For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. –Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
Giving Proper Credit
All we have and all we are is authored by God. Though it’s true that we must believe the Gospel and choose to follow in His ways every day, ultimately any righteousness or goodness that resides IN us is not penned BY us. While it’s easy to assess any personal improvements and give ourselves a pat on the back, as believers, we’d do well to replace that leaning toward self-congratulations with honest and humble gratitude.
Maybe that’s what Paul was trying to tell us in Philippians 4:4 when he encourages believers to “Rejoice in the Lord always.” He reiterates this in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV) by urging us to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
No matter what good (or bad) things come our way, choosing how we react to them, and most importantly how we think about them, is the key to being free from the tendency to sign our name to a story that isn’t written by us. This kind of gratitude helps us cite the real Source, and in a practical way give Jesus His rightful place in our lives as “author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV).
God, help me acknowledge You today as the author of all that I have and all that I am.
Lord Jesus, I see Your work in my life and right now I choose to celebrate You as the Creator of it all. Amen.