The Motivational Power of Grace

  • June 26, 2017
Monday 26

Romans 6:1-4

Some Christians have a hard time with the doctrine of grace because they think it’s a license to sin. It just seems too easy to believe in Jesus and then do as you please. Shouldn’t believers still be required to live a certain way in order to please the Lord? The problem with this reasoning is that it mixes legalism with grace by saying, “Sure, we are saved by grace, but after salvation, you’d better follow the rules to stay in God’s favor.” Such thinking cuts the heart out of grace and poisons the message of hope.

What we need to realize is that grace is a greater motivator than law. When you have to perform in order to please the Lord, guilt is your constant companion because you can never be good enough. Every time you fail to live up to your own expectations, you may question whether He loves you—or maybe even whether you’re really saved. God doesn’t want us to live in bondage to performance. We’ve already received His acceptance, and there is nothing more we can add to it.

Grace not only sets us free from guilt but also motivates us to obey and serve the Lord out of love and gratitude for everything He has done for us. Instead of feeling burned out in our service, we will have a burning passion for Him.

Are you working harder and harder to please God? If so, you’re probably worn out. When you truly learn to understand and live in His grace, you’ll be energized because obedience and service will be a natural result of His overflowing love. Instead of guilt, you’ll have joy and gratitude.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 79-84

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1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?

2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

1 O God, the nations have invaded Your inheritance; They have defiled Your holy temple; They have laid Jerusalem in ruins.

2 They have given the dead bodies of Your servants for food to the birds of the heavens, The flesh of Your godly ones to the beasts of the earth.

3 They have poured out their blood like water round about Jerusalem; And there was no one to bury them.

4 We have become a reproach to our neighbors, A scoffing and derision to those around us.

5 How long, O LORD? Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealousy burn like fire?

6 Pour out Your wrath upon the nations which do not know You, And upon the kingdoms which do not call upon Your name.

7 For they have devoured Jacob And laid waste his habitation.

8 Do not remember the iniquities of our forefathers against us; Let Your compassion come quickly to meet us, For we are brought very low.

9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name's sake.

10 Why should the nations say, Where is their God?" Let there be known among the nations in our sight, Vengeance for the blood of Your servants which has been shed.

11 Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You; According to the greatness of Your power preserve those who are doomed to die.

12 And return to our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom The reproach with which they have reproached You, O Lord.

13 So we Your people and the sheep of Your pasture Will give thanks to You forever; To all generations we will tell of Your praise.

1 Oh, give ear, Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who are enthroned above the cherubim, shine forth!

2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up Your power And come to save us!

3 O God, restore us And cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.

4 O LORD God of hosts, How long will You be angry with the prayer of Your people?

5 You have fed them with the bread of tears, And You have made them to drink tears in large measure.

6 You make us an object of contention to our neighbors, And our enemies laugh among themselves.

7 O God of hosts, restore us And cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.

8 You removed a vine from Egypt; You drove out the nations and planted it.

9 You cleared the ground before it, And it took deep root and filled the land.

10 The mountains were covered with its shadow, And the cedars of God with its boughs.

11 It was sending out its branches to the sea And its shoots to the River.

12 Why have You broken down its hedges, So that all who pass that way pick its fruit?

13 A boar from the forest eats it away And whatever moves in the field feeds on it.

14 O God of hosts, turn again now, we beseech You; Look down from heaven and see, and take care of this vine,

15 Even the shoot which Your right hand has planted, And on the son whom You have strengthened for Yourself.

16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down; They perish at the rebuke of Your countenance.

17 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.

18 Then we shall not turn back from You; Revive us, and we will call upon Your name.

19 O LORD God of hosts, restore us; Cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.

1 Sing for joy to God our strength; Shout joyfully to the God of Jacob.

2 Raise a song, strike the timbrel, The sweet sounding lyre with the harp.

3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon, At the full moon, on our feast day.

4 For it is a statute for Israel, An ordinance of the God of Jacob.

5 He established it for a testimony in Joseph When he went throughout the land of Egypt. I heard a language that I did not know:

6 I relieved his shoulder of the burden, His hands were freed from the basket.

7 You called in trouble and I rescued you; I answered you in the hiding place of thunder; I proved you at the waters of Meribah. Selah.

8 Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you; O Israel, if you would listen to Me!

9 Let there be no strange god among you; Nor shall you worship any foreign god.

10 I, the LORD, am your God, Who brought you up from the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

11 But My people did not listen to My voice, And Israel did not obey Me.

12 So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, To walk in their own devices.

13 Oh that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways!

14 I would quickly subdue their enemies And turn My hand against their adversaries.

15 Those who hate the LORD would pretend obedience to Him, And their time of punishment would be forever.

16 But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, And with honey from the rock I would satisfy you."

1 God takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers.

2 How long will you judge unjustly And show partiality to the wicked? Selah.

3 Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.

4 Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.

5 They do not know nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6 I said, You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High.

7 Nevertheless you will die like men And fall like any one of the princes."

8 Arise, O God, judge the earth! For it is You who possesses all the nations.

1 O God, do not remain quiet; Do not be silent and, O God, do not be still.

2 For behold, Your enemies make an uproar, And those who hate You have exalted themselves.

3 They make shrewd plans against Your people, And conspire together against Your treasured ones.

4 They have said, Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more."

5 For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant:

6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites;

7 Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;

8 Assyria also has joined with them; They have become a help to the children of Lot. Selah.

9 Deal with them as with Midian, As with Sisera and Jabin at the torrent of Kishon,

10 Who were destroyed at En-dor, Who became as dung for the ground.

11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb And all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,

12 Who said, Let us possess for ourselves The pastures of God."

13 O my God, make them like the whirling dust, Like chaff before the wind.

14 Like fire that burns the forest And like a flame that sets the mountains on fire,

15 So pursue them with Your tempest And terrify them with Your storm.

16 Fill their faces with dishonor, That they may seek Your name, O LORD.

17 Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever, And let them be humiliated and perish,

18 That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth.

1 How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts!

2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

3 The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God.

4 How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You. Selah.

5 How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion!

6 Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings.

7 They go from strength to strength, Every one of them appears before God in Zion.

8 O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah.

9 Behold our shield, O God, And look upon the face of Your anointed.

10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

12 O LORD of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!

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Publish Date June 26, 2017
The Motivational Power of Grace

A right understanding of grace can change our motivation from guilt to love.

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