Monday, January 13, 2020

Strengthened by Grace Devotional: 1/13/20

Prayer for Monday: Holy God, I believe that you will change people and change many things if we ask and if it is your will. So I ask today that you would change me Lord and help me to live a more Christlike life. Help me especially today by giving me the grace to govern my tongue and use my words for your glory. Help my words build others up and encourage them on life's path. There are too many words that tear down in these evil times. Lord, enable me to guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue, and to guard my mouth, as if with a muzzle, (Ps. 39:1) that it may not be hasty to utter a word (Eccl. 5:2). Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips, (Ps. 141:3) that I may not stumble in what I say (Jam. 3:2). Enable me always to open my mouth with wisdom, and let the teaching of kindness be on my tongue (Prov. 31:26). Let all my words today be to Your glory. In Christ's name, amen.

Scripture Reading for Monday: Genesis 37-39

Scripture Reflection for Monday: Today's journey "Through the Bible" visits Genesis 37-39.

In Genesis 37, we see that God promises to exalt His servants, but they must often face great humiliations and sufferings first. This was the case for Joseph, as it would later be for Jesus Christ. These experiences test our faith, but we can look back to those who suffered before us, especially the Son of God, and find hope that God has a plan for us.

In Genesis 38, we see are reminded that we must humble ourselves for our sins and glorify God for His power to bring good out of evil. This is one of the most sordid chapters in the Bible, and yet through these sins the Lord preserved the line of Judah and made Tamar into the ancestor of our Savior.

In Genesis 39, we ask: What does it mean that God is with us? It certainly does not mean that we will escape mistreatment at home and at work. Joseph experienced both, but God was with him. How? God blessed his soul with the fear of the Lord, hatred of sin, diligence in labor, and perseverance under both trial and temptation. He blessed him with wisdom and skill in his work and made him a blessing to those around him, gaining the respect of those who knew him. Though God’s people suffer, God is with them in a real and powerful way.

Daily Teaching (Catechism) for Monday:

(9.3) Humanity, by falling into a state of sin, has completely lost all ability to choose any spiritual good that accompanies salvation. Thus, people in their natural state (without the Spirit) are absolutely opposed to spiritual good and dead in sin, so that they cannot convert themselves by their own strength or prepare themselves for conversion (Romans 5:6; Romans 8:7; Ephesians 2:1, 5; Titus 3:3–5; John 6:44).

May God help you to grow in Christ today,