Devotional Study- Stop Working- AJ Iovino

Posted: May 27, 2012 in Devotionals & Bible Studies
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Devotional Study:  “Stop Working”

AJ Iovino- 5-17-12

Titus 2:11-15

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

Recently while watching a famous pastor on Christian television speak about God’s Grace, a sentence he spoke sparked something in me to write this devotional.  He said the following to his interviewer:

“The Law says, do, do, do, Grace says Done.”  (Joseph Prince).

What was Pastor Prince trying to say?  He was saying in effect, “Stop Working!”  We cannot perform works to earn our salvation.  Even as Christians many of us are still trying to “work” in order to earn God’s favor.  We still fall back on the erroneous belief that we can become better people by, “getting our act together”, or “self-help.”  We constantly try to do things in our own power and strength.  We forget about God’s Grace and instead of letting His grace flood over us like a tidal wave, we cast it aside and rely on our own strength or advice from the latest motivational speakers or counselors.

Think about God’s Grace like “supply and demand.”  God’s Grace is available in a limitless supply!  It never runs out or becomes less effective.  However, we choose to operate in a mode of depending on our own strength or good works.  We are demanding things from ourselves that cannot sustain us or provide lasting and real change.  We must be dependent on Christ- always!

Look what Jesus said to His disciples:

 

John 15:5

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Stop working for grace!  It is FREE!  Not only do we place our Faith and Trust in Jesus Christ upon our conversion, but we continue that “dependence” on Christ as we grow in Him.  We can do nothing without Him!

Look at what the Apostle Paul says:

Romans 9:30-33

Israel’s Unbelief

30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:

“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

Paul is stating exactly what we are talking about today.  Righteousness (a right standing before God), is by Faith and always was by Faith.  It was not achieved by following over 623 Laws.  Those who tried to follow the Law to earn God’s favor- Stumbled!  They still stumble today.  It was never meant to be that way.  It was always God’s Grace through Faith.  When we place our faith and trust in Christ alone for our salvation we have put behind us the idea of working for God’s favor and now through Christ we are able to perform Good Works, not because we must, but because we are eager to please God for the Grace He has extended to us through His Son Jesus Christ. (See Titus 2:14).

Questions:

1-Are you still working in order to try and gain God’s favor?

2-Have you trusted Jesus as your savior?

3-As a Christian do you find yourself forgetting that Grace says- DONE?

Stop Working and start Depending on Christ!

Devotional- Stop Working-AJ Iovino 5-17-12

 

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