'grace' Tagged Posts

'grace' Tagged Posts

Daily Devotions

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.” vs. 10       Psalm 111 For centuries there wasn’t much question about the primacy of the Lord. Pretty much everyone, at least in the Judeo-Christian heritage, would have agreed with the psalmist–the Lord was in control and showered blessings over the entire earth. Our awesome God had power and might and was also gracious and merciful. But somewhere…

Daily Devotions

Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” vs. 7 Luke 15:7-10 Jesus understood why the Pharisees and scribes were upset about his practice of eating with sinners and welcoming them into his presence. He knew that those who are righteous resent the good things that come to those whose lives have been marked by folly and foolishness. Some have felt like…

Daily Devotions

The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost.” vs. 15 1 Timothy 1:15-17 Paul wasn’t a half-way sort of guy. By his own estimation he was a brilliant scholar, far more zealous for the law than any of his peers, blameless in all of his words and actions. But after his encounter with the Risen Christ, he came to see that he was also…

Daily Devotions

Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” vss. 9-10 Psalm 51:1-10 Even though most people are acutely aware of their shortcomings, they have different ways of referring to them. Some are comfortable with calling them sins, while others might call them personality defects, addictions, or mistakes. They are those words or actions that haunt us from the past…

Daily Devotions

And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.” vs. 14 Exodus 32:11-14 The Israelites believed that their survival as a people had been dependent on great leaders like Moses who were able to even change the mind of the Lord. Their forefathers had deserved punishment for their disobedience, but the Lord listened to Moses and spared them. It may seem strange for us to think of God as a being whose…

Daily Devotions

They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.” vs. 1 Psalm 1 The very first psalm clearly states the conviction of Jewish religious leaders that there are two ways to live in this world. We can either walk in the way of the Lord or follow the path of sinners. It’s a distinction that is sometimes lost among people…

Daily Devotions

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live…” vs. 19 Deuteronomy 30:19-20 Those who have drunk deeply from the gospel of grace sometimes don’t quite know what to do with the emphasis on choice that is found in Deuteronomy. We imagine that since salvation is in Christ and not dependent on our works it really doesn’t…

Daily Devotions

They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright; they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.” vs. 4 Psalm 112:1-4 Even though the world seems to be overrun with greedy and deceptive liars and rascals, the psalmist insisted that there was another side to the picture. He observed that there was a vast cadre of folks who lived according to the precepts of the law and who brought light to dark places. On our better days, when our eyes…

Daily Devotions

You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” vs. 40 Luke 12:37-40 Believers are familiar with admonitions to be prepared. They occur regularly in the teachings of Jesus, particularly in those relating to the coming apocalypse. Disciples were warned that the Son of Man would be coming at an unexpected hour and that they should be ready. Early Christians taught that Jesus would be coming again, likely within their lifetimes, and even…

Daily Devotions

And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.” vs. 6 Genesis 15:1-6 Abraham’s response to God’s promise of many descendants was picked up by Paul as a proof that salvation comes through faith and not through obedience to the Law. Abraham didn’t have much going for him according to the scriptures. He never did settle down, was unbelievably cruel to the mother of his first son, and a big-time liar while he lived in…

Daily devotions

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.” vss. 9-10 Colossians 3:8-11 Once we have begun to imitate Christ in all that we say and do, it will of course have an effect on our behavior. We’ll put aside anger, malice, and slander and adopt truthfulness as our new…

Daily Devotions

…God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross.” vss. 13b-14 Colossians 2:13-15 There is a Cursillo retreat ritual, likely inspired by this verse, during which participants are given small sheets of white paper on which they are encouraged to privately make a list of their sins. When they have finished, they are invited to…