But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7

When I first read Skye Jethani’s book, With, last summer, I could not put it down. It spoke to me and convicted me in ways that no other book ever had. As I turned each page I could hardly wait to reread it.

The concept that most directly resonated with me was living for God. For the majority of my life I have stacked my accomplishments, good behavior and works up to such a level that demanded God’s attention and subsequent reward. However, I couldn’t see that’s what I was doing. I was just doing all the right things. Living the good Christian life. Not until recently have I been able to face my faulty (and sinful) motivation square in the face.

Coming to grips with the way I had been living has not been easy, but it has brought much freedom. I love that Jethani’s book doesn’t leave me face down in my guilt. He offers hope of a better life with Jesus. Not consumed with living for him. No, living with him. Rather than being frustrated and disillusioned, there is an invitation to fill my deepest desire of being with him and knowing him intimately.

Where have you attempted to earn God’s favor and approval through your actions? Your sacrifices? Your performance? Confess those ways to Jesus. Ask him to show you what life with him looks like. As you drift off to sleep tonight, recall the truth that he came to abide with us, his spirit is in you and with you, and you are his.

By Ellen Rosenberger

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