"So there is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).
What an exciting fact! We are no longer under the law. We have been liberated from the bondage of trying to please God through our self-effort.
What is our motivation under grace? Under law our motivation was fear, and desire for reward and blessing; under grace, our basic motivation is an expression of gratitude - an inward appreciation and response to God's love and grace.
Why do we do what we do as Christians? We should respond because we, like the apostle Paul, are constrained by the love of Christ. We live for the glory of God. You will remember that the apostle Paul had been beaten, imprisoned, shipwrecked, starved, buffeted, criticized and condemned, yet he said, "The love of Christ constrains me."
Even if there were no rewards for those who live godly lives and obey our Savior, the reward of knowing Him as our God and Father, being forgiven of sin and cleansed from all guilt, is more than just enough; it is unfathomable. We can know Him, love Him, worship Him and serve Him by faith - here and now!
A young man I know is writing a book on how to become rich in the kingdom of God. He is basing his theme on the rewards that will be his by winning souls. "I want to be rich in heaven," he says.
That may be a worthwhile goal, but it is not mine. Mine is gratitude and love. I love Him because He first loved me - died for me, liberated me, set me free.
TODAY'S ACTION POINT: I will sing praises and give thanks in my heart to the Lord upon every remembrance of the liberty and grace that is mine in Christ Jesus, and I will tell everyone who will listen that we are no longer in bondage to sin, for Christ has set us free.
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