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Sept 2021 – Counting up the Cost

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Make this month’s recipe – White Bean & Chicken Chili


With the calendar turning its pages to the first day of September, we’ve officially begun the kickoff into the busiest time of the year. With school in session, holidays fast approaching, and life moving at a pace that seems almost foreign to the fall of 2020, it’s a time of year when we can tend to pack our schedules to the brim. And with this year’s calendar looking much different than the blank pages of last September, it can be tempting to want to make up for everything we lacked last year, to get back to every tradition, and to make every memory. But, what cost are we willing to pay to make this fall a “successful” one?  

At IF:Lead, Ruth Chou Simons shared a message that has long stuck with us, and we can’t think of a better time to soak up her words about the grace of Jesus. Instead of entering into this season through the lens of striving and seeking to do or be all things to all people, we can, Ruth says, “redefine success as faithfulness to God through the means of grace.” We can be both faithful and successful, if only we let our definition of success come from the Gospel of Jesus, rather than the gospel of self-improvement. 

Ephesians 2:8-10 says, 

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

That truth is all we really need to know to move forward into September. We have been created for good works, and it is not because of anything we have done in the past; God has given us good works to do simply because He wants us to participate in His grand design for eternity. But are we missing the things He has for us because we’re too focused on our own, frantic agendas? 

Whether this new month finds you anxiously spiraling in your mind because you’re already overwhelmed at the thought of the months to come, or you’re worried that you’re not doing enough and need to be a better mom, wife, coworker, daughter, or friend, let the truth of the Gospel wash over you today. Jesus has good works for us to do, but our identity is found only in the abundance of His glorious grace. Let us count up the cost of our souls, and, instead, find all of our wealth in the cross. 

Watch Ruth’s message from IF:Lead below to hear more about what it looks like to cease striving, and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).

Watch the Video!