Only In His Grace

TNIV Scripture for Friday, September 5, 2008 [1 Timothy 6:11-14]

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

I know a man of God who pursued serving God in his strengths and abilities for all he was worth. He saw people come to Christ, buildings got built, people went to church who had never gone to church, lives changed because of his exhausting work. But he was found out as having an adulterous affair, was confronted concerning the affair and resigned from ministry in brokenness and shame. There are many reasons for this failure, but the greatest was a failure to recognize that his strength would inevitably fail him. No man can serve God well in his own strengths and abilities. The Christian life is impossible apart from God's grace.

Taken out of context, these verses in 1 Timothy look like it is your responsibility to flee and pursue and perform so you can be ready for Christ. But the truth is that the Christian life is impossible. You can't do those things, but God can. The key to living a godly life is realizing that you can't and then humbly rely on God to do the impossible through you. If you don't live by God's grace each day by giving Him your inabilities and putting on His abilities, you will fail to live up to God's standard like the man of God who worked so hard. Working hard can only take you so far... but resting in Him will carry you all the way into eternity in peace and joy.
Beth Warlick, 9/5/2008 1