Monday, December 23, 2019

Strengthened by Grace Devotional: 12/23/19

Prayer for Monday: ​Holy Father, you make everything that is good. The graceful gifts that Christ gives us: faith, hope, and love — make these stronger and stronger within me every day. Give me greater patience, the patience that comes from my hope in you. Make me more consistent in my love. In loving, let me believe. In believing, let me love. And as I love you and believe in you, let me hope for a more perfect love and a more steady faith, all possible through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

Scripture Reading for Monday: 1 Peter 2-5

Scripture Reflection for Monday: Today's journey in God's word visits 1 Peter 2-5.

In 1 Peter 2, we see that Christ overcame the world by love and endurance of suffering, and so do Christians. The best way to silence critics of the gospel is to be full of good works. When a Christian is known only for his kindness, love, grace, and mercy, the world will try in vain to condemn him, and his righteous deeds will point unbelievers to the glory of God (vv. 11–20). When the Christian is called to go through suffering for his faith he should remind himself that he is only following in Christ’s steps (vv. 21–25). How can that comfort the believer and give him endurance?

In 1 Peter 3, we see that the world idolizes physical beauty, but those who are wise prefer godliness in the heart (vv. 1–4). It is good to teach our children, even at a young age, that the beauty to admire in another is the inward beauty of a heart submissive to God.

In 1 Peter 4, we see that the difference made in anyone who is born again is that rebirth reverses her whole moral outlook. She now loves what before she hated and now hates what before she loved. So great a change is made in one who is truly converted that it may amaze her friends and neighbors (vv. 1–6). Has God changed you on the inside? How?

In 1 Peter 5, I am reminded that Augustine once said that if he were asked the most important three qualities of the Christian life, he would say “Humility, humility, humility.” God hates pride and wars against it but tenderly cares for the humble in all their anxieties (vv. 5–7). How can we clothe ourselves in humility every day?

Daily Teaching (Catechism) for Monday:

(6.1) God created humanity upright and perfect. He gave them a righteous law that would have led to life if they had kept it but threatened death if they broke it. Yet they did not remain for long in this position of honor. Satan used the craftiness of the serpent to seduce Eve, who then seduced Adam. Adam acted without any outside compulsion and deliberately transgressed the law of their creation and the command given to them by eating the forbidden fruit. God was pleased, in keeping with his wise and holy counsel, to permit this act, because he had purposed to direct it for his own glory (Genesis 2:16, 17; Genesis 3:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 11:3).

May God help you to grow in Christ today,