Grace and Holiness

I realize without doubt that I am in great need of God’s grace! There is no hope in me without grace and mercy. The Law has revealed that we are incapable of measuring up to God’s standard of holiness and “rightness.” My life reveals the same thing.
It can be easy to extend this understanding of our inability to do anything to warrant God’s favor to making excuses then for my failure and my turning away from longing for and striving for holiness. Simply because I cannot does not mean I do not put myself in the position to. Not by my own effort, but by allowing the Holy Spirit to do His work I am able to move forward to the prize for which I (and we) have been called by God to realize. The Spirit calls, I respond. I, of course, have to make the effort and then it is the Spirit of God that enables me to arrive at the goal. Even when I am not able to make the effort, the Comforter is there to aid and to encourage and to forgive when needed.
What is the goal? To love God with all my heart, for in this my being will desire not that which satisfies my old nature, but that which builds up my new nature. To love my neighbor as my self, for here I find my own expression of God’s love and the embodiment of the image of God within me. I am to put my hands to the plow and not look back so that I (and we) may move into the Way of God. In this is life to the full.