Most of us believe wholeheartedly that our salvation was a product of God’s grace, and nothing but faith on our part gets us into Heaven. But as much as we were saved by grace, so we are also to live by the grace of God. It’s easy to fall into a rote trap of embracing rules instead of a relationship. That isn’t to say we shouldn’t follow standards for holiness and purity, but these standards alone don’t in and of themselves contain the power to live victoriously. A walk of faith is more than just a checklist: go to church, do your devotions, and pray. It’s a living, breathing, ongoing relationship with a real Person, Jesus Christ.

By pursing a relationship instead of rules, we continue to experience growth. We’re not satisfied with just obeying what is required; we’re challenged to further levels of love, commitment, and intimacy. Our walk with God remains fresh, and we’re less prone to periods of confusion and burnout.

Most importantly, we stop relying on our own discipline and realize that our strength and our only source of hope comes from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, Who breathes the power of God into our lives.

Ask yourself this question every so often, even daily if you have to: Do I trust in my own obedience, or am I relying on Jesus to get me through life? Am I worshipping a system or a Person?

This is a sure way to keep your faith fresh.

It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels he is worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God Who made him. — Abraham Lincoln

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder