For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.  For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  (Romans 7:18) ESV

At the start of each new year gyms all across the world will see a spike in new memberships.  Why?  New Year’s resolutions.  Nearly every top ten list includes the following resolutions: getting in shape, losing weight, or quitting smoking.  Unfortunately, most of these resolutions don’t last. Just wait until mid-February and you’ll have a much easier time finding a parking space at the gym.

We can do the same thing as we follow Jesus. We can make big promises about the great things we plan to do for Him.  We can try to impress Him with our performance.  In the process we can forget two important facts:

1. God’s love for us is dependent on His grace and not our performance.  Scripture makes this very clear in Romans 5:8- God demonstrates his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  God’s love for us was settled by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

2. This life is not about what we can do for God, but what He can do in and through us.  God does not need us (see Acts 17:25), but He still desires to use imperfect instruments like us to accomplish His God-sized purposes.

The question we do not need to be asking is what can I do for God?  The better question is this: What does God desire to accomplish in and through me? As a believer in Jesus, it is not about saying I will do this and I won’t do that and then dropping the idea or falling short. It is more about asking the Lord to help us each day, to fall deeper and deeper in love with Him.

Reflection

  1. Do you try to do things to make God love you more?
  2. How does an understanding of grace affect your plans for your life?

Prayer

Father, thank you for holding me by your grace. Thank you for your love which is not dependent upon me but your Grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

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