Keeping Truth Before You

“Everything,” Andre Gide said, “that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” 

And better still—it is worth hearing again.

There are messages you need to set before your eyes and ears on a regular basis. 

Cheif among them are the truths of the gospel of grace. 

Preach it to yourself daily, even moment by moment if need be. 

Make it the refrain of your life. 

Reading excellent books is one of the best ways to keep biblical truth before you. 

I’m inviting you to read Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney with me for this reason. 

You can find out more about what we’re doing here if you missed last Sunday’s post. 

I am excited to dive into the Spiritual Disciplines once more and see all the Lord has in store for us these next thirteen weeks. 

We will kick off the series next Sunday, August 20th and I would love for you to jump in with us. 

If you’d like to read along, I found the best price on Amazon. You can order it here if you’re so inclined. 

Note: The link above is an affiliate link. I earn a small commission should you choose to use it while making your book purchase. 

Work in process

It’s easy to get frustrated with your progress in this life. 

You hope to be and do better, but find yourself not reaching that destination quickly enough. 

“Do this, this and this and you’ll get there,” is well-meaning advice, but life doesn’t work that way. 

There are very few instances in which life comes with turn by turn navigation. 

In one sense, you’ve already arrived at your destination. 

You already have everything you need in Christ. He is your portion and your prize. In Him, you are righteous and perfect before The Father. 

At the same time, you’re not quite there. You have a ton of work left to do. Areas to grow, mature and change. 

You’re not a finished product. You’ll never arrive this side of eternity. 

You’ll always remain a work in process. Striving, pushing and seeking to be more like Jesus. 

This life is all about that journey. 

The long toilsome journey from one degree of glory to another. From who you were yesterday to who you’ll be tomorrow. 

Today is but one day in that journey. 

Make it count. 

Rest in the finished work of Christ. 
 
Pursue the Lord faithfully. Seek Him and find Him in His word, through prayer and in the communion of the saints. 

That’s going to require discipline on your part. But you’re up for the task.

Fear Is A Poor Motivator

Fear works. You can use it to get things done and to exert control over yourself and others. 

That doesn’t mean it’s the best or most effective strategy. 

You could walk from New York to LA, but there are more efficient and effective modes of transportation.

Fear based obedience is like walking. It might get you there, but it’s a giant waste of energy and a poor motivator. 

If you’re using fear as your primary motive, here are three effects you should see: 

1. Your motivation will lose power over time. Fear is an intense and draining emotion. You can only deal with it for so long. It eventually becomes exhausting. Slowly, you become too tired to care and indifferent to what happens. Fear based motivation is short-lived.

2. Admitting, learning and moving on from mistakes will be more difficult. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to do things wrong. That’s life. If you’re motivated by fear, you’ll have difficulty owning up to it when you do. You’ll fear reprisal and punishment for not living up to the standard. You’ll be tempted to rationalize and shift blame. 

3. You’ll have trouble enduring hardships. You’ll think that life is unfair and that you’re owed something better when difficulty comes. In other words, despair and bitterness will be the result of suffering if your motivation is fear based. 

Fear is a wimpy motivator. It’s not strong enough to carry you through. Fear might get you moving, but you’re going to need something more to reach the finish line. 

What’s that something more? 

Grace.  

Everything you have and everything you are is a result of grace. You don’t deserve it. It is a gift from God. 

When understood, this should become the greatest and most sustaining motivator in life. 

It is the complete opposite of fear. 

Grace’s becomes a stronger motivator over time. The more you realize and understand that everything in your life is a gift the more grateful you become. The more grateful you are, the more motivated you are to honor that gift with your life. 

Grace provides ground for you to own up to your mistakes without fear. If you're saved by grace, through faith, and everything in your life is because of God’s mercy, then you have nothing to fear from admitting your weakness. You’ll be more likely to share your struggles, learn from, and conquer them. 

Grace will carry you through the hard times. It will be the stone your feet find beneath the quick sand and troubles of this life. It will hold you up and keep you from drowning in despair. If God owns everything, then you are a steward. How you steward things displays your gratitude to God.