One thing I realized long ago, is that I do not live up to the expectations I set for myself. I am frequently dissatisfied with my Christian performance.

That is because my desire to honor God and glorify Him falls short of my willingness to take the necessary steps to make it happen all the time. Like some of you (maybe) I don’t always reckon myself dead to sin, I sometimes put my selfish desires ahead of those that I know would honor God.

Like Paul does at the end of Romans 7, I say 21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

When I tell myself I stink at this Christian life, that I will never get it right, it takes me right back to the gospel. For the very next verse of Romans 8:1 tells me that there is no condemnation for me because I am in Christ Jesus. And despite my frequent failings He is enough to keep me secure. His love and acceptance is enough to keep me going, pressing on, reaching for the goal of becoming as close to Christ-likeness as I can while in this body.

So while in the process of sanctification, keep focused on the gospel.

The more you grow, the more you will see how sinful and wicked your heart still is! This can be mighty discouraging. But rather than it taking you into the pit of despair, let it take you to the cross with thanksgiving!

Let it remind you of all you don’t have to do to be acceptable, and how much you are already loved and accepted by God in Christ. Let the gospel motivate you…let it complete its perfect work in your heart and overflow into your life.