Things That Count

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Corinthians 13:13 NRSV

MP900180108[1] Paul had lots to say to his brothers and sisters in the faith at Corinth. His words to them were, at times, sharply critical. He was also instructive and encouraging. But in the end, Paul pointed them to what really mattered.

Paul had a deep love for these people, and a true burden for the preservation of their faith. So point by point he addressed his concerns with them. He took issue with their sinful practices. He exhorted them to remain faithful, and encouraged them to stay true to Jesus Christ.

Remain faithful. Stay true.

Then, as his letter drew to a close,  Paul left the  MP900400145[1]Christians of Corinth three things. These changed the tenor and focus of his whole letter. They made it clear that despite the fact that the Corinthians had a lot of work to do, their attention needed to stay God-ward. Their faith needed to remain grounded in their relationship with Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit.

That tells me having the grace of Jesus Christ is what really counts. Knowing about and receiving that undeserved merit that only our Savior offers, is the key to real Christian living. Accepting daily his gifts of forgiveness, redemption, renewal and new life must be the pivot point around which our lives revolve. Grace is the fuel we must depend on for living the Christian life!

Grace gives new life.

MP900438486[1] But grace is just the beginning. We don’t just need Christ’s favor; we need God’s love too. Our heavenly Father looks at us through eyes of loving devotion. He knows who we are, and sees us as we can be. God also draws near to us and walks with us in a covenant relationship of love.

The truth is God is love. God acts out of love and God seeks our love and devotion. If we accept God’s love, it will redeem us, and renew us for a life of love and service. So grace and love go hand in hand.

God acts out of love and seeks our love.

MP900409036[1] Not only do grace and love go hand in hand, they make possible the communion of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing more important than God’s own Spirit being present and active in our lives. It is the fellowship of the Holy Spirit that makes the presence of God palpable and the power of God available to us. The Holy Spirit renews our minds, equips us for service, comforts us in trials and sustains us in every challenge.

So what matters most is acknowledging God’s love, accepting Christ’s grace and submitting to the work of the Holy Spirit. Those who do will enjoy true peace, real joy and life transforming faith!

Accept grace, give love and submit to the Spirit!

Prayer:

Redeemer and Friend, what matters most is acknowledging your love, accepting your grace and living in the Spirit. Help me to make you the pivot point around which my life revolves. Keep me grounded in those things that will renew and remake me into the person you created me to be!

Amen.

Steadfast

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