To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Today’s scripture tells us it is by God’s unearned, undeserved, and unmerited favor that we have been made accepted in the Beloved—Jesus. This is true for every believer. If you are a believer, then by God’s grace, you are accepted in the Beloved.
The Greek word for “accepted” here is charitoo, which means “highly favored.” Our Father in heaven wants you to know that you are charitoo, that is, highly favored in the Beloved. Charitoo also means to “compass with favor.” In other words, we are surrounded with favor. This is our position in Christ: highly favored and surrounded by favor by the glory of His grace!
Now let me show you another scripture, which says, “Wherefore we labor, that . . . we may be accepted of him” (2 Cor. 5:9 KJV). We have just established that by God’s grace, we are accepted in the Beloved without labor. So what does this scripture mean?
The word “accepted” here is not the Greek word charitoo. It is another Greek word, euarestos, which means “well pleasing.” Hence the New King James translation says, “Therefore we make it our aim . . . to be well pleasing to Him.”
Now, euarestos is not about your position in Christ. Euarestos (in 2 Cor. 5:9) refers to something that you do that brings your Father in heaven great delight and joy. In Christ the Beloved, we are already highly favored, but there are things that we can do to glorify and be extra pleasing to our Father in heaven.
Let me illustrate my point: Our children Jessica and Justin are always highly favored in Wendy’s and my hearts. There is nothing they can ever do to change that position. It is a position anchored on their identity as our children. Yet there are times when they do something special for us that brings us great delight and touches our hearts.
In those moments, not only are they highly favored, they are also extra well pleasing to us. Do they have to do those special things to earn our love? Absolutely not! They are already loved and highly favored in our hearts. In fact, their desire to do something special for us stems from their having confidence in our love for them. They desire to please us because they know just how much we already love them.
It is the same in our relationship with our heavenly Father. When we know how much we are loved and are established in His grace, we want to do good works to bring delight to Him. The apostle Paul, who was zealous for the gospel and good works, said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Cor. 15:10).
Paul, who had a revelation of God’s grace, didn’t become a lazy, passive Christian. On the contrary, he worked harder than all the other apostles for the gospel’s sake, and he attributed all his ministry success to God’s grace in his life. That, my friend, is euarestos (well-pleasing good works) in action.
Everything we do today must flow from the lavish supply of God’s grace. Our giving has to be out of His grace. Our serving has to be out of His grace. When His grace is our delight, we can’t help but labor more abundantly and bring delight to our Father’s heart!
This devotional is taken from the book Glorious Grace—100 Daily Readings from Grace Revolution.