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Grateful Pursuit of Grace

HEIDELBERG CATECHISM, LORD’S DAY 24

Why can’t the good we do make us right with God, or at least help make us right with him?

Because the righteousness which can pass God’s scrutiny must be entirely perfect and must in every way measure up to the divine law. Even the very best we do in this life is imperfect and stained with sin.

How can you say that the good we do doesn’t earn anything when God promises to reward it in this life and the next?

This reward is not earned; it is a gift of grace.

But doesn’t this teaching make people indifferent and wicked?

No. It is impossible for those grafted into Christ by true faith not produce fruits of gratitude.

 

Grateful Pursuit of Grace

Saturday, June 10: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

We are not saved by our good works, but we are saved to do good works. Yet, it is the Lord alone who equips us for the good work of holy obedience. Therefore, we must prayerfully turn to the Father in the name of the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit to receive the daily grace to live for Him. Consider making the following prayer, “True Religion,” as your grateful pursuit for holy living (The Valley of Vision, 118-119):

Lord God Almighty,

I ask not to be enrolled amongst the earthly great and rich,

                  but to be numbered with the spiritually blessed.

Make it my present, supreme, persevering concern to obtain those blessings which are

                  spiritual in their nature,

                  eternal in their continuance,

                  satisfying in their possession.

Preserve me from a false estimate of the whole or a part of my character;

May I pay regard to

                  my principles as well as my conduct,

                  my motives as well as my actions.

Help me

                  never to mistake the excitement of my passions for the renewing of the Holy Spirit,

                  never to judge my religion by occasional impressions and impulses,

                  but by my constant and prevailing disposition.

May my heart be right with thee,

                  and my life as becometh the gospel.

May I maintain a supreme regard to another and better world,

                  and feel and confess myself a stranger and a pilgrim here.

Afford me all the direction, defence, support,

                  and consolation my journey hence requires,

                  and grant me a mind stayed on thee.

 Give me large abundance of the supply of the Spirit of Jesus,

                  that I may be prepared for every duty,

                  love thee in all my mercies,

                  submit to thee in every trial,

                  trust thee when walking in darkness,

                  have peace in thee amidst life’s changes.

Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief and uncertainties. Amen.

Pastor Calvin Hoogendoorn