'grace' Tagged Posts

'grace' Tagged Posts

Daily Devotions

For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures,” vss. 3-4 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Toward the end of his letter to the Corinthians, after having touched on any number of topics that were causing dissension in the congregation, Paul takes time to review…

Daily Devotions

 “It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty?” vs. 9 Isaiah 50:4-9a Lent is a time for us to focus on our sin, humbly confess our iniquities, and pray for the restoration of our hearts. One of the by-products of such introspection can often be a strong and overwhelming sense of guilt. That’s to be expected. Sin and guilt are often partners on the journey of faith, unwelcome companions that need to be addressed and…

Daily Devotions

For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants…” vs. 16a Romans 4:13-16 Paul is taking great pains to show the Romans the distinction between the legalisms of Judaism and the freedom he had discovered in Christ. He doesn’t believe that what he is teaching is new. Rather, he tells them that the seeds of this understanding were sown in God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah…

Daily Devotions

I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command.” vs. 18 Deuteronomy 18:15-20 When the Galileans encountered Jesus and heard his authoritative words some of them believed that he was the prophet spoken of in Deuteronomy, a man like Moses who would speak to them all that God commanded. They were wrong! Jesus did…

Daily Devotions

Mark 1:9-11 “And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’” vs. 11 We only get a couple of glimpses at what might be called the “interior life” of Jesus in the gospels. The first is here during Mark’s account of his baptism by John. For one reason or another (Mark does not say) Jesus had come from Nazareth and joined the crowds at the Jordan who were listening to John…

Daily Devotions

John 1:15-18 “No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.” vs. 18 Through the centuries humans have been told that the study of religions will lead them to an understanding of God. And so we have done our work. We’ve dug into holy scriptures, listened to learned teachers, and probed deep into the intricacies of the world’s religions–and for the most part the search…

Daily Devotions

Isaiah 61:1-4 “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,  the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners;” vs. 1 At times there seems to be confusion about the mission of the Church and what it is that followers of Jesus are called to be about in our world. We tend to overthink our doctrinal…

Daily Devotions

1 Corinthians 1:3-9 “for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind…so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” vss. 5, 7 Paul begins his letter to the church at Corinth with glowing words of affirmation. From his perspective, since they live under grace, they lack nothing–there is no need for them to worry about their salvation. We should…

Daily Devotions

Romans 3:24-28 … “For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.” vs. 28  Martin Luther spent decades trying to gain assurance of salvation by bringing his stubborn, subversive flesh into line with the works of the law. Since he couldn’t do it he was forever wracked with guilt, and greatly damaged his health in the process. But when in the course of studying the book of Romans he realized that justification…

Daily Devotions

 Philippians 3:10-14 … “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 There are some who believe that life in this world is a kind of qualifying test for the new life that has been promised to us in Christ…

Daily Devotions

Romans 11:29-32 … “for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” vs. 29 Paul was explaining to his Roman readers that the disobedience of the Jews had not separated them from the love of God. Just as Gentiles, in spite of their disobedience, had been shown the mercies of God, so it was with the Jews. His careful arguments to that effect are likely not of much interest to us, but his conclusions bring a mind-boggling word of…

Daily Devotions

Romans 11:1-2a … “God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.” vs. 2a In those all-too-frequent times when Christians have embraced an anti-Semitic stance and done all kinds of horrendous things to Jews, they have excused their own behavior by saying, “Well, they rejected Jesus,” implying that Jews deserve to be persecuted. Of course, that’s despicable logic and it does nothing to excuse the centuries of torment and abuse. What such positions do reveal is the abysmal ignorance of…