Tag: grace

“Come.”

Scripture reading for December 31st: Revelation 22; Psalm 150

Key Scripture: Revelation 22:17-21 “”The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of Life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He Who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”

As we come to the end of this year’s trek through the Bible chronologically, I want to thank the Lord Jesus for the privilege of studying and sharing His amazing Word. Thank you, each one, for joining me as you could. This final devotion records the final prayer of Christ’s Bride, the Church. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Bride simply says “Come.” It is an invitation to the thirsty. It is to “whosoever” will respond, with no prejudice towards anyone and no payment required. It is accompanied by a final warning concerning additions or subtractions from God’s Word. Eternal loss is promised to those who choose to do that. Jesus personally states that He is surely coming soon! Grace alone can prepare us. Amen! Come Lord Jesus!

Faith confession and prayer: I pray today, and daily, along with Your Bride, “Come.” I believe You and Your eternal Word, forever settled in the heavens and on earth. Help me to live by grace and faith each day until Your soon and sudden return. Amen! Praise the Lord Jesus Christ!

Psalm 150:8 “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

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The God of peace and love!

Scripture reading for October 2nd: Jeremiah 14-16, Psalm 76, 2nd Corinthians 13

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’s closing benediction calls the church at Corinth to joy and peace in the Holy Trinity. God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit bring love, peace and joy to all the saints. They are restoring all believers and bringing comfort, agreement and peace. As believers through the grace of Jesus Christ allow and invite God the Father to live in their midst, His love and peace brings true fellowship through the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit living in each one. This is the pattern for God’s people everywhere–and especially in our lives today!

Psalm 76:1-2 “In Judah God is known; His Name is great in Israel. His abode has been established in Salem (Peace), His dwelling place in Zion.”

Faith confession and prayer: Heavenly Father, establish Your abode in my midst and the midst of Your Church. May Your grace and peace and love flow from Your people in unity and fellowship as they are fed by Your delightful Word.

Jeremiah 15:16 “Your Words were found and I ate them, and Your Words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by Your Name, O Lord, God of hosts.”

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How’s your harvest?

Scripture reading for September 28th: Jeremiah 1-4, Psalm 130, 2nd Corinthians 9

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 9:6-9 “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”

Paul encouraged the Corinthians to give cheerfully and with purpose. He did not want to shame them or coerce them to give or to manipulate their hearts with human emotions. He did tell them spiritual truth: the law of sowing and reaping determines the harvest. For a sparing harvest, sow sparingly, but for a bountiful harvest, sow bountifully. God gives the increase and will make all grace abound to you in many areas of need in your life. The abounding harvest is more than money, but brings full sufficiency in all things at all times! Amen!

Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I hope; . . .”

Faith confession and prayer: God’s promises are true and bring encouragement and hope. I want an abundant harvest so I will sow generously and cheerfully trusting in Your Word of promised grace!

Jeremiah 1:11-12 “The Word of the Lord came to me saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My Word to perform it.””

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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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