Sunday, January 26, 2020

Strengthened by Grace Devotional: 1/26/20

Prayer for Sunday: Most Gracious and Holy God, You to whom I owe the gift of this day's life, give me the Spirit's guidance so that I may use this Lord's Day to my benefit and for Your glory. Forbid that I should stain the brightness of the morning with any evil thought or darken the afternoon with any shameful deed. Let Your Holy Spirit breathe into my heart today all pure and heavenly desires. Let Your truth inform my mind. Let Your justice and righteousness make a throne within me and rule my misbehaving will. Let Christ be formed in me, and let me learn from Him all humility of heart, all gentleness of behavior, all modesty of speech, all helpfulness of action, and promptness in the doing of my Father's will. Thank you for this first day of the week, when your Son, my Savior, was resurrected. In Christ's Holy Name, Amen.

Scripture Reflection for Sunday: Today's journey "Through the Bible" visits Exodus 23-25.

In Exodus 23, we see that sinful people promote their party, but the Lord delights in truth and justice regardless of whether a person is rich or poor, in the majority or the minority. Why is it so easy to side with the majority or your particular group instead of standing for truth and justice?

In Exodus 24, we are reminded that even in covenant mercies, God remains God and we must obey Him. This requires more than a verbal commitment; Israel pledged obedience but had no heart to perform it. We need the Spirit of God to sanctify our hearts by faith so that we experience Christ’s blood applied to our guilt and obey God (1 Peter 1:2). Do you have this living hope that produces holiness? Or are you like most of Israel—all words but no reality?

In Exodus 25, we see that the ark of the covenant (vv. 10–22) symbolized God’s chariot-throne carried by the spirits of heaven (Ps. 18:1; 99:1, 5), a sign that the King of heaven lived with Israel. Yet there was no image for God Himself (20:4–6) for He is holy, more glorious than all idols (15:11). Christ is the heavenly King who lives with His people (Matt. 28:18, 20). He is also our mercy seat, the propitiation of all the sins of believers (Rom. 3:24–25).

Spiritual Meditation for Sunday:
May the love of the Father, the tenderness of the Son, and the presence of the Spirit, gladden your heart and bring peace to your soul, this day and all days, Amen.
May God help you to grow in Christ today,