sanctified also by grace

Galatians 3
Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? vs.2-3

I was not saved on my own initiative. I am not sanctified on my own initiative, either. I am saved and sanctified only through the grace of the Lord. ONLY. There is no room for boasting in a Christian. The world may boast of it’s own accomplishments. Those who know not the Lord may boast of achievements which are actually permeated with blasphemy against the Holy God. For a Christian, there is nothing to boast about. A Christian is fully aware of his/her own utter failure and desperate need for undeserved mercy from the hand of God: a hand which with one strike could and should obliterate all of wretched mankind, but has instead reached out in love to countless villains, rescuing them from eternal damnation, and in its place offering reconciliation and fellowship with a glorious God. How grateful I am that He not only saves, but keeps working His will in me and doesn’t cast me away when I keep on failing Him.

The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend
The agonies of Calvary
You the perfect Holy One, crushed Your Son
Who drank the bitter cup reserved for me

Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank You
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank You
Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table
Jesus, thank You

By Your perfect sacrifice I’ve been brought near
Your enemy You’ve made Your friend
Pouring out the riches of Your glorious grace
Your mercy and Your kindness know no end

Lover of my soul
I want to live for You

– Pat Sczebel
Sovereign Grace Music

the one whom the Lord commends

2 Cor. 10

For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but <a class=""bibleref"" title="

ch. his bodily presence is weak, and <a class=""bibleref"" title="

See his speech of no account.” Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present. vs. 10-11
I write such godly sounding things in letters, but I know too well my own failings in actually living up to the standards I claim to believe and pursue. There is, however, great value in a consistent life. Lord, make of my life such!

Not that we dare to classify or <a class=""bibleref"" title="

compare ourselves with some of those who <a class=""bibleref"" title="

ver. are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are <a class=""bibleref"" title="

[without understanding. vs. 12
Comparing myself to others is, of course, wrong. I must compare myself to something, though. A right comparison is against that which God holds me to. I know what He wants of me, but am I doing it? Am I fulfilling the purposes He has laid out for me?

But we will not boast <a class=""bibleref"" title="

ver. beyond limits, but will <a class=""bibleref"" title="

See boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, <a class=""bibleref"" title="

[?to reach even to you. vs. 13
I must find joy and fulfillment (in a proper sense) in the work that God has assigned to me. Others may do other things, but I am held responsible for using my life, years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds in the occupations that God has given to me. I am not required to change the world. I am only required to influence the sphere that the Lord has placed me into. And the first sphere is my own life. Am I disciplining myself for the Lord’s glory? Or am I bringing shame on His name by lazily meandering through life?

Let <a class=""bibleref"" title="

the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” For it is <a class=""bibleref"" title="

See ver. not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one <a class=""bibleref"" title="

whom the Lord commends. vs. 17-18
Furthermore, though a disciplined life is fulfilling, the ultimate goal is to glorify the Lord. His glory is all that matters. If I lose this view, I will have no basis for diligence and the pursuit of excellence.

All temporal pleasures are nothing compared to the joy of being commended by God.
I must ask not if others think well of me, but if God is pleased with me.
Am I content with looking alright to my friends while ignoring the knowledge of various shortcomings in my own life? What am I going to do about it?