Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. 1 Thess. 5:23-24

Holy and loving Father, as I continue to pray and read my way through Lent, it’s portions of your Word like this one that make me want to weep and dance at the same time. I feel like weeping over the years I spent in gospel-ignorance—a stranger to the ways of grace. As a young believer, I was certain my guilt was gone, but clueless about how you actually change your sons and daughters. I suffered much under the hands of bad theologies, man-centered remedies, and Christ-less formulas.

But this one passage alone tells me that you not only called me to life in Jesus, but that you’re also transforming me into the image of Jesus, and that you’ll keep me blameless until the Day Jesus returns to finish making all things new. From beginning to the end, salvation is by you and for your glory. How freeing, how encouraging, how joy-making! The God of peace you are, indeed! Where else can such peace, joy, and assurance be found?

Father, how did I miss the really good news of the gospel for so long? Why was I such an easy target for performance-based spirituality? Why wasn’t I able to recognize corruptions of the gospel sooner?

I lament the years I spent in seeing Jesus more as my perfect model than as my perfect Righteousness. Instead of savoring a life of union and communion with Jesus, I was in a perpetual cycle of rededicating my life to Jesus; trying to make him Lord of all things; holding out for the next great work of the Spirit in my life to finally set me free. How did I miss so much of the good news of your grace for so very long?

Enough of looking back in sadness. I choose to look up in gladness, for you’ve turned my mourning into dancing, Father. You’ve removed the sackcloth of my self-righteousness and have clothed me with the wedding garments of the Lamb. With the music of the great banquet already emanating from heaven, my prayer is simply this: More and more, and through and through, make me more like Jesus.

By your grace and for your glory, reveal more of Jesus’ beauty to me and through me. You are faithful, and you will do it, Father. So very Amen I pray, with profound gratitude and humble assurance, in Jesus’ holy name.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “A Prayer for Weeping and Dancing, in Response to the Gospel”

  1. anonymous says:

    “More and more, and through and through, make me more like Jesus.”

    joining in this prayer this morning – please reign more and more in us, Lord
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWrYUkxbVHk&feature=related

    we do not want this man to reign over us. Luke 19:14b

    pray, then, in this way: Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matt6:9-10

    The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in it branches Matt 13:31-32

    For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One,Jesus Christ; as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 5:17,21

    And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever. Rev 22:5

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Scotty Smith


Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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