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Today's Devotion (Wednesday, Dec 07)

Day By Day By Grace - Bob Hoekstra (DBD)

Grace for Serving the Lord Acceptably

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. (Hebrews 12:28)"
We who follow Jesus dwell in a unique kingdom, the kingdom of God. "For our citizenship is in heaven" (Philippians 3:20). In order to serve the Lord acceptably, we must learn to serve in a unique, heavenly manner—by grace.

We all began in a different kingdom than the Lord's. We were under the powerful influence of spiritual darkness. We existed in a realm devoid of true love. Then, our great God rescued us, bringing us into a kingdom of light and love: "giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love" (Colossians 1:12-13). Furthermore, in that former kingdom, we were easily threatened by every manner of instability. Our lives were built upon the sand of philosophical speculations and human inadequacies. Now we are in "a kingdom which cannot be shaken." We entered this kingdom by the rock solid provision of grace, and we stand in this same grace today: "justified freely by His grace…we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand" (Rom 3:24; 5:2). When circumstances change, we need not be shaken. Our King and His grace are constantly available and always sufficient. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).

When we received the King as our Lord and Savior (see John 1:12), the full resources of His kingdom became our portion forever. God "has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). Yet, in a profound sense, we are still receiving His kingdom. "We are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken." This process of receiving involves the daily appropriation of His kingdom provisions, by faith. The provision of grace is especially strategic, since this is how we serve God acceptably. "Let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably." We are called to serve our King. We cannot serve Him by merely attempting to do the best we can. That would be law performance, energized by the flesh. We need to have grace as our empowering resource, just as the early church had. "And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all" (Acts 4:33). Desiring to minister by grace allows our service to flow forth acceptably as worship unto the Lord: "with reverence and godly fear."
"Lord Jesus, my King, I praise You for bringing me into Your unshakable kingdom. I want to serve You acceptably—having my service arise to You from a worshiping heart. So, I humbly look to You to fill my life with Your grace, in Your name, Amen."