January 31

READ Psalm 18:46–50. 46 The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior! 47 He
is the God who avenges me, who subdues nations under me, 48 who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes; from a violent man you rescued me. 49 Therefore I will praise you,
LORD, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name. 50 He gives his king great victories; he
shows unfailing love to his anointed, to David and to his descendants forever.
THE JOY OF GRACE. In verses 4 through 19 David says he defeated his enemies,
but here he says God did it. Is it we who work or God? Both—and this paradox
(Philippians 2:12) is no contradiction. David knew, in the end, that God
accomplished it all through his grace, despite David’s imperfect efforts. But that
did not make him passive. Work done in the belief it is all up to us becomes a
joyless, deadly grind. Only those who know that salvation comes by sheer grace,
not our efforts, have the inner dynamic of grateful joy (Colossians 3:15–17) that
empowers the greatest efforts. So the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah
8:10).
Prayer: Lord, help me remember that my salvation in Christ is complete—so
the great work is already done, the great debt already paid, the great disease
already healed. That enables me to take on all lesser tasks and challenges with
confidence and joy. I put myself in your hands—work through me. Amen.

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