Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Strengthened by Grace Devotional: 12/17/19

Prayer for Tuesday:Almighty God, who exists ever-present in the world without me, in my spirit within me, and in the unseen world above me, let me carry with me through this day's life a most real sense of Your power and Your glory.

God around me, forbid that I should look today upon the work of Your hands and give no thought to You the Maker. Let the heavens declare Your glory to me and the hills Your majesty. Let every fleeting loveliness I see speak to me of a loveliness that does not fade. Let the beauty of earth be to me a sacrament of the beauty of holiness made manifest in Jesus Christ my Lord.

God within me, give me grace today to recognize the stirrings of Your Spirit within my soul and to listen most attentively to all that You have to say to me. Let not the noises of the world so confuse me that I cannot hear You speak. Suffer me never to deceive myself as to the meaning of Your commands; and so let me in all things obey Your will, through the grace of Jesus Christ my Lord.

God above me, God who dwells in light unapproachable, teach me, I ask You, that even my highest thoughts of You are but dim and distant shadowings of Your transcendent glory. Teach me that if You are in nature, still more are You greater than nature. Teach me that if You are in my heart, still more are You greater than my heart. Let my soul rejoice in Your mysterious greatness. Let me take refuge in the thought that You are utterly beyond me, beyond the sweep of my imagination, beyond the comprehension of my mind, Your judgments being unsearchable and Your ways past finding out.

Lord, hallowed be Your name. Amen.

Scripture Reading for Tuesday: 2 Timothy 3-4; Titus 1-3

Scripture Reflection for Tuesday: Today's journey in God's word visits 2 Timothy 3-4 and Titus 1-3.

In 2 Timothy 3, we see that in v. 12 the apostle teaches that all who wish to live godly in Christ will suffer forms of hardship, suffering, and even persecution. They may be despised or even ostracized for the sake of the gospel. All those who wish to live godly should realize this and prepare themselves mentally in advance for such events, so as not to be shocked when they actually take place. By the Spirit’s grace, they will then be able to endure such hardships and remain faithful to the Lord.

In 2 Timothy 4, we see that in v. 2 we read that Paul desires Timothy to emphasize doctrine in his teaching. Today doctrine is not viewed as useful and people generally prefer “practical preaching.” But a church without doctrine is like a house without a structure, or a building without a foundation. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ needs to be instructed in the doctrines of God’s Word. Therefore preaching should contain a major focus on the fundamental Christian doctrines.

In Titus 1, we see Paul stresses that church members should be concerned about what kind of men are nominated to hold office in the church as ministers, elders, or deacons. What traits of character or habits of life should we look for and value in such men?

In Titus 2, we remember that many people today are beset with addictions of many kinds (alcoholism, drug abuse, overeating, pornography, etc.). Why is sobriety and sober-mindedness important for the Christian? How can we achieve it and maintain it?

In Titus 3, we see that Christians owe duty and obedience to the civil magistrate. What are the limits of this duty?

Daily Teaching (Catechism) for Tuesday:

(4.3) In addition to the law written in their hearts, Adam and Eve received a command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As long as they obeyed this command, they were happy in their communion with God and had dominion over the creatures (Genesis 2:17; Genesis 1:26, 28).

May God help you to grow in Christ today,