Something I have learned in recent years is that I can be very neglectful of myself. And oftentimes it’s in the most important areas. I learned this the hard way with a trip to the hospital during a stressful period about 5 years ago. (This occurred only weeks before my wedding. I blame my wife. She blames my diet and severe dehydration. I suppose we may never know the truth. This is til death do us part, after all.). But even now, I still tend to fall back into this same pattern. For example, it is still very easy for me to accept a workload that is not conducive to my wellbeing and could potentially take time away from my family. It is also very easy for me to neglect maintaining a consistent exercise routine throughout the week. I mean, come on – its just much more enjoyable to come home from work and catch up on the latest episode of This is Us with my wife. (On that note: crying is a form of exercise, isn’t it? Asking for a friend.)
You and I are blessed to work jobs in which we get to regularly encourage people with the gospel of grace. But how often, in the hustle and bustle of providing this service, do we neglect to preach that same gospel to ourselves? We are very naturally forgetful people. There is a quote commonly attributed to Martin Luther that says “I preach the gospel to myself everyday, lest I forget it everyday.” Perhaps this is why the apostle Paul encouraged us to “Hold fast to our confession of hope.” (Hebrews 10:23).
I am a musician and basic music theory has taught me that a collection of notes and chords do not create a song. But, the cohesion of those chords in proper progression with rhythm is what separates noise from something beautiful: music. You might wonder what I am getting at. What I am saying is this: we should bang the drum of grace over and over and create a rhythm in our lives of reminding ourselves of our identities in Christ through the Gospel of Grace lest we forget who we are – and more importantly – how we are viewed by God.
Perhaps we can take a moment to give ourselves a little reminder right now.
In Christ we are (and always will be):
– The righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21)
– Forgiven (1Pet. 2:24)
– Free (Gal. 5:1)
– Adopted sons and daughters of God (Rom. 8:15)
– Beloved (Jeremiah 31:3)
– Fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God (Eph. 2:19
– Delighted in (Zeph. 3:17)
To list only a few…
It is so freeing to set aside our failures and look to the great Hope we have in the Gospel. Could you imagine how much more effective we might be in encouraging others in their identity if we consistently bang the drum of grace in our own lives?
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