Striving for His Mercy

Key verse

So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world…So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Hebrews 4:9-10, 16 NLT



I have spent far too much time trying to earn my heavenly Father’s approval. In the past, for over three years straight, I worked a full-time job, ran two small businesses on the side, led Kid’s Church every Sunday, and led a small group. I remember at one point tearfully praying to God, “I just want you to be proud of me!” I was striving so hard to be successful, accepted, and loved.

It totally blew me away when, after losing my marriage and all hope of restoration, I learned that God had been pleased with me all along. Thanks to Jesus’ obedience and sacrifice, He already approved of me. I did not have to work exhaustively for it. His mercy and grace were always there when I needed it most.

 
Thanks to Jesus’ obedience and sacrifice, He already approved of me. I did not have to work exhaustively for it. His mercy and grace were always there when I needed it most.
 

I also discovered that Jesus is seated, resting from His finished work, and we are inseparably linked to Him. The assignment He calls us to do today is much like Adam’s in the first garden. The Father gave us a few tasks with the abilities and resources to accomplish them. Our work is playful, at least, it can be. We may tend our “garden” (spouse, kids, home, and job) from a position of rest and acceptance—knowing He will provide, help, and make up the difference. We may come boldly to our Father’s throne room—without the need to obtain permission—to stand on His promises and rest.

When an errant thought pops up, the enemy forms a weapon against us. The pain is real, but God’s grace and mercy are sufficient. We were healed. At any moment, we can hop on our Daddy’s lap, throw our arms around His neck, lay our heads on His chest, and hear His heartbeat of love. We have His Word on it.

This is neither wishful thinking nor romantic imagery; this is life in the kingdom of God. It doesn’t matter how old, battle-scarred, or stupid we have been. We have the encouragement and ability to come close to Him as a child. He heals all wounds. Rest today in Him.

Prayer

Papa God (Abba), thank You for picking me up and drawing me close. I am so very pleased to be Your kid. You never give me a disapproving look; instead, You encourage me to fulfill all the dreams You have for me. I love You. Let’s spend the whole day together!

Question:

In what area of your life are you striving for God's approval?


Behind the Devo

with Pastor Matt & Pastor Marvin


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