I need to feel productive—even in gospel work. I write checklists, set goals, and add more and more to my list.
Where does this need for production lead us?
Doing more won’t settle any score and often keeps us distracted from what really matters: tucking in close and listening to Jesus—then following him in the moments of our days. But the gospel feels counter to what we think makes us valuable: success, achievements, impact.
But for Jesus—success was in his obedience to the Father. Whether that meant lingering over bread and wine at a friend’s home, healing a blind man, or rising early to pray alone on a mountain.
He didn’t live for production. He lived for obedience.
So too, we flourish in the kingdom when we live for the Father like Jesus did. Not our check lists. Sparkling kitchen floors. Padded 401k.
Hustling for approval or perceived success only leaves us dry. Rather, the gospel invites us to drink in God’s grace.
Do you ever feel like you are hustling for worth? Me too.
Here are 3 things to remember every day:
REMEMBER WHO JESUS IS
The four Gospel accounts all carry this question, “Who is Jesus?” And they unfold the answer in different styles for different purposes. But one thing is clear: Jesus is God in the flesh. He is both 100% man and 100% God at the same time.
We need to remember every day that God came near to us so that we can draw near to him.
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’).” (Matt. 1:23)
REMEMBER WHAT JESUS DID
At the right time, Jesus died for the ungodly (us). Our natural way of breaking God’s law (sin), separates us from him. And the natural outcome of that separation is death—both earthly and eternal (Gen. 3, Ex. 20).
But Jesus offered himself as a payment of death for us. He lived a sinless life and became our sinless sacrifice so that through his death we can have forever life now and more fully when he returns (Jn. 5:28-29).
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God…” (1 Peter 3:18a)
REMEMBER WHAT JESUS GIVES
Jesus gives us grace.
We cannot hustle, earn, or perform to gain God’s favor.
God’s acceptance of us starts by grace, continues by grace, and is completed by grace through redemption in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:24).
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
How does God’s grace replace your need to hustle and perform?