“Three 100%’s!” My daughter slammed her folder on the counter triumphantly. “That’s three prizes!”
Though the reward system set in place seems to help encourage their best work in school …it sure has shoved us into the conversation of entitlement right alongside it.
We are all programmed to seek what we feel we deserve for our efforts. This is counter-productive to Christianity, and today’s verse provides a great platform to discuss it.
Though it might appear like Paul is giving “works” the claim to victory, “excellent standing and great assurance” goes far beyond what we do on this earth. Humanity will fail us through our individual struggles. Even Paul struggled with “doing what he hated…” Assurance comes from our heart’s ambition on His behalf. The fire that burns in us to follow Him …to “Go!” wherever He needs us to go.
In Christ, we are assured victory! We know we will end our lives in His arms in heaven. But on our way home, we unlock glory on this earth when we are executing His will for our lives. Our positive declaration of faith is in the cross.
The word “confidence” is used in the New American Standard Bible in place of assurance, and the original Greek translation of that word directs us to be clear in what we believe and who we follow. Not just clear, but unabashedly confident. Not in an arrogant way, but in solid, unswerving, faith.
Our assurance is having so much confidence that we can freely say straightforwardly that Jesus is our Savior, and that He is the reason we are saved by grace and can be in the presence of God. He is the reason, by His death on the cross, that the very Spirit of God resides in our hearts to help us through this life. And not just to help us skate by …to help us soar on the wings of God’s will for our lives.
Father, Praise You for the way you weigh the works of our lives. Thank You for the will that powers our lives’ direction. We confess taking hold and becoming shaky in times of crisis and quiet. But God …You are good to us through it all, and there for us always. Bless us to be more like Jesus each day we walk this earth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!
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