Friday, December 13, 2019

Strengthened by Grace Devotional: 12/13/19

Prayer for Friday:God, my hidden Source of life, let me now meditate upon the great and gracious plan by which You have brought it to pass that a mortal person like me should look up to You and call You Father. In the beginning You, the Uncreated, made all things out of nothing:

—Space and time and material substance;
—All things that creep and fly, the beasts of the forest, the fowls of the air, the fish of the sea;
—And at last man, in Your own image, to have fellowship with You;
—Then when, in the corruption and disobedience of his heart, that image had been defaced;
—A gracious design for its restoration through the gift of Your only-begotten Son;
—New life in Him, and a new access to Your holy presence.

O hidden love of God, grant that in my life today I may do nothing to oppose Your most gracious purpose. Let me keep in mind how Your whole creation groans and travails, waiting for the perfect appearing of Jesus Christ. Let me harbor nothing in my heart that might embarrass Your presence; let me keep no corner of it closed to Your influence. Do what You will with me, God; make of me what You will, and change me as You will, and use me as You will, both now and in the larger life beyond; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Scripture Reading for Friday: Colossians 1-4

Scripture Reflection for Friday: Today's journey in God's word visits Colossians 1-4. In Colossians 1, we are invited to give attention to the great wonder of the incarnation. Meditate upon the supremacy of Christ in His person as the agent, sustainer, and goal of creation, considering that this person would take on flesh to redeem you from your sins. What are some reasons why Christ’s incarnation would make you praise God?

In Colossians 2, we see that in Christ are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Yet, we so often seek guidance for life outside of Christ. Whether it be self-help tips or the latest marketing fad, we can be tempted to find quick solutions to life’s problems outside of Christ. Give yourself, by grace, to a perpetual pursuit of experiencing Christ and living in the enjoyment of being united to Him.

In Colossians 3, we see that believers are risen with Christ and exhorted to fix their minds on things above. Do you give attention to this focus in your personal walk and in your family? Do you find strength (1:11) to fight against, kill, and put off sin in God’s power? Perhaps you are frustrated seeking to mortify sin in your own strength. What does living according to 3:12–16 look like in your personal interactions and in your family life?

In Colossians 4, we see that prayer is vital for the Christian life. Prayer ought to be thoughtful. It involves thanksgiving and intercession. It is easy to neglect thanksgiving, but believers have so much for which they ought to praise God. Believers ought also to remember to intercede for others, especially as it relates to the advancement of the gospel. Teach your family to pray regularly, thoughtfully, thankfully, and missionally.

Daily Teaching (Catechism) for Friday:

(3.1) From all eternity God decreed everything that comes to pass, without reference to anything outside himself. He did this by the perfectly wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably. Yet God did this in such a way that he is neither the author of sin nor has fellowship with any in their sin. This decree does not violate the will of the creature or take away the free working or contingency of second causes. On the contrary, these are established by God’s decree. In this decree, God’s wisdom is displayed in directing all things, and his power and faithfulness are demonstrated in accomplishing his decree (Isaiah 46:10; Ephesians 1:11; Hebrews 6:17; Romans 9:15, 18; James 1:13; 1 John 1:5; Acts 4:27, 28; John 19:11; Numbers 23:19; Ephesians 1:3–5).

May God help you to grow in Christ today,