Those who believe in God should be careful to maintain good works.
It is difficult for us to separate our hope of heaven from our good works. We instinctively feel that we must be good to get to heaven. While God certainly wants us to live good lives, none of us can live a life good enough to get to heaven. One sin disqualifies us, and everyone has sinned more than once. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us . . . that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (vv. 5, 7). Salvation is a gift.
The Lord longs to mature us in Christ, the very thing for which we long, and so we praise Him:
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together. . . .
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! (Psalm 34:1-3, 8).
Pause for praise and thanksgiving.
Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
"For a mere moment I have forsaken you,
But with great mercies I will gather you.
With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;
But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,"
Says the Lord, your Redeemer (Isaiah 54:7-8).
Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind, and pray this affirmation to the Lord:
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
greater wisdom in decision-making,
needs of close friends and family members,
your activities for the day.
Finally, offer this prayer to the Lord:
Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name! . . .
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
Bless the Lord, all His works,
In all places of His dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul! (Psalm 103:1, 21-22).
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