Thursday, June 29, 2006

Devotion vs. Legalism

Mike Gilbart-Smith has written an article on the 9Marks ministy website entitled, "The Pursuit of Christ in the Devotions of the Pastor." I have not read the article in entirety, but this paragraph in particular caught my eye:
The human heart is so fond of legalism that, without a constant meditation on the grace of God given us in Christ, we will imagine that our spiritual achievements are reflective of our spiritual state. Pursuing Christ has the opposite effect. It shows us that any spiritual health we have is found only in Christ and that every success we have in ministry is found only in Christ. The glory goes entirely to Him.
Truly, the heart is fond of legalism. I've heard it said that legalism is what we do when we're not walking with the Lord. I know in my pre-conversion days that I believed I was spiritually okay because I did outward acts of human righteousness. We must have that "constant meditation on the grace of God given us in Christ."

I am grateful that this article has reminded me that my devotional life is about pursuing Christ, and I should never consider my devotional life as a means of grace in and of itself. Instead, my devotional life should have Christ as the focus and the glory of God as my aim.

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