Thursday, January 9, 2020

Strengthened by Grace Devotional: 1/9/20

Prayer for Thursday: Gracious Father in Heaven, today I pray for the healing of my nation's unhappy divisions and the making up of its vast polarization. For the divisions that are among us, You have searched our hearts, and as You see, many have turned against one another and, with rancor, they despise one another. But is the breach as vast as the sea, which cannot be healed? (Lam. 2:13). Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? (Jer. 8:22). Lord, repair the breaches of our land, for because of them, our country falters (Psalm 60:2). I beg in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that there may be no divisions among us, but that we be united in the same mind and the same judgment (1 Cor. 1:10). May You, O Lord, the God of endurance and encouragement grant us to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together we may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 15:5-6) and promote the common salvation (Jude 1:3). Lord, keep us from judging one another and despising one another, and help us to pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding; that living in love and peace, the God of love and peace may be with us. Let nothing be done from rivalry or conceit, but in humility let me count others more significant than myself; (Php. 2:3) and grant that my reasonableness may be known to everyone because Your Son is at hand. I pray this in Your Son's Name, Amen.

Scripture Reading for Thursday: Genesis 27-29

Scripture Reflection for Thursday: Today's journey "Through the Bible" visits Genesis 27-29.

In Genesis 27, we see that the sins of believers can hurt and divide their families. Favoritism, broken lines of communication, lies, the love of the world, nominal religion, and seeking God’s blessing through sinful means can tear Christian families apart. While God’s purposes of grace cannot fail, He will discipline His people, possibly through broken relationships. Let us, therefore, repent of our sins, speak openly with each other in love, and seek peace.

In Genesis 28, we see that the church of Christ is the greatest wonder on earth. It is the assembly of many peoples, diverse nations united by the worship of the one true God. It is the house of God and the gate of heaven. Sadly, though “the LORD is in this place,” many would have to confess, “I knew it not.” Do you come to church with holy fear, since God dwells with His people?

In Genesis 29, we ask: Are you relying on your own strength to move obstacles or crying out to the Lord? Our God has abundant compassion, power, and faithfulness. He is always at work even through human sin. Take your painful situation to Him in prayer, and give Him the praise when He answers you.

Daily Teaching (Catechism) for Thursday:

(8.10) The number and character of these offices of Christ are essential. Because we crave God's word and are in profound want of it, we need his prophetic office. Because we are alienated from God and imperfect in the best of our service, we need his priestly office to reconcile us and present us to God as acceptable. Because we are hostile and utterly unable to return to God, and so that we can be rescued and made secure from our spiritual enemies, we need His kingly office to convince, subdue, draw, sustain, deliver, and preserve us for his heavenly kingdom (John 1:18; Colossians 1:21; Galatians 5:17; John 16:8; Psalms 110:3; Luke 1:74, 75).

May God help you to grow in Christ today,