'grace' Tagged Posts

'grace' Tagged Posts

Daily Devotions

For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” vs. 5       Psalm 30:1-5 The psalmist has had a near death experience and wants everyone to know his triumphant story. We don’t know what had happened, perhaps it was a serious illness, but he had prayed to the Lord for deliverance–and his prayers had been heard. And now his praise is effusive. He wants…

Daily Devotions

Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” vs. 4 Romans 6:3-11 For Paul the crucifixion of Jesus was the central part of the gospel, and as he pondered it through his life he realized that unless believers embraced Jesus’ death, their lives would likely remain unchanged. In fact he saw the…

Daily Devotions

Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” vss. 13-14 Philippians 3:10-14 Whatever we may think of him, Paul can always be counted on to provide a unitary model for our life in Christ without falling into the trap of dualism.…

Daily Devotions

He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’” vss. 8-9 Luke 13:6-9 When we study scripture we tend to fall into the either-or trap–either this is true or that is true. For example, either we’re saved by grace or we’re saved by works, and we choose whichever “truth” suits our fancy…

Daily Devotions

Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness.” vs. 5                                  1 Corinthians 10:1-5 Paul was anxious to remind the Corinthians that just because they were baptized and gathered regularly for Holy Communion they didn’t need to worry about leading lives pleasing to God. He points out that their Hebrew ancestors had all passed through the sea and had eaten manna in the wilderness and had still managed to screw up…

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

But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.” vs. 35 Luke 6:31-36 Jesus could say radical, eye-brow raising things to his disciples because he knew God’s heart. Most people, then and now, believe that God keeps track of wrong-doing and wreaks vengeance on the ungrateful and the wicked. Somehow, we’ve gotten the…

Daily Devotions

For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am…” vss. 9-10a 1 Corinthians 15:6-11 Paul still had to pinch himself when he considered his calling to be an apostle–he knew he didn’t deserve it–that he was unfit because of his prior record as a persecutor of Christians. But he had no doubt about his call, and when…

Daily Devotions

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’” vs. 8 Isaiah 6:5-8 Initially Isaiah had been terrified to be in the presence of the Lord–the vision was too much for someone so undeserving. He was unclean–like everyone else he knew. But then, purely as a gift of God, he had been cleansed–he had been made clean, and it totally changed his…

Daily Devotions

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” vs. 5 Jeremiah 1:4-5 We like to believe that we are the masters of our own destinies, that we can pick and choose among a multitude of professions and careers in the course of our lives–that some could even decide to become preachers! Jeremiah would have laughed at such a notion! He believed that…

Daily Devotions

Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things;” vss. 8-9      Ephesians 3:1-12 It was apparent to Paul and some other leaders in the early Church that the good news revealed in Christ Jesus had actually been present ages…

Daily Devotions

The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” vs. 17 John 1:15-18 Jesus was born a Jew and grew up thoroughly enmeshed in Judaism’s traditions and laws, but when he began preaching and teaching his interpretation of the prophets revealed the centrality of God’s steadfast love and mercy. The gospel writer John put it clearly, “The law had come through Moses; grace and truth had come through Jesus Christ.” We’ve taken John’s words into…