What Do You Rely On?

Jon Burgess


“Many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, and the two men urged them to continue to rely on the grace of God." Acts 13:43‬


It's not an easy transition to move from reliance on established religious systems to reliance on a relationship with The Savior. Religions and traditions are like a security blanket that ultimately ends up leaving us cold. The Jews and converts to Judaism were specifically challenged by Paul and Barnabas to "continue to rely on the grace of God". That word continue is key here. It's the grace of God that brought them to salvation in the first place, but it would be the grace of God that would keep them there as well. When you have grown up with a deeply embedded sense of reliance upon works and rules grace then feels like stepping over the guardrails and taking a leap off the cliff in the belief that Jesus would indeed catch you. To see the full effects of grace at work in our lives it not only requires complete surrender to Christ but constant surrender to Christ. Not just an initial choice on that day but an intentional choosing every day.


I rely on so many things to get me through my day. My alarm clock to wake me up. My coffee to keep me up. My truck to get me to work. My phone, computer, and calendar to keep me working on the right things. My team to help me work better. My lunch to keep me going at work. My truck to get me home from work. My wife to help me make some dinner. My boys to help around the house. My electricity to keep the lights on and my food from going bad. My bed to stand strong so I can go to sleep. My alarm clock to wake me up so I can do it all again. I rely on so many things to keep me going. It would actually be quite possible to rely on everything else and not rely on the grace of God at all... as long as everything is running smoothly that is. The moment one thing falls short or falls apart so does my world. It's usually in the storm, in the crises, in the death, in the sickness, in the loss that I realize I've been relying on the wrong things. I love my wife. She's the strongest women of faith I know. But lean on her before leaning on Christ is crush the one I should be lifting up. I thank God for technology. If technology is the only mean by which I can minister then I end up relying on something man-made and missing the spontaneous moments of the Holy Spirit. To continually rely on the grace of God I must schedule reminders to keep me in that place of surrender. Otherwise, I wind up doing what many of the Jewish believers did and I go back to relying on my own strength and wisdom and routines. So, when the alarm rings I drop to my knees from the bed to the floor and surrender the day to the Lord before picking up the phone. On my drive into work, I listen to the reading for the day so I let the Holy Spirit speak to me about what I journal on that day. In my meetings, no matter how busy, we stop and pray and surrender our agendas to the Lord. Prayer is that quiet revolution of humility that reminds me to continually align my heart with His grace and not lean on any other thing.


The people in my life are some of the most reliable people I know. But they are not my source of grace. The equipment and technology You have given me are excellent, but You alone are the source of life-transforming communication. The gifts and talents you have given me will become an idol if I rely on them instead of You. As we enter this week of Doing Church As A Team let me rely on You Jesus above and before anything else. In You is the grace I need to go where You've called me!

Devotions for February 06

Leviticus 1,2,3
Acts 13

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