Saturday, December 14, 2019

Strengthened by Grace Devotional: 12/14/19

Prayer for Saturday:Holy God, You who dwell among our poor human lives, lifting them above the dominance of animal passion and greed, allowing them to shine with the borrowed lights of love and joy and peace, and making them a mirror of the beauties of a world unseen, grant that my part in the world's life today may not be to obscure the splendor of Your presence but rather to make it more plainly visible to the eyes of those around me. Let me stand today for whatever is pure and true and just and good. Today, Lord let me put right before interest and let me put others before self. You, the reflection of whose transcendent glory once appeared unbroken in the face of Jesus Christ, give me today a heart like His -- a brave heart, a true heart, a tender heart, a heart with great room in it, a heart fixed on Yourself; for His name's sake. Amen.

Scripture Reading for Saturday: 1 Thessalonians 1-5; 2 Thessalonians 1

Scripture Reflection for Saturday: Today's journey in God's word visits the entire short letter of 1 Thessalonians and the first chapter of 2 Thessalonians. 

In 1 Thessalonians 1, we see that the only evidence of a person's election is when they live a godly life and so bring forth the fruits of righteousness. Election makes people saints, not mere religious talkers, or learned hypocrites, or adherents to some religious group.

In 1 Thessalonians 2, we see tenderness for the Lord’s people is one of the characteristics of a spiritual preacher. Paul uses the pictures of a nurse (v. 7) and a father (v. 11). How do both kinds of love form good soil for spiritual growth?

In 1 Thessalonians 3, we are reminded that people do not always understand how great a burden their ministers carry day and night for their eternal good. Spend a little time praying for your ministers and elders that God would give them patience, endurance, and wisdom in shepherding the flock of Christ.

In 1 Thessalonians 4, we see that sanctification involves careful obedience to the Ten Commandments, a number of which are addressed in this chapter. When we are saved by grace, we do not leave behind the commandments of God. On the contrary, we find the power to keep them in love.

In 1 Thessalonians 5, we see that believers have the sure and blessed hope of heaven forever. Therefore, seek by God’s grace to live for the glory of our great Lord and Savior. Do not be seduced by the glitter and glamor of this world, for God will take it away in a moment.

In 2 Thessalonians 1, we see that the best Christians are sometimes those who are suffering the worst persecution. We should pray daily for our brothers and sisters in lands that are hostile to the gospel. Use missionary newsletters, websites, maps, and other tools to pray intelligently for the persecuted church.

Daily Teaching (Catechism) for Saturday:

(4.1) In the beginning, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit was pleased to create or make the world and all things in it, both visible and invisible, in a six-day period, and all very good. He did this to manifest the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness (John 1:2, 3; Hebrews 1:2; Job 26:13; Colossians 1:16; Genesis 1:31; Romans 1:20).

May God help you to grow in Christ today,