Friday, January 3, 2020

Strengthened by Grace Devotional: 1/3/20

Prayer for Friday: Lord of my life, whose law I gladly would keep, whose fellowship I gladly would enjoy, and to whose service I would gladly be loyal, I kneel before You as You send me forth to the work of another day. This day, Lord: give me courtesy, give me humility, give me patience, give me lovingkindness, give me self-control, give me sincerity of speech, give me diligence in my assigned task. You, who in the fullness of time raised up our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to enlighten our hearts with the knowledge of Your love, grant me the grace to be worthy of His name today. Amen.

Scripture Reading for Friday: Genesis 8-11

Scripture Reflection for Friday: Today's journey in God's word visits Genesis 8-11.

In Genesis 8, we see that the appropriate response to deliverance from trouble is worship. Noah might well have said to himself that he could not afford the time or resources to worship God after leaving the ark, but instead he built an altar and offered up sacrifices. From what evils, either physical or spiritual, has God delivered you? How are you worshiping Him for it?

In Genesis 9, we're reminded that we should thank God for the rainbow promise that God will never again flood the world. These are days of grace where God “now commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). The covenant with Noah guards the first gospel promise of the Redeemer coming into the human race (Gen. 3:15). The flood destroyed humanity except for Noah’s family, and it seemed like the promise was in jeopardy. But God assured the continuation of the human race. Not even the judgment of sin will frustrate God’s redemptive purpose in Christ.

In Genesis 10, we see that God sovereignly distributes the human race among the nations (Acts 17:26). All the nations come from the three sons of Noah. No person is an island. We are all part of the family of humanity. There is really only one race: the human race, various colors and cultures notwithstanding. How then should we view other peoples and nations?

In Genesis 11, we see that we must never assume that large gatherings of people and great accomplishments by human ingenuity are good or pleasing to God. Concentrations of people may simply result in concentrations of evil. Though men seek outward glory, God often chooses to work through an unlikely individual following an apparently foolish call—like Abram. Pray for God to teach you how to live by faith and not by sight.

Daily Teaching (Catechism) for Friday:

(8.4) The Lord Jesus most willingly undertook this office. To discharge it, he was born under the law and perfectly fulfilled it. He also experienced the punishment that we deserved and that we should have endured and suffered. He was made sin and a curse for us. He endured extremely heavy sorrows in his soul and extremely painful sufferings in his body. He was crucified and died and remained in a state of death, yet his body did not decay. On the third day, he arose from the dead with the same body in which he suffered. In this body he also ascended into heaven, where he sits at the right hand of his Father, interceding. He will return to judge men and angels at the end of the age (Psalms 40:7, 8; Hebrews 10:5–10; John 10:18; Gal 4:4; Matthew 3:15; Galatians 3:13; Isaiah 53:6; 1 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Matthew 26:37, 38; Luke 22:44; Matthew 27:46; Acts 13:37; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; John 20:25, 27; Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9–11; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 9:24; Acts 10:42; Romans 14:9, 10; Acts 1:11; 2 Peter 2:4).

May God help you to grow in Christ today,