For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, teaching us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possessions who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14
Dear Lord Jesus, if there’s one teacher I want to excel under and one curriculum I need to master—if there’s one school I want to do well in, it’s the academy of grace. In the past I’ve either taken education too seriously, turning grades into idols, or else I’ve applied myself just enough just to get by. Please help me to become a student of grace, to your glory and for my transformation.
Your grace first appeared to me like a longed-for sunrise after a starless night of total darkness; like a water-truck driving up to a dehydrated man in the middle of a desert; like you coming into the spiritual morgue and raising me from the deadness of my sin and trespasses.
Indeed, your grace came to me—quite literally, bringing salvation to me, for I could never find it on my own or earn it through my efforts; or even desire it, left to my own sin and foolishness. Salvation is of the Lord, from conception to inception to completion. Hallelujah, several times over!
And this is the grace of the gospel, Lord Jesus: You gave yourself for us on the cross to redeem us from sin, to purify us for yourself, to make us eager to do good. Anything less is not the gospel. Anything more is not the gospel. Anything other is not the gospel.
If I’m not being challenged and changed by the power of your grace, then how can I say I have ever been sought and saved by the riches of your grace? So as one under the pedagogy of your grace, Lord Jesus, help me learn to say an emphatic “No!” to everything that robs you of your glory and an enthusiastic “Yes!” to everything that promotes your honor and reveals your beauty.
May my repentances be more notorious than my sins; may my joy in being justified be manifest in my zeal for being sanctified. May the blessed hope of your future return motivate me toward a greater obedience in the present moment.
Lord Jesus, continue to teach me the difference between an uptight life of rigidity and an upright life of godliness. Give me a greater love for the beauty of holiness by grace and a gospel-driven eagerness for doing good. Continue to free me from my unrighteousness and my self-righteousness. So very Amen I pray, in your loving and holy name.