Inspires and empowers
It doesn’t replace
Grace is free, but not unconditional. “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.” God doesn’t give you the light of His grace to hide it behind sermons and church, but so you can demonstrate it to the world. Grace and work work better together, not independently.
Don’t get comfortable and stay stuck in a grace message. “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Jesus said that people need to see you do good works, not just hear you talk about grace. “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
No matter how hard we work or what we accomplish, we’ve no right to boast. Grace declares that we’re doing better than we deserve.
Many of today’s Christians tend to think every day is “grace day” and to forget about Labor Day. True grace doesn’t do away with the biblical Christian work ethic.
True grace makes people want to work to obey God. “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” If you’re not being prompted by the Spirit to do good works that’s a warning sign that grace may not be working inside of you.
It takes more than grace to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” It also takes Spirit-led hard work! Too many Christians use grace like a magic word that makes them okay with God so they can continue to do things their way.
Grace is not an excuse to avoid doing good works and living a godly lifestyle. A forgotten Bible verse says: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” It doesn’t say that grace replaces work. When God by His grace prompts you to be a doer of His Word, it’s important that you don’t quench His Spirit but do what He says.
The Bible says: “We are God’s handiwork (that’s grace), created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” What good works did God graciously create you to do today?
Although it’s a gift of grace, it takes on going spiritual work and self-denial to cultivate and grow the fruit of the Spirit in your life. God’s grace lets you see your sin, but repentance (stopping your sin) requires work.
The Bible says to “to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you” It doesn’t say to “sit out your salvation.” It says to “to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you.” Has God by His grace put a flame in you? If so, you need to not be passive, but work to keep God’s flame burning red hot so that your heart doesn’t become lukewarm or cold.
Why I work to read the Bible daily: The meekness and poverty of spirit of the prophets and apostles and other writers of Scripture opened their heart to the living Word and their mind to Christ’s renewing. As children of God, they were led by the Spirit and wrote as prompted by Him. When I read Scripture with an open humble, hungry heart (like a love letter instead of a textbook) my spirit delights and dances within me as the Holy Spirit testifies to its truthfulness and the fully alive Jesus works in me.