'God’s grace' Tagged Posts

'God’s grace' Tagged Posts

Daily Devotions

For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…” vss. 22b-24 Romans 3:19-25 For years Martin Luther struggled with his own sinfulness, believing that there had to be some way by which he could, by his own effort, be free from the horrible burden of guilt. But nothing worked, and his anguish continued until…

Daily Devotions

Just as (the gospel) is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God.” vs. 6 Colossians 1:1-7 Things were happening in that little congregation in Colossae. The gospel was bearing fruit and growing and Paul was rejoicing. Life was good! We love to hear those kinds of reports in our congregations–they build enthusiasm and hope. But too often in…

Daily Devotions

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations.” vss. 1-2 Psalm 67:1-2 The psalmist believed that if the Lord would continue to be gracious to Israel and shower blessings on the people, it would be a witness to the nations of God’s favor. Perhaps, he reasoned, they would be so impressed that they too would begin to…

Daily Devotions

because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” vs. 9 Romans 10:8b-13 In his effort to help the Romans understand that salvation is by God’s grace Paul describes what happens as a person comes to faith. It’s really simple, a matter of confession and belief–nothing more is required. And everyone is included, there is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles. Unfortunately…

Daily Devotions

He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins…” vs. 3 Luke 3:3-6 John may not have been a member of the Essene Community at Qumran but he was undoubtedly influenced by its practice of ritual immersion for cleansing and renewal, a practice that became the central feature of his ministry. For him the baptism was a sign of repentance and was connected to the forgiveness of sins. It was…

Daily Devotions

It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.” vs. 7 Philippians 1:7-11 When we read that the Philippians held Paul in their heart some will assume that he is speaking figuratively, that such a connection is not literally possible. The problem with that assumption is…

Daily Devotions

But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.’” vs. 14 Mark 10:13-16 There is some evidence in scripture that Jesus may have been involved in baptisms during his ministry, but there is no indication that he baptized little children or even advocated such a thing. He didn’t know about infant baptism, though…

Daily Devotions

Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” vs. 15 2 Corinthians 4:13-15 Paul had endured significant suffering in the course of his ministry to the Gentiles. There had been numerous beatings and imprisonments and his body had been worn down–he’d been rejected even by those he’d considered friends. But he never gave up! When he was released from prison in one city,…

Daily Devotions

You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him.” vss. 5-6 1 John 3:4-7 Just a few paragraphs earlier John had told his readers that anyone who said they did not sin was a liar, and we would heartily agree. That certainly fits our experience! But he doesn’t mean to imply that we should…

Daily Devotions

Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him…” vss. 8-9 Hebrews 5:5-10 For pious Jews who became followers of Jesus after his resurrection it was natural to connect him with cherished temple practices, and many began to think of him in high priestly terms. The writer of Hebrews picks up on those themes and shows how it was that…

Daily Devotions

For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” vs. 10 Ephesians 2:4-10 We can spend a lot of pointless time wondering about stuff as we live and work in this world. Some think there is great gain in debating the fine points of theology and learning how to articulate our creeds in ever more complex ways. A few are so skillful in such…

Daily Devotions

Ephesians 1:11-14 “In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit…” vs. 13 For many believers these words are linked to the Rite of Baptism as practiced by some of our congregations. After the washing with water and the laying on of hands, the officiant proclaims, “__________, child of God, you have been sealed with the Holy…
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