It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Phil. 2:13 (NIV)
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 1 Cor. 15:10 (NIV)
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.Psalm 138:8 (ESV)
Heavenly Father, the peace, freedom, and joy we have through Jesus is over-the-top glorious. For the gospel has put an end to performance-based living, merit-based striving, and fear-laced doing. Hallelujah! Because of Jesus’ bold declaration, “It is finished,” the pressure is off, and the praise is on.
And thank you for the “inside job” you’re accomplishing in us, Father. As Paul stated, you are the one who both motivates and empowers us for a life of loving obedience. Such good news doesn’t make us passive, but active—not complacent, but surrendered to the Spirit. Our focus is now on Jesus, where it should be, and not on taking our spiritual temperature. We matter, but we’re not the point, and that is incredibly freeing.
Father, to whatever extent you’ve already accomplished anything through us that’s been of eternal consequence, we gladly affirm with Paul, it wasn’t us, but “the grace of God that was with me.” And looking ahead, our prayer remains the same. May your grace have even greater effect, in us and through us—wherever we live, work, and play.
Free us to love your name and glory more than our reputation and comfort. May life in your transforming kingdom of grace trump every temptation to advance our tiny fiefdoms of self.
Because of your “steadfast love,” we want the rest of our days to be marked risk, not rust—by “faith expressing itself in love,” grace revealing itself in servanthood, and joy overflowing from fellowship with you. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ beautiful and bountiful name.