“An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops” (2 Timothy 2:5-9).
Somehow or other the wicked one has convinced our culture that we all deserve whatever it is we think we deserve. Yes, we have grace upon grace from Jesus, but this frees us to co-operate with the Holy Spirit in becoming like Christ. Our salvation is assured, but we are not just toy soldiers who take what God is giving. We are thinking beings who need to learn to love as we were first loved. This is the work of sanctification.
Lord, You have laid out the ground rules. The Ten Commandments have not changed and I still need to obey them. Plus, I need to learn better how to love You and my neighbor. There is plenty of work for me to do, Lord, so help me run the race of faith. Keep me on the straight and narrow way and protect me from the lies of the wicked one so that I may win the prize of eternal life.
Lord Jesus, You have done all of the heavy lifting, but I must do my part. Help me now and always to do what You give me to do. Let me not think that others can do for me what You have given me to do. Guide me, Lord, in the way of everlasting life. Coach me in how to run the race and finish the course so that I may receive the crown of salvation. And help me, Jesus, to keep the rules of the race so that I not disqualified. Amen.