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 worksTitus 2:11-14

Dear Lord Jesus, if there’s one teacher I want to sit and excel under—if there’s one curriculum I need to master, and be mastered by—if there’s one school I could 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 I haven’t wasted the privilege of learning, just doing enough to get by. But when it comes to your life-giving, heart-transforming, soul-liberating grace, I’ll gladly stay a student forever.

Your grace first appeared to me like a longed-for sunrise after the bleakest night of darkness. It came, quite literally, bringing salvation to me; for I could never find it on my own, earn it through my efforts, or even desire it, left to my own sin and foolishness.

And, as this Scripture so clearly affirms, this is the grace of your gospel, Lord Jesus: that you gave yourself for us on the cross to redeem us from sin, to purify us for yourself and make us eager to do good.

Anything less is not the gospel. Anything more is not the gospel. Anything other is not the gospel. Hallelujah, your grace utterly transforms everything about me!

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 the blessed hope of your future return motivate me toward a greater obedience in this very day.

Continue to teach me the difference between an uptight life of rigidity and an upright life of holiness. Continue to free me from both my unrighteousness and my self-righteousness—from both my libertine and legalistic ways. Indeed, continue to free me to love you with everything I have and am; think and do. So very Amen I pray, in your holy and loving name.

 

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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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