Based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Growing in Grace is a blog by Pastor Matthew Molesky. His posts explore the Bible, theology, ecclesiology, culture, books, family, and life.

A Prayer For Rejoicing In The Scandalous Goodness Of The Good News

I love the prayers of pastor Scotty Smith. Here is one of the sweetest...

     Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” Rom. 4:4-8

Dear heavenly Father, this Scripture contradicts everything we assume about the way life is “supposed to work”. We expect to get what’s coming to us. We demand fairness—an honest return for our labor, time, and sweat. But the gospel flies in the face of conventionality, predictability, and normalcy. To which we cry, “Hallelujah!”

Thank you for not being fair with us. Thank you for being outrageously generous, immeasurably kind, and scandalously good. What we could never earn—your perfect righteousness, you have credited to us as a gift. What we fully deserve—to be dealt with according to the wages of our sin, you will never do so. What we cannot imagine—that you would justify ungodly people, you have joyfully and legally done.

Because of Jesus’ perfect and finished work, our transgressions are forgiven (all of them), our sins are covered (every one of them), and you’ll never hold us guilty for them. King David called such people “Blessed”. Because we are among “such people”, we are humbled and grateful, and free beyond our wildest imagining.

Thank you for reconciling us to yourself through Jesus, and for placing us in an eternity of your permanent favor. Thank you for, not only removing all condemnation for our sins, but for replacing deserved judgment with your exuberant jubilation. Thank you for not just welcoming us, but for wanting us. Thank you for not just “letting us into heaven one day”, but for delighting in us fully in this very day!

By the power of the Holy Spirit, drive the gospel, this gospel, deeper and deeper into our hearts, that we might live and love to your glory. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus trustworthy name.

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