Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mimics



August 31

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:1 – 15

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 11:1 – “Be ye imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ.”

Paul makes a bold statement here, imitate me. The Greek word μιμηται means to mimic or to act like. Paul is challenging the Corinthian believers to act like him, to mimic him in what they do. 

Would I be so bold to tell others this? How about you? Yet, we inwardly expect others to be like us in church. They need to dress like us, talk like us, act like us, like the same things we do…. Well, you get the picture.

Paul challenged them to mimic him, as he mimicked Christ. What a qualifier. Does everything about me mimic Jesus? Can the world see Jesus in me? Do the things I do look like Jesus? All the time? Do the things I say mimic Jesus? All the time? We must walk the walk to challenge others to walk like Jesus.

Prayer: Spirit of the Living God, come into my life today and take control. May I be a true reflection of my Savior in all that I think, say, and do. May I walk the walk today. Amen. 



Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Feet don't fail me now



August 30

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:14 – 33

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 10:14 – “Wherefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.”

Idolatry. Does that really happen today? Oh yeah, it must be some of those weirdo religions out there. Well, the term used here in the Greek means the worship of false gods, of the formal sacrificial feats held in honor of false gods of avarice, as a worship of Mammon. 

What is Mammon? The dictionary defines it as material wealth or possessions especially as having a debasing influence. So, do people tend to honor and worship their wealth today? Do we find people and religious teachings like that today? You bet. So, what do we do when confronted with idolatry? Stand up and rebuke it? Fight it tooth and nail? Debate it?

Well, Paul told the Corinthian believers to run! We need to heed that same advice today. When we are facing the temptation to fall into idolatry, run from it. Don’t dabble, don’t see how close you can get, don’t excuse it and dress it up. RUN!

Prayer: Father, give me swift feet to run.



Monday, August 29, 2016

Grumble, grumble, grumble



August 29

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1 – 13

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 10:10 – “Neither murmur ye, as some of them murmured, and perished by the destroyer.”

Have you ever stopped to consider how often you may grumble and complain? The word used for murmur means to have a complaining attitude, to speak negatively. Maybe it is because of a boring job. Or maybe you are picking up behind your kids (or husband) for the nth time. Maybe you are complaining about needing to take out the garbage again.

Consider that instead of complaining and griping, do it with a thankful heart. Be thankful that you have a job (many do not), that you have those kids (or husband), and that you are blessed to have enough that you actually have trash to take out.

Prayer: God of all Provision, thank You that I have so many things and people in my life. Thank You that I have the strength to work and to do household chores. I am so grateful for all the many blessings that You have provided in my life. I praise You. Amen.



Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Apostle's Freedom



August 28

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 9

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 9:19 – “For though I was free from all men, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more.”

Continuing with his statements to the Corinthian Church that we looked at yesterday, Paul uses himself as an example to show that he followed what he taught. 

Paul put his calling to minister to others above his own personal preferences. He was willing to conform to the customs of those he came in contact with (Greek, Jew, etc.) to bring them to Christ. To those under the Law (Jews) he sought to observe the Law. To those outside the Law (Gentiles) Paul did not observe Jewish customs. He went on to clarify this, unless someone misunderstood, in verse 21 he said he obeyed the law through obedience to Christ.

Being free was not a license to sin with others; it was the ability to be with them, yet stay pure in heart.

Prayer: Jesus, may I be available to others, yet remain true to You in all I do and say. 



Saturday, August 27, 2016

Am I my brother's keeper?



August 27

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 8

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 8:9 – “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to the weak.”

Εξουσια. This term in the Greek denotes a right, privilege or authority. In some contexts,it means the freedom to exercise one’s rights.

Here Paul is using it in the context of eating food dedicated to idols. He has no problem with those who purchased this leftover meat and ate it at home. To Paul, they were not participating in idol worship. They had the freedom to eat this meat with a clean conscience.

However, he does make one exception. If eating this meat would destroy a weaker brother or sister they should abstain. For the weaker believer, Paul says we should not partake in even something that may cause them to stray or fall to the wayside. How many of us want to exercise our rights without consideration of others? 

Prayer: Great Spirit of God, guide me to consider others at all times in all ways. Amen.






Friday, August 26, 2016

Singleness can be a blessing




August 26

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:25 – 40

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 7:33-34 – “but he that is married is careful for the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and is divided. So also the woman that is unmarried and the virgin is careful for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married is careful for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”

We may be missing the mark when we are quick to tell singles that the ultimate plan of God for them is to get married. We even now have Christian Dating Websites to help this process.

The ultimate plan for a single person is to listen to what He is saying to you. Being single may be the highest spiritual plateau you have ever known in your life. You may be closer to Him being single than you could be as a married person.

Prayer: O Holy One, I pray that I will not interfere with Your plans for the lives I come in contact with. Help me to pray and seek the highest for everyone I see. Amen.




Thursday, August 25, 2016

Time to answer questions



August 25

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:1 – 24

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 7:1a – “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote:”

The first 6 chapters of this letter deal with a report that Paul received from Chloe. At this point, he answers some questions and discusses some areas that the Corinthians had posed to him. From chapter 7 through 14, he deals with a variety of topics. He begins with Marriage Obligation in chapter 7 and ends with a discourse on Spiritual Gifts in chapter 14. In between, he will answer their questions on Christian liberties and Proper form of worship.

He has been asked about the area of celibacy and divorce. He speaks of the relationship between a husband and his wife. Our society and churches would do well to listen to the advice given by God through the pen of the Apostle Paul.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You have designed our lives and know what is the best for each of us. Father, may we put aside our cultural and preconceived views to be open to the words that You have written for us. May we walk in Your way at all times. Amen.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

God's Temple today



August 24

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 6

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 6:19 – “Or know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own;”

The Greek word ναος refers to the building itself. There are other Greek words that refer to the whole complex.

Paul was reminding each of the believers in Corinth that their body was a sanctuary for God. What a privilege it is for us to be the spiritual dwelling place of God. In the Old Testament, the Glory of God filled the Tabernacle (Ex. 40:34) and the Temple (1 Kings 8:10,11).

Today, the Glory of God in the person of the Holy Spirit dwells in each believer. In the New Jerusalem there will not be a need for a physical Temple because God and the Lamb will be the eternal temple (Rev. 21:22).

Prayer: Father, may I be a pure and holy place for Your Spirit to reside in. May I be worthy of the privilege of being the Temple of God today. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

In the world, not the world in me.



August 23

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 5

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 5:12 – “ For what have I to do with judging them that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within?”

This chapter deals with the Corinthian Church ignoring sin in its ranks. Paul calls them to deal with sin inside the church. 

He tells them that not associating with sinners in the world would require “for then must ye needs go out of the world” (verse 10b). He is reminding us that we are sent into the world to challenge them to accept Christ. We are not to imitate or accept for ourselves their sinful lifestyle. We can, as the old saying goes, “Love the sinner and hate the sin.” 

Too often churches compromise their standards seeking to increase their numbers, however, this goes against the Scriptures. In fact, allowing this mindset can affect the entire church. Paul said, “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (verse 6b).

Prayer: Jesus, I want to be molded into an image of You. Do not allow the world to take control of my thoughts and lifestyle. Amen.



Monday, August 22, 2016

Who's fool are you?



August 22

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 4

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 4:10 – “We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye have glory, but we have dishonor.”

Who’s fool are you? When I was asked that question the first time, I was insulted. No one likes to be called a fool. Then the person showed me this verse in Paul’s letter, and I got his meaning.

Paul was a fool for Christ’s sake. He submitted to Christ’s strength, glory, and wisdom. We must be careful that we do not seek our own glory, display our own strength, and strive to parade our own wisdom before the world.

If I am to appear foolish to the world around me, I want it to be because I am standing on God’s Word. The World doesn’t see things as God does, so let me be His fool and not the world.

Prayer: Jesus, I want to live in your wisdom, strength, and glory. Let the world see You through me. I want to display who You are.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Who am I?



August 21

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 3

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 3:5 – “What then is Apollos? and what is Paul? Ministers through whom ye believed; and each as the Lord gave to him.”

In true Christian work there is no such thing as “celebrities.” We are all equal in the sight of God. We, as human beings, tend to place people up on a pedestal. When they fail in some way (remember that we are all sinners saved by grace), then many become disillusioned and disturbed.

Paul wanted the believers at Corinth to see that all work and workers were equal before God. Some of us have the task of plowing up the soil, others go behind and plant the seed. Some work at watering the seed, and still others are given the privilege to harvest. But it takes all to see it happen.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, You have tasked me with a special assignment in the Kingdom. Don’t let me look at others and feel that I am inadequate to do what You have called me to do. I can, through Your power, do what it is that You are calling me to do. Amen.






Saturday, August 20, 2016

He Holds the Future



August 20

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 2

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 2:9 – 10 – “but as it is written, Things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, And which entered not into the heart of man, Whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him. But unto us God revealed them through the Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

Human knowledge can seem impressive, maybe ever overwhelming at times. But when it comes to knowing about tomorrow, well, at that point it really fails. Our knowledge about tomorrow is guesswork at best.

God has all control over today, and tomorrow. He has hidden what will be tomorrow in His unfathomable plan. He has interwoven it with all the depth and the knowledge that He holds, and we are unable to see it until it unrolls before us. Can we truly trust Him with our future? If we can’t trust Him, whom could we trust?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, God of all eternity past and future, help us to trust You to lead and guide us into the plan You have made.






Friday, August 19, 2016

A how-to manual



August 19

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 1

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 1:2 – “unto the church of God which is at Corinth, even them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, their Lord and ours:”

Corinth. A city whose name became a Greek verb because of their debauchery and vibrant lifestyle. It was fast and vile, yet rich and industrial. Into this wicked and vile city came Paul. I don’t believe any ministry has ever faced the challenges to survive as this one did, nor any church experience so much conflict.

In these 16 chapters, Paul emphasizes the need to develop a holy character even in the midst of strife and division. The first six chapters are in response to a report from Chloe, and the remaining chapters deal with specific questions from the Corinthian believers. Even with the very confrontational tone of the letter, Paul ends it with hope.

Prayer: Spirit of the Most Holy God, guide me to glean from this letter the vital truths of how to live a holy life at all times.



Thursday, August 18, 2016

Unity at all levels



August 18

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 16

Verse of the Day: Romans 16:21 – 23 – “Timothy my fellow-worker saluteth you; and Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen. I Tertius, who write the epistle, salute you in the Lord. Gaius my host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the treasurer of the city saluteth you, and Quartus the brother.”

Paul had gone through a list of 26 people that he mentions by name in the longest list of greetings he has written. About one-third of these are women. Here we find a group of people who are sending their greetings along with Paul to that list.

What is interesting is this shows us that the early church was made up of all levels of society and all nationalities. In this list, we see the names of Tertuius and Quartus. These two are apparently slaves. They were given numerical names. Erastus is the treasure of the city. What a range of socio-economical levels of people all working in love and unity together. Do we see this today?

Prayer: Father, may we work in harmony and love with our brothers and sisters in Christ.



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

May the God of Peace



August 17

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 15:21 – 33

Verse of the Day: Romans 15:33 – “ Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.”

Paul is drawing this letter to the Roman believers to a close. He speaks to them about his desire to come and visit with them. He had no idea at this point that his trip would be financed and provided by the Roman government. 

Paul has spent a good deal of time and effort writing this special letter. He has shared his heart and his concerns. He starts out by emphasizing the that the whole world needs the gospel, possibly because he is writing to people in the city of Rome, the hub of the world at that time. He ends by praying for peace in the lives of those he has been writing to. He has made it evident that peace comes from the grace of God given freely to all who ask. He stresses the need for all to come to salvation. He makes us aware that there is no greater need a person has than their relationship with God.

Prayer: Father, may my heart, mind, and life be in line with You at all times. Amen.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Unified Hope



August 16

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 15:1 – 20

Verse of the Day: Romans 15:13 – “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

The Greek term used for hope in this passage is one that shows a confident expectation or anticipation. In the New Testament the word hope does not carry with it the idea of wishful thinking, as we so often use it today.

Paul in chapters 12 – 15 has been encouraging us to live like believers. We are to display what a Christian looks like. He is speaking in our passage today of glorifying God together. We are to be like-minded with one another (vs. 5) and this will help to display the oneness and glory of God. When we live together as Christians in this life, we give the world a glimpse of what Heaven will be like.

Prayer: Father of Unity, help us today to seek out ways to be like-minded in what we say, do, and plan. If we truly want the world to see we have something different and better, let us live it out before them today. Amen.



Monday, August 15, 2016

Peacemaker



August 15

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 14

Verse of the Day: Romans 14:19 – “So then let us follow after things which make for peace, and things whereby we may edify one another.”

We are called to edify, or build up, each other. Too often as Christians we fail in this area. Some believe it is their calling to tear down everyone and show them how they are failing God. But, as our verse today in these chapters on being a Christian that Paul writes to the Roman believers shows, we are to build up one another.

So, how do we do this? By seeking to pursue peace. There is enough tribulation and challenges in the world around us. We need to seek out the things that will develop and produce peace. When we do, we will be building up others, not tearing them down.

Prayer: God of all Peace, make me a minister of peace in this world of tribulation, care, and destruction. Help me to seek out ways to create an atmosphere of growth in peace. Show me how I can bring people to You through the peaceful application of Your love in their lives through mine. Amen.



Sunday, August 14, 2016

Honor the law and love others



August 14

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 13

Verse of the Day: Romans 13:10 – “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: love therefore is the fulfilment of the law.”

Continuing in the Description of being a Christian Paul gives us in chapters 12 – 15, we see in this chapter we read that we have two responsibilities. The first is to honor civil law. When we honor the laws of the government, we are honoring God. We show that we understand that all things are under the hand of God, and even the government is under His ultimate control.

The, beginning in verse 8 of this chapter, we are taught to love others. This is the fulfillment of the law of God. The two great commandments are (according to Jesus) love God and love others.

Today, consider whether others can see Christ in us by how we live as a Christian. How is my scorecard?

Prayer: Jesus, may I portray to the world the life of a Christian by my love for God and for others I come in contact with.






Saturday, August 13, 2016

Be a Christian



August 13

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 12

Verse of the Day: Romans 12:1 – 2 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Romans 12 starts a few chapters that deal with the Christian Life. Paul describes a Christian in these passages.

In Chapter 12 he challenges us to be living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. In the verses above he tells us to transform our minds by renewing them in God. He also calls us to serve God with the Spiritual Gifts that we have been given. Beginning in verse 9 of our reading, Paul tells us that we need to behave like a Christian. Take inventory, how are we doing?

Prayer: Holy Spirit, transform my thoughts so that I can live a life that is pleasing to God. As I seek to utilize the gifts You have given me, help me to behave in a manner that shows the Father to all I come in contact with. Amen.



Friday, August 12, 2016

Mystery



August 12

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 11:22 – 36

Verse of the Day: Romans 11:25 – “For I would not, brethren, have you ignorant of this mystery, lest ye be wise in your own conceits, that a hardening in part hath befallen Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in;”

Paul here speaks of a “mystery” (Greek μυστηριον). He often uses this word in his writings (26 of the 27 times it is used by Paul, the last time is in the Book of revelation). They are not meaning something incomprehensible, the word pictures something that was hidden and has now been revealed. Many religious groups have secret meanings and beliefs that only the initiated can know. Paul speaks instead of a secret that has been revealed for all to see.

Here in this passage, the mystery is that Israel has been temporarily and partially hardened against the Gospel, but God has not rejected the Nation. God is not finished with Israel yet.

Prayer: God of Israel, help me to remember Your love for Your Chosen Nation, and that that same Love is bestowed upon me. Thank You that You are not finished with us yet. 



Thursday, August 11, 2016

Not Alone




August 11

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 11:1 – 21

Verse of the Day: Romans 11:3 – 5 – “Lord, they have killed thy prophets, they have digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have left for myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

Paul goes back to 1 Kings 19:18 to use Elijah as an example in today’s reading. Some possibly felt that all of Israel had rejected Jesus, just as we may believe that there are no Christians around us. Elijah felt all alone, yet God encourages him by telling him that He still had 7,000 believers in that day.

Today, we need to take stands for what is morally and biblically true, even when we fell all alone. God is with us, and He has an army that will stand for the truth.

Prayer: Lord of All, remind me when I find that I am wavering in my stand that You have an army of believers that will stand strong. Give me the courage to stand for You and Your Word at all times in all places. Amen.




Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Any one can



August 10

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 10

Verse of the Day: Romans 10:12 – 13 – “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek: for the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich unto all that call upon him: for, Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Fellow believers, it will do us well to grasp and understand these verse from today’s reading. The two divisions that Paul uses here, Jew and Greek, in the Jewish mind encompass all people.

Paul is reminding the Roman believers that God does not distinguish between nationalities, races, or cultures. To Him, there is only one division, those who believe and are saved and those who reject and remain condemned. The beautiful part of this division is that anyone who comes to God, He will not reject.

Prayer: God of all Salvation, as our reading today challenges us, we need to be telling people about the Gospel and giving them the chance to believe and become a part of Your family. May I be challenged by the words of Paul to make it a vital part of my lifestyle to tell others about Christ. Amen.



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Idiom



August 9

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 9

Verse of the Day: Romans 9:13 – “Even as it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

This is a quote from the Old Testament prophet Malachi (1:2,3). In both places many find it hard to understand. What can help is to realize that Malachi (and in turn, Paul) are using a Hebrew idiom. Idiom comes from a Greek word that means “personal”. Idiom originally meant "speech peculiar or proper to a people or country." These days we use idiom for a specialized vocabulary or an expression that isn't obvious, like kick the bucket, which means "die." If you're studying a foreign language, idioms are the hardest phrases to translate.

The Hebrew idiom here is where the opposite is used but to a lesser degree. It is a form of comparison. God loved Jacob so much that it made His feelings for Esau to look like hatred. God did provide for Esau, but not in line with the promises.

Prayer: Loving Father, I can take Your gracious plan and privilege for granted. Help me to remember that Your Love for me is so great You would sacrifice Your Son for me. 



Monday, August 8, 2016

Already completed



August 8

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 8:19 – 39

Verse of the Day: Romans 8:29 – 30 – “For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren: 30 and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

The word “foreknew” in the Greek means to know beforehand. God knew beforehand who would accept Him and who would reject Him. In this foreknowledge, God foreordained these believers to be made into the likeness of His Son.

One of the exciting things about this passage is that all the verbs (foreordained, conformed, called, justified, and glorified) all are in the past tense. God from His Eternal perspective sees all things as completed. I am already glorified in the mind of God.

Prayer: Lord, my I live my life in awareness of my stand before You. I thank You that my glorification is all in Your hands, and that You are the One who completes it all for me. Amen.






Sunday, August 7, 2016

Three laws



August 7 

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 8:1 – 18 

Verse of the Day: Romans 8:2 – “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death.” 

The Greek term used for law in this passage means an inward principle that works with the regularity of a law. It designates the standard of the life of a person. Paul in his writing points out three such laws. 

First is the “law of sin” which we often call the operation of the flesh. It is what causes us to sin. Then he spoke of “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” that frees us from the bondage to the “law of sin and death.” 

When we are governed in our daily life by the Holy Spirit, we can and should have victory over “the law of sin.” The Spirit living in us provides what we need to rise above the law that would seek to destroy us. It comes from our relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Prayer: Holy Spirit, it is my desire and earnest prayer that You would lead me in the path that allows “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” to free me from “the law of sin.” 




Saturday, August 6, 2016

Is the Law sinful?



August 6

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 7

Verse of the Day: Romans 7:7 – “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Howbeit, I had not known sin, except through the law: for I had not known coveting, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet:”

Beginning at this point to the end of the chapter, Paul uses his personal example and experience to answer the question as to whether the Law is sin. 

He tells us that without the Law, there would be no sin (verse 8). This starts his dialog dealing with the question. The truth of the matter is, that the morality that is espoused by the Law is in existence. God is the ultimate expression of this morality. We would not know that we were living contrary to His moral standards if it were not for the Law. We now know we are in sin because the Law exposes our sin.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, as I study God’s Word bring to light the sin that is in my life. Help me to see my great need of a Savior, and to see that Savior, Jesus Christ. I want to walk in His way and be like Him today. Amen.



Friday, August 5, 2016

Earned wages versus free gift



August 5

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 6

Verse of the Day: Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Earned wages versus free gift. Actually, the term free gift is redundant. If it costs something, it is neither free nor a gift. The passage above helps us to see that eternal life is given to us without any work or purchase on our part. It is a gift.

The phrase eternal life is used 42 times in the New Testament, the majority meaning a gift we receive at the moment of our belief in the gospel. However, 11 times it is used as something to be attained. We can see from this that eternal life is not static. It is a growing, dynamic, and expanding relationship with Jesus Christ. When we live in obedience, we realize a full enjoyment of God’s gift of eternal life.

Prayer: Jesus, as I seek to be in obedience to Your Word, I grow in understanding of the marvelous gift You have given me in eternal life. My growing closer to You brings out more grace and more enjoyment as I walk through this world. I didn’t earn it, but I love it.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Justified!



August 4

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 5

Verse of the Day: Romans 5:18 – “So then as through one trespass the judgment came unto all men to condemnation; even so through one act of righteousness the free gift came unto all men to justification of life.”

The Greek word for justification (δικαιωσιν) is from the base word that means to acquit or declare righteous. It is a legal term used in the first century that meant a very favorable verdict. 

The picture that Paul is painting here is one of a courtroom with God as the judge. He is sitting in judgment determining who had faithfully kept the Law. Paul’s writing up to this has shown that no one is capable, nor has kept all the Law. We begin to understand that the Law was not given to justify us, but to expose our sin. When we believe in Jesus, God imputes His righteousness in place of our sinfulness. Thus, we are justified by faith through grace.

Prayer, Gracious Judge of all mankind, I am so thankful that You provided for my forgiveness and justification through Your Son Jesus. By myself I stand condemned, in His Blood I stand redeemed. Hallelujah. Amen.



Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Always the same




August 3

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 4

Verse of the Day: Romans 4:3 – “For what saith the scripture? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness.”

Some want to teach that the means of salvation in the Old Testament was different from the New Testament. Even in Paul’s time, this was what some thought. In our verse today, Paul quotes from Genesis 15:6 to refute this erroneous idea,

If we study the surrounding material of this quote, God had made a promise to Abraham, and Abraham simply trusted God to fulfill it. In other words, he believed God.

Abraham didn’t have to obey some law, follow some rule, take part in some ritual, or do any other kind of task to achieve his relationship to God. He simply believed God. Because of his trust, God credited righteousness to his account. Abraham was saved by faith through grace just as we must do.

Prayer: Gracious God, You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. I am so glad that You stay constant and I can trust in You. Amen. 



Tuesday, August 2, 2016

I miss the mark



August 2

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 3

Verse of the Day: Romans 3:23 – “for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;”

We are probably very familiar with this verse today. It is part of the Romans Road to salvation many have used for ages to help lead a person to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

The term used here for fall short can be translated to fail, be destitute, to lack, or to be inferior. It is the Middle Voice in the Greek, and that means that the subject is performing an action upon himself (reflexive action). It is in the Indicative Mood, or is simply a statement of fact.

In other words, we miss the mark of attaining the glory of God by our own actions. In even simpler terms as Paul is building his case, we don’t have to do anything to be in this situation. How are you doing today? Have you come to Jesus and received the free gift that He has for you?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I surrender to You. I have missed the mark so often, and I have no one to blame but myself. I submit to You today.



Monday, August 1, 2016

Non-judgmental



August 1

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 2

Verse of the Day: Romans 2:1 – “Wherefore thou art without excuse, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest dost practise the same things.”

The passage today hits on a very hard subject. This is a horrible form of pride, holding a harsh, abusive, almost militant attitude that comes out in judging others.

If I grasp the whole truth of the forgiveness of God for me, I should be one of the most accepting of people around me. By accepting a person does not mean that I accept their lifestyle, issues, etc. It means that as a part of the body of Christ, if I can learn to be winsome and forgiving, I can lead others to find the ultimate truth to life, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today, I will seek to guide those that I come in contact with to the One who will not only forgive, accept, and love them, but who will also make a difference in their life.

Prayer: Jesus, let me see others as You see them and love them to You. Amen.


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