Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Strengthened by Grace Devotional:12/31/19

Prayer for Tuesday:All Hail, Lord my King! All praise and love and loyalty be unto You, Lord most high! Forbid, Lord God, that my thoughts today should be wholly occupied with the world's passing show. Help me to see myself rightly in relation to you today. Give me today some clear vision of my life in time as it appears to Your eternity. Show me my own smallness and Your infinite greatness. Show me my own sin and Your perfect righteousness. Show me my own lovelessness and Your exceeding love. Yet in Your mercy show me also how, small as I am, I can take refuge in Your greatness; how, sinful as I am, I may lean upon Your righteousness; and how, loveless as I am, I may hide myself in Your forgiving love. Cause my thoughts to dwell much today on the life and death of Jesus Christ my Lord, so that I may see all things in the light of the redemption which You have granted to me in His name. Amen.

Scripture Reading for Tuesday: Revelation 19-22

Scripture Reflection for Tuesday: Today's journey in God's word visits Revelation 19-22, the end of the Bible and the Bible reading year. Every morning in 2019, I published reflections on several chapters in the Bible and, Lord willing, I plan to do it all again in 2020 beginning in Genesis. This is the 13th year I've read fully through the Bible - a tremendous blessing each time I do it!

In Revelation 19, we see that just as a bride prepares for her wedding day, so Christians should prepare for Christ’s return. How can you be ready? First, you must be justified by Christ’s obedience. When God gives faith in Christ to a sinner, He joins that sinner to the Lord Jesus and imputes to him Christ’s perfect righteousness. Second, you must be sanctified by Christ’s Spirit. The same Spirit who gives a person faith also dwells in his heart, producing growing holiness. The person whom God justifies and sanctifies is dressed for the wedding. Are you ready?

In Revelation 20, we see that though the church suffers and struggles on earth, Christ’s kingdom has come. Satan was defeated once and for all at the cross and empty tomb. Christians today live in the paradox that they are conquering Satan spiritually, even as he seems to conquer them physically. The worst thing that this world can do to us—death—is our entrance into the heavenly reign of the saints. Therefore, let us neither fear for the church nor for our own future if we belong to Christ. Jesus reigns!

In Revelation 21, we see that the glory that shines in all the delights of heaven is the glory of God in Christ. The Lord is the sweetness, beauty, pleasure, and treasure of His kingdom. Heaven holds nothing for those who do not love God for His own sake. Those who do not delight in the Lord and holiness would be repulsed by heaven if they could go there. Do you love Jesus Christ and His holiness? What are some signs of a true love for God that can assure believers that God is preparing them for eternity with Him?

In Revelation 22, we see that the great theme of Scripture is the Lord Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man. His grace is the only salvation for sinners. His death like a lamb for the sins of His people is the only righteousness fallen men can have before God. His resurrection and future coming are the only hope of the world. God’s Son will bring His people into happiness beyond their greatest expectations, for He will bring them into the eternal enjoyment of infinite good: the triune God. All three of the primary Christian graces—faith, hope, and love—focus upon Jesus Christ. Do you trust, hope in, and love God’s Son? If not, call out to God even now to save you. If you do know Christ and His salvation, then use each day to seek grace to grow deeper in faith, hope, and love for Christ, as you prepare for the day of the Lord.

Daily Teaching (Catechism) for Tuesday:

(7.3) The covenant of grace is revealed in the gospel. It was revealed first of all to Adam in the promise of salvation through the seed of the woman. After that, it was revealed step by step until the full revelation of it was completed in the New Testament. This covenant is based on the eternal covenant transaction between the Father and the Son concerning the redemption of Christ's Church. Only through the grace of this covenant have those saved from among the descendants of fallen Adam obtained life and blessed immortality. Humanity is now utterly incapable of being accepted by God on the same terms on which Adam was accepted in his state of innocence (Genesis 3:15; Hebrews 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 11:6, 13; Romans 4:1, 2ff.; Acts 4:12; John 8:56).

May God help you to grow in Christ today,