So, you and I – my sister, my brother – we share in an inheritance from God, and that inheritance comes from grace. In fact, that inheritance is God’s grace.

What does this mean?


· You need not fear failure – God’s grace allows you to live boldly. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)



· Your good works will be powered by God’s grace – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV)

· Let your roots take hold in the soil of Christ – My friend, today “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love.” (Ephesians 3:16-17 NLT)


© 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved.
Pastor Jon Walker is a writer for www.GraceCreates.com
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