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Friday, January 31, 2014, Devotion

“But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel” (Romans 9:6)

Just because someone goes to church and has even been baptized and confirmed does not mean that they actually believe.  Faith is intimate and personal and the outward things are just that – outward.  We are called into a living faith, and that is a gift given by God to those whom He foreknew.  It must always begin with each one of us individually as we come before the Lord as we are and into the salvation He has prepared for us through Christ.

Lord, help me begin with the state of my soul before You.  Help me become rectified through grace with You according to Your Word.  Help me see that just because those around me have faithful actions, it does not mean that they have faith.  Rather than becoming either proud or angry, help me witness to all who are around me that they may be encouraged and see that what You are offering is real through the witness of my life.

Lord, in the great mystery of faith, there are those whom You have always known would come to You.  Some in spite of their circumstances come to You and others who, with full opportunity, reject the truth for the lie of this world.  Help me simply be faithful in living the truth that You alone are God and salvation comes through You alone.  May the witness I give with my life help others to come into living faith, knowing that You are God and Savior.  Amen. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014 Devotion

“Nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “through Isaac your descendants will be named.”  (Romans 9:7)

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the lineage of the promise.  In this day, this is important, because the children of Ishmael claim the right.  It is through Christ and no other that we have salvation.  Christ is God in the flesh.  All other paths, though sounding legitimate to sinful ears, are illegitimate.  The promise is clear that God would provide a Savior and that Savior would be born of the house of David.

Lord, help me see that I need not be hostile or vindictive, but clear in the lineage You have established.  From the beginning, the devil has sought to deceive and many are deceived by ignoring Your Word and thinking nice thoughts about others.  Help me simply accept the Word of Truth You have given and live in that truth in spite of the uncomfortableness of knowing that others are flagrantly believing a lie.

Lord Jesus, lead me today into truth.  Help me this day to be compassionate, but truthful in all things.  Grant that I would argue with noone, but simply, if given the opportunity, point to Your Word of truth.  In all I do this day, may You be glorified.  May my life be dedicated to living by faith, knowing that You have brought me into salvation by the grace You have purchased from the cross for all who believe.  Amen.

Thursday, January 30, 2014, Devotion

“Whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.”  (Romans 9:5)

Without those who shared God’s Word and faithfully followed from Abraham to Jesus, we would not have the riches of God’s revelation.  Although many rejected God’s Messiah, yet they have been a part of His plan from the beginning.  Christ was born in this lineage.  It is not unlike the faithful now who are part of families who have many unfaithful members who have heard the truth, but do not believe.  God uses all things for His glory.

God, you indeed do work through all things to accomplish Your glory.  Help me simply be a part of what You are accomplishing and not veer off, as many do, pulled by this world filled with sin.  Help me not stop because of those who are unfaithful, but instead, press on with compassion for all, knowing that all will be accomplished according to Your will.

Lord, You are over all.  Everything I encounter this day is according to Your will.  There are those things I will not understand as they happen, but help me see that I am safe in Your providence.  Guide me throughout this day to rest in You and the hope You give, trusting that Your blessing is upon all those who trust in You.  May I be a part of Your glory on earth today.  Amen.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014, Devotion

“For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises” (Romans 9:3, 4)

Having walked through the tension between the law and grace, seeing that salvation is something Christ alone accomplishes and seeing that we have been saved, there is something that comes along with this, and that is compassion for those who do not yet know salvation.  The Holy Spirit places in us longing for those who do not know Him, and we are included in that lament for those who are close to, but yet so far from, the saving knowledge of Christ.

Lord, grant to me compassion that I would see the need for those around me who do not know You.  I can do nothing, but through my witness, You, who are able to do all things, can accomplish what You intend.  May I grow in my compassion for those who are separated from You that I may continue, regardless of their circumstances, to share what You have given me in hope that they would awaken to Your presence.

Thank You, Lord, for using others to awaken in me the truth that You alone are God.  Guide me today to overcome devilish prejudice and simply share the truth of the salvation that is found in You lone.  May I be Your faithful witness this day, knowing that apart from You I can do nothing, but that with You I can do all things because You strengthen me.  May others see the witness of my faith this day.  Amen.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014, Devotion

“I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.”  (Romans 9:1, 2)

Are you listening to the Holy Spirit?  Do you hear as the Spirit calls to you to pray in the midst of a world that hurls itself into destruction because of sin?  It is not that we cannot enjoy what this life offers, but there is a call to be truthful that in the midst of the pleasures that come along in life, there are many difficulties because of sin.  Rejoice in the Lord always, but also, pray in the midst of the darkness of this world.

Lord, in good times, I often forget that for others these are not good times.  In the midst of worldly joy that I occasionally experience, there is much suffering.  Help me to be mindful of those around me that I may always have a heart for what sin is doing in this world, knowing that the victory has already been won, but that the war continues on claiming those who do not know You.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for saving those who believe in You.  Help me today to live boldly, but humbly in the truth that though I may experience joy in this day, there are those who will not.  Help me be gracious to all whom I meet that I may, with compassion, be helpful to them in Your name.  Through Your grace, lead me to be caring and compassionate in all I do this day. Amen.

Monday, January 27, 2014, Devotion

“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 8:39)

God is all powerful.  What can get in the way of God’s plan?  The answer is nothing.  Nothing in all that God has created is able to get in the way of what the Lord intends.  We are therefore to hold fast to the promises He gives, knowing that in Him, all things will work according to His purposes.  Although life throws difficulties our way, we know that these too are a part of His eternal plan.

Lord, especially in those times of difficulty, help me understand clearly that You are now, as You always have been, in control.  Guide me in the confidence You give, knowing that in You nothing will get in the way of what You have promised.  Help me not live in fear, but in boldness because of the promises You have given.  By grace, guide me through every difficulty to trust in Your never failing promises.

Thank You, Lord, for giving assurance ahead of time.  You tell us that there will be times of great difficulty when it seems the whole world is against us, but also that nothing is able to get in the way of Your plan of salvation for all who believe.  Help me today to live in the hope You give, knowing that in You there is nothing that can or will get in the way of Your eternal plan.  Amen.

Saturday, January 25, 2014, Devotion

“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”  (Romans 8:37)

The Lord loves us and leads us through every difficulty.  We are not to listen to the lie of the world which thinks that if God loves us He will keep us from travesty.  Emblazon this in your mind, for the lie of the devil is told over and over, but the Word of the Lord has spoken once for all.  The Lord will lead you through every difficulty.  Trust in the Lord with all your strength and then rely on His strength to finish the journey.

Lord, You know I am weak and will fail the test if left to myself.  Help me understand that through You I will overwhelmingly conquer because You have already won the war against sin, death and the devil.  Keep me firmly in Your love so that I can accomplish what it is You would have me accomplish knowing that I can do all things through You who strengthens me.

Thank You, Lord, for being my shield and strength.  Keep me with You throughout this day that I would hold on to Your hand through every trouble that may come.  Keep me from temptation and keep my mind on the truth of Your Word.  In all that happens this day, may I be closely linked to You so that, step by step, I may live out the hope of the Gospel with my life.  Amen.

 

Sunday, January 26, 2014, Devotion

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers” (Romans 8:28)

Are you convinced?  Are you convinced that what life will bring will not shake you away from Christ?  These passages are meant to assure each of us that no matter what may come, we know that the Lord’s promises are still true.  What power is greater than the Lord’s?  What is coming in the future that will shake the promise of the Lord?  Who is able to battle against the Lord?

Lord, there are times and seasons that try the souls of men.  They have happened before and they will happen again.  Help me see clearly that no matter what may come, You are there and no matter how bad it is, Your power is greater still than that which would seek to separate us from You.  You who died a horrible death on the cross know the difficulties.  Help me have Your strength in every situation.

Guide me Lord Jesus through every trial that may come my way.  Help me understand more clearly that You are with me and for me and will lead me through anything and everything that life will bring.  As I encounter difficulty today, draw me closer to You that I may gain from Your strength wisdom, knowledge and above all fortitude to press on toward the prize that awaits all those who trust in You.  Amen.

Friday, January 24, 2014, Devotion

“Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  (Romans 8:36)

The Lord told us that in this world those who follow Him would be reviled.  We have an enemy in the devil and along with the sin in the world, there is constant conflict for the one who walks in the righteousness of Christ.  Yet, through these things, though we be put to death for Christ’s sake, there is God’s purpose, which leads us to the final victory in Him.  The devil lies and tells us God does not love us because of trials, but here the Lord tells us to expect them.

Lord, the devil is a liar and has been since the beginning.  Help me to live in the truth that You have revealed, knowing that You have warned me of how things are to be.  Guide me through every trial that comes along, not so that I would avoid them, but so that I see Your hand.  Help me become one who overcomes each travail, gaining strength along the way for whatever may come next.

Thank You, Lord, for being my constant companion.  Help me this day to walk with You.  In all that comes this day, including difficulties, grant that I would live in the hope You give me through grace to face all this day will bring.  Keep me close to You as You are close to me that I may know the assurance You give that You are with me and for me each step of the way.  Amen.

Thursday, January 23, 2014, Devotion

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”  (Romans 8:35)

What is there that would cause you to deny the Lord?  Is your faith based upon what you think, or upon what He has done?  Do you think that the Lord will shield you from all calamity, or bring you through all calamity?  These questions, often raised by unbelievers, are answered by the Lord.  The life of faith is one with the Savior who leads you toward what He is preparing.

Lord, in this world, the unbeliever thinks that You are there to dispense goodness and keep us from all harm.  Help me understand clearly that You are there to lead me through all the trials of this world and that You will keep me from what would harm my soul, but not from the death that awaits us all.  Guide me into right thinking that I would rest fully in You alone.

Keep my mind clear, Holy Spirit, that I would hold fast to the promises You give.  Guide me today through any trial or tribulation that might come my way, knowing that in You alone is there assurance.  In all I do this day, may I hold fast to the simple truth that You are with me and for me and will lead me through whatever this world may throw in the way of my faithfully following You my Savior.  Amen.