Tag: grace

Heirs of Eternal Life!

Scripture reading for July 13th:  1st Kings 15, 2nd Chronicles 13-14, Titus 3

Key Scriptures:  Titus 3:3-7  “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.  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.” 

We all have a tainted history–sinners enslaved by our flesh and involved in acts of sin and rebellion against God.  Jesus Christ was presented to us through the preaching of the Gospel and by grace we were able to see His goodness and kindness and respond through repentance and faith.  This was all an act of mercy on Christ’s behalf, justifying us who were guilty and making us heirs with Him of eternal life!  Amazing grace brought saving faith.

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for Your amazing grace, goodness and kindness towards me, a rebellious sinner.  I invite the Holy Spirit to continue Your regeneration of my heart, preparing me for eternal life.  Jesus is Lord!

2nd Chronicles 13:12 “Behold, God is with us at our head, and His priests with their battle trumpets to sound the call to battle against you, O sons of Israel, do not fight against the Lord, the God of you fathers, for you cannot succeed.”

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The Holy Spirit brings out the “spices”!

Scripture reading for June 22nd:  Song of Songs 4-6, 2nd Thessalonians 2

Key Scriptures:  2nd Thessalonians 1:2-5  “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love for one another is increasing.  Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.  This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering–. . ”  

Paul was writing a second letter to the church at Thessolonica.  He sent greetings of grace and peace from “God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  He thanked God for their growing faith and increasing love for each other.  They were remaining steadfast and growing in the face of persecution and affliction.  Even as the winds of adversity blew upon them, their faith and perseverance was evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work to prepare them for God’s eternal kingdom!  The spices of their hearts brought a pleasant fragrance before God.

Faith confession and prayer:  Father God, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit living in me.  I am trusting You today for grace and peace and to allow fragrant spices to flow from my heart.  Help me to be steadfast in life’s daily afflictions and the persecutions of the last days.  May Your kingdom come and Your will be done!

Song of Songs 4:16  “Awake, O north wind, and come, O south wind!  Blow upon my garden, let its spices flow.”

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Grace or a spirit of stupor!

Scripture reading for June 5th:  Proverbs 6-7, Psalm 7, Romans 11

Key Scriptures:  Romans 11:5-10 “So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.  But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.  What then?   Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking.  The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.”  and David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them; let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs forever.””

Paul explained to the Romans how God chose grace as the means of salvation for all people, Jew and Gentile.  If we could work for our salvation, grace would not be grace!  Those who believed the Gospel obtained grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  Those who refused to believe but sought to keep the law by human effort were hardened and were overcome by a spirit of stupor.  They would miss the grace of God freely offered.

Psalm 7:12-13  “If a man does not repent, God will whet His sword;  He has bent and readied His bow; He has prepared for him His deadly weapons, making His arrows fiery shafts.”  

Faith confession and prayer:  I believe in salvation through grace by faith as Your plan for all men.  I have repented of my own dead works and trust Jesus Christ as Lord.  Help me warn and preach Your Gospel that all may avoid Your wrath.

Proverbs 6:23 “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, . . “

 

 

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The God Who Watches Over His Own!

Scripture reading for February 4th:  Exodus 10-12, Ephesians 2

Key Scriptures:  Exodus 12:40-42 “The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.  It was a night of watching by the Lord, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the Lord by all the people of Israel throughout their generations.”

Our salvation and deliverance from sin and death is not an accident.  It did not come from man’s works or schemes, but was a sovereign act of God prepared beforehand and announced through the prophets.  On an exact day predetermined by God, the Israelites were brought out of Egypt through the grace of God by a blood sacrifice.  So Paul wrote to the Ephesians, that God’s grace alone had brought them salvation through faith in His Firstborn Son’s sacrifice.  God watched over it all and now we watch in amazement as He completes the work in us.

Faith Confession and prayer:  I simply rest in the grace given me by trusting in Jesus Christ and His shed blood.  I ask our Lord to guide me daily in fulfillment of the works He also has prepared for me as I wait and watch for the fullness of time and Christ’s return!

 Ephesians 2:8-10 “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.”

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The richness of His Mercy!

Scripture reading for August 26th:  Ephesians 2, Psalm 20, Proverbs 16

Key Scriptures:  Ephesians 2:4-9  “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved–and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in Christ Jesus.  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.”  

Paul shared with the Ephesians the richness of God’s heart of mercy and the gift of His grace through His amazing love for us as sinners.  He forgave our sins through Christ’s sacrifice and then raised us up with Christ, seating us in the heavenly realms in Him.  We can claim no merit or credit for these gifts.  All boasting is in God’s great grace and mercy and love!

Faith Confession:  I boast in God’s mercy shown me (and the world) in Christ Jesus.  I repent (turn away) from my sins and I accept with thanksgiving the gift of forgiveness of my sins,  eternal life and resurrection from death.

Proverbs 16:6-7  “By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.”   

 

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Living by faith!

Scripture reading for August 16th:  Galatians 2, Psalm 14, Proverbs 10

Key Scriptures: Galatians 2:19-21 “For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.  I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.”  

Paul carefully explained to the Galatian believers that the law could only reveal sin and our separation from God.  But through identification with Christ Jesus in His death and resurrection, real life comes through Christ living in us .  This life is a gift of God coming through faith in Jesus Christ, not by man’s effort of trying to keep the law.  If we could do it ourselves, Christ Jesus died in vain!

Faith confession:  I identify with Christ Jesus in His crucifixion and His resurrection from the dead.  I receive by grace His indwelling presence and righteousness.  Thank You Jesus, I am free and truly live!

Proverbs 10:24-25 “What the wicked dreads will come upon him; but the desire of the righteous will be granted.  When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more, but the righteous is established forever.”  

 

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Life in Jesus!

Scripture reading for August 14th: 2nd Corinthians 13, Psalm 12, Proverbs 8

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 13:11-14 “Finally, brothers, rejoice.  Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.  Greet one another with a holy kiss.  All the saints greet you.  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”  

Paul ended his letter with final instructions and a benediction or blessing.  He was a loving pastor who wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to instruct God’s church in restoring a repentant brother and healing divisions in the church caused by false teachers and people following men.  Joy was prescribed and a focus on restoration and peacemaking.  Tenderness and affection was to flow from all saints to all fellow believers.  This was enabled by the grace of our Lord and God’s love and gift of the Holy Spirit to help us.

Faith confession:  I thank You God for the grace of our Lord Jesus and the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the precious Holy Spirit enabling me to live life in joy and maintaining the unity of the Trinity in the Church.

Proverbs 8:35-36 “For whoever finds Me, finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find Me injures himself; and all who hate Me love death.”  

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Sin’s power broken under Grace!

Scripture reading for June 20th:  Romans 6, Psalm 123, Proverbs 30

Key Scriptures: Romans 6:12-14 “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.  Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.  For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” 

Paul instructed the Romans in simple truth.  Living under the Law stirs up desires to break it.  In giving ourselves to Jesus Christ, who perfectly kept God’s Law, we receive forgiveness of sins by His Grace.  We are free then to present ourselves and the members of our body to God to be used by Him for righteous purposes.  Sin loses its power over us because we have received grace.   Sin’s power through the law is broken and we are free to serve God!

Faith Confession:  Sin’s power over me is broken through faith in Jesus Christ and receiving grace as a gift.  I serve God in freedom and freely offer my body to Him as a living sacrifice.  (Faith action:  Apply this truth to any besetting sin in your life today, declaring sin’s power broken!)

Proverbs 30:5 “Every Word of God proves true’ He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”  

 

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Boldness, truth, and grace!

Scripture reading for May 14th:  Acts 7,  Psalm 96, Proverbs 3

Key Scriptures:  Acts 7:51-55 “”You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit.  As your fathers did, so do you.  Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute?  And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, Whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”   Now when they heard these things, they were enraged and they ground their teeth at him.  But he, full of the Holy Spirit gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of the God.”

Stephen had the privilege of preaching the Gospel and declaring truth to some of the same crowd who had demanded Jesus be crucified.  He did not back off, but was full of boldness by the Holy Spirit.  But truth is not received by the proud and arrogant and they quickly became an angry mob with murder in their hearts again.  In contrast, Stephen saw a vision of an open heaven and Jesus Christ standing beside the Father’s throne.  As Stephen died, he prayed for their forgiveness as did His Lord Jesus.

Faith Confession:  Lord, give me the kind of boldness and grace that Stephen had by filling me with the Holy Spirit.  Help me to clearly preach and live by truth even in the face of unrepentant lost religious people.

Psalm 96:2-3 “Sing to the Lord, bless His Name; tell of His salvation from day to day.  Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!”

 

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Blessings through Christ Jesus

Scripture reading for August 30th:  Psalms 136-139 and Ephesians 6

Key Scriptures: Ephesians 6:23-24  “Peace be to the brothers and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.”   

Paul closed his letter to the Ephesians with a blessing.  He gave them a blessing of peace.  Our Lord Jesus promised His disciples that “in Me you may have peace.”  (John 16:33)  He gave them the blessing of “love with faith.”  Love never fails and faith works by love.  He blessed them with grace–grace that would cover all those who loved Jesus Christ, the loving and faithful Son of God.

Psalm 138:1-2 “I give You thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing Your praise; I bow down toward Your Holy Temple and give thanks to Your Name for Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness, for You have exalted above all things Your Name and Your Word.”

Prayer:    Lord, thank You for Your love and faithfulness!  I receive the blessing of Your peace, love, faithfulness, and amazing grace!  Amen.

 

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