Friday, January 31, 2020

Strengthened by Grace Devotional: 1/31/20

Prayer for Friday: Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. Lord, in the daytime, stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine; let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley. Amen. — A Puritan Prayer

Scripture Reflection for Friday: Today's journey "Through the Bible" visits Exodus 36-38.

In Exodus 36, we see that the people’s generosity is commendable in itself, for they gave more than enough. It is a model to us of cheerful giving. However, their faith in the Lord and obedience to His moral laws were sadly lacking. We dare not rest our confidence in external duties such as giving money to church or attending public worship, for these can be done for hypocritical reasons. It is easier to give money than to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

In Exodus 37, we see that the word “gold” appears no less than twenty times in this chapter. Bronze was used in outside furniture, but gold in the holy places as a sign of God’s holiness—not merely His moral purity, but His excellence above all other beings in every way. The enormous amount of pure gold used in the holy furniture displayed the beauty and precious value of His holiness. This King’s wealth reflects Himself. Let us treasure Him above all and cast away everything in order to gain Him. Do you view God as your supreme treasure? How do true Christians show they view God as their supreme treasure?

In Exodus 38, we see that those consecrated to serve the Lord by the blood of sacrifices still needed regular washing at the washbasin. Jesus taught us the same lesson when He washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:1–11). As Christians, we must regularly confess our sins to the Lord so that our conscience can be freshly washed by the blood of Christ. Confession costs us something. Just as the women gave up their mirrors to make the washbasin for washing (Ex. 38:8), so we must give up our pride and self-righteousness to find cleansing.

Spiritual Meditation for Friday:
It is Satan’s tactic to convince us to make small concessions and compromises, until we take them for granted.
May God help you to grow in Christ today,