Grace or Duty? Today’s Scripture: Psalm 37:5 “Tru…

Grace or Duty?

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 37:5
“Trust in him, and he will act.”

There’s no question that we’re responsible to pursue holiness with all the intensity the word pursue implies. Every moral imperative in the Bible addresses itself to our responsibility to discipline ourselves unto godliness. We aren’t just to “turn it all over to the Lord” and let him live his life through us. Rather, we’re to love one another, to put to death the misdeeds of the body, and to put off the old man and put on the new man.

If we’re to make any progress in the pursuit of holiness, we must assume our responsibility to discipline or train ourselves. But we’re to do all this in total dependence on the Holy Spirit to work in us and strengthen us with the strength that is in Christ.

Sometimes we don’t sense that we’re experiencing his strength. Instead we experience deep, agonizing failure. We may even weep over our sins and wonder why the Holy Spirit doesn’t come to our aid and strengthen us against the onslaught of temptation. We identify with Paul when he said, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15, NIV).

Why doesn’t the Spirit always strengthen us? There are several possible reasons. He may be letting us see the sinfulness of our own hearts. He may be causing us to realize how weak we are in ourselves and how dependent on him we really are. Perhaps he is curbing a tendency toward spiritual pride and causing us to grow in humility. Whatever the reason, which we may never know, our responsibility is to utterly depend on him. Sovereignly and with infinite wisdom, he determines how best to respond to our dependence. (Excerpt taken from The Discipline of Grace)

Source: Your Holiness Day by Day | A Devotional by Jerry Bridges


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