Daily Devotional: We Can Rest

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GRACE MEANS WE CAN REST

And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.

  • Romans 4:5

Most people embrace the assumption that God saves good people.  In light of this assumption we come up with a list of good things we should do to win God’s favor.  So we pray.  We go to church.  We give generously.  We tell the truth.  We stay sober.  We exercise often.  We love our neighbors.  We protect our purity.  We say no.  We try to be selfless.  And then we’re left with the haunting questions: Am I good enough?  Will my achievements results in heavenly payments?  Have I done enough good to get God to look past the bad?

Our answer: Maybe.  But maybe not.

So we get back to work.  Straining in the muck to move our goodness along.  Hoping if we fail we fall forwards or at least sideways.  Praying that we have enough self-control to stand when tempted and tried.

In the Bible, we see that God has a better plan.  Jesus explained God’s plan like this, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”[1]

Rest from what?  Rest from working to earn God’s favor.  Rest from working to earn our value.  Rest from the exhausting struggle of trying to be good enough.  Rest from the fickle and faulty efforts of our sinful nature.

Why does God offer this rest?  Because God has a better way forward and his way is the grace way.  Paul expresses it like this, “For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”

So today rest in grace.  It is the only way forward.

Reflection:

Take time today to list all the ways in which you are trying too hard to earn God’s favor.  As you head out into today make a concerted effort to rest in God’s presence and power.  Remind your soul today that grace means you can rest every day.

[1] Matthew 11:28


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