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     The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers. . . . Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people. Deut 7:6-8; 9:6

Dear heavenly Father, I’ve been thinking about our future life in the new heaven and new earth a lot lately—the ultimate “good land” you’ve given us. The more aware I am of my brokenness and the brokenness all around me, the more I long for the amazing inheritance you’ve promised your children.

The more I ponder images of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:1-22:6), the more I experience doxological overload and grace-fueled wonder. A life devoid of chaos and evil—a world permeated with goodness and grace has never looked so good, as it does today. Hasten that Day of consummate perfection!

Father, forgive us when we’re still tempted to believe there’s something we did to earn the love you’ve lavished on us, and the inheritance you’ve secured for us. And forgive us when think there’s something we can do to lose for favor and love. Our arrogance and unbelief have infected every cell of our being.

We’re your treasured people only because you made us your treasure. Indeed, we’re a chosen people, not a choice people. Apart from the gospel we’d still be hating you, rebelling against you and trying our best to ignore you. But you set your love upon us in eternity and revealed this great affection when you sent Jesus to be our Redeemer. And we wouldn’t love Jesus unless you’d given us a new heart by the Spirit and the faith we need to receive eternal life. It’s all of grace, from beginning through eternity.

Apart from Jesus’ righteousness, we have none. We’re still a stubborn people, in desperate need of more and more grace. Our stubbornness is seen most clearly in our refusal to believe the gospel; in the ways we still give our hearts to other gods and saviors; and in our multiplied failures to love each other as Jesus loves us. We praise you for hiding our lives securely in Christ.

Father, you justified us by grace and we are trusting you to sanctify us by that same grace. Free us, increasingly, to love and serve you with our whole being. Hallelujah, what a salvation! Hallelujah, what a Savior! So very Amen we pray in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.



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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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