Here at the beginning of a new year, I’ve been challenged to let the Lord search my heart for what motivates me. Why do I do what I do, say what I say, live how I live? As a believer, it’s easy to give a superficial nod to these questions. Almost by default, to say, “Because He called me, and I answered.” When the reality is there are still areas in my heart where I am, at best, striving in my own strength to accomplish His will, and at worst, straining to self-preserve and self-promote.
In Titus 3 Paul exhorts, “Remind them [us]….to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men….For we ourselves were once foolish….But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life….” He goes on to say, “…those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works.”
In this passage there are three things to consider: 1) being prepared in all humility, 2) receiving His mercy, and 3) maintaining the grace of good works through the power of the Holy Spirit.
A posture of humility prepares me to receive mercy. Mercy given implies that the recipient deserves judgement and penalty, and so I must always remember that I am who I am today because of His mercy and grace. And that precious knowledge adjusts my heart to approach others with mercy and grace. Having my heart cleansed by the washing of His word of grace, my eyes are opened to the good works His Holy Spirit is accomplishing all around. I see through His eyes of love those who are moving toward Him and those who are moving away from Him. My good work is accomplished in the applauding of His.
This rest in the good works of the Spirit of God enables me to participate with Him in the Father’s business, strengthens me to stay the course, and emboldens me to share the good news of His redemption, to give an account for the hope that is in me.
So, while others are striving to set goals and make resolutions in this January, I find He is calling me to rest in His purpose and to remember He is at work in me to accomplish His good and perfect will. “…for it is God who is at work in you, both to desire and to work for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13 NASB)
Dear reader, as you embark on the journey of this new year, remember to rest first in all He has done for you and to believe His promise to work in you and through you. His is the good work we should maintain. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 NASB)
Until next week, beloved, rest in the eternal work of the Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.