The Gospel is both our foundation and motivation.
Sometimes when I hear a sermon, I think —
“How could I ever live up to this? Why would I even want to do this? What am I doing this for?”
I try to catch up. It feels good on good days, when I’m a nice guy and praying hard and staying clean. But on bad days: my quota comes up short. I’m horrified at my utter lack of conviction. I come up with rules to follow rules, sharpen my prayer-technique, throw lighter-fluid on my computer, buy a wardrobe for a homeless guy.
It doesn’t work. None of this brings me any intimacy with God. It only selfishly points at myself, and I get self-righteous or scared or a sloppy mix of both.
But then — the Gospel is preached. I’m reminded that Jesus died for all the ways I’ve failed, and his resurrection empowers me for a way forward. I’m reminded that I was never meant to live up to anything, but I’ve received the Spirit that breathes His life through me.
So I know how. By his grace.
I know why. Because of grace.
I know what for. For Him.