Thursday, January 2, 2020

Strengthened by Grace Devotional: 1/2/20

Prayer for Thursday: ​God my Creator and Redeemer, I will be able to go forward today only if You accompany me with Your blessing. Let me then put back into Your hand all that You have given me, rededicating to Your service all the powers of my mind and body, all my worldly things, and all my influence with others. All these, O Father, are Yours to use as You will. All these are Yours, O Christ. All these are Yours, O Holy Spirit. Speak in my words today, think in my thoughts, and work in all my deeds. And seeing that it is Your gracious will to make use even of such weak human instruments in fulfilling Your mighty purpose for the world, let my life today be the channel through which some little portion of Your divine love and compassion may reach the lives that are nearest to my own. Give me grace today to follow the road Jesus did first walk; and to Jesus' name be all the glory and praise, forever and ever. Amen.

Scripture Reading for Thursday: Genesis 4-7

Scripture Reflection for Thursday: Today's journey in God's word visits Genesis 4-7.

In Genesis 4, we see we should beware of the growth of sin. Once we harbor sin, it leads to worse sin, which affects others. Cain’s initial sin leads to worse in his descendants, such as Lamech bragging about his murders. Like the godly line of Seth, we need to call upon the name of the Lord. What sins does this chapter teach us to pray against, and what graces should we seek from the Lord?

In Genesis 5, we see we should by God’s grace, strive to imitate Enoch. Enoch walked with God. Surely the secret of our Christian life is to abide in Christ: “Without me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Spend time in the Word of God, praying, meditating, repenting of sin, and obeying God’s laws. Just as God took Enoch to heaven, so walking with God on earth is the best assurance that we will walk with God in heaven. The children of God must bear their Father’s image.

In Genesis 6, from Noah we learn patience and faith. Noah took more than a hundred years to build the ark. He patiently worked and witnessed to the people who rejected his message (2 Peter 2:5). We live in similar days (Luke 17:26) and need to preach faithfully despite the mocking of people against the gospel. The only safe place from the flood was the ark being built. The only safe place from God’s eternal judgment is Christ.

In Genesis 7, we see that the Lord calls men, women, and children through the gospel to come into the ark of safety, Jesus Christ the Righteous One (Matt. 11:28; Luke 14:17). Just as the Lord shut Noah and his family into the ark and protected them during the flood, so the Lord will save all who trust in Christ alone from the wrath that is to come. Therefore come to Christ now, and place your entire trust in Him.

Daily Teaching (Catechism) for Thursday:

(8.2) The Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity, is truly and eternally God. He is the brightness of the Father’s glory, the same in substance and equal with him. He made the world and sustains and governs everything he has made. When the fullness of time came, he took upon himself human nature, with all the essential properties and common weaknesses of it but without sin. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. The Holy Spirit came down upon her, and the power of the Most High overshadowed her. Thus, he was born of a woman from the tribe of Judah, a descendant of Abraham and David in fulfillment of the Scriptures. Two whole, perfect, and distinct natures were inseparably joined together in one person, without converting one into the other or mixing them together to produce a different or blended nature. This person is truly God and truly man, yet one Christ, the only mediator between God and humanity (John 1:14; Galatians 4:4; Romans 8:3; Hebrews 2:14, 16, 17; Hebrews 4:15; Matthew 1:22, 23; Luke 1:27, 31, 35; Romans 9:5; 1 Timothy 2:5).

May God help you to grow in Christ today,