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Monday, October 26, 2015

The Riches of God's Grace (and other devotionals)

The Riches of God's Grace

Do you think of yourself as rich? No matter how much money you have, if you're a believer in Jesus, you're extremely wealthy because God has lavished the riches of His grace upon you. At the moment of salvation, He deposited into your account "every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (v. 3). Why, then, do so many believers live in spiritual poverty?

1. Ignorance. Some Christians don't know about this unlimited spiritual "bank account," and, therefore, they never draw upon it.

2. Confusion. Too many believers just don't know how to access the treasures of God's grace. As a result, they worry and complain about their needs and problems or in desperation come to the Lord begging and pleading for help, never realizing His abundant supply has already been deposited into their account.

3. Competing Interests. Distraction by things of this world may be the most common reason. Christians in this category focus on possessions, pressing responsibilities, and advancement but lack interest in God's spiritual blessings.
The riches of God's grace supersede any earthly wealth. They give the peace and contentment that money can never buy, and their benefits reach all the way into eternity.

The only way to access God's spiritual riches is by faith. We don't have to beg or persuade the Lord to give what He has already made available to us. Instead, we simply choose to believe that we are who He says we are and can do what He has called us to accomplish.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~


Psalm 112:7
He shall not be afraid of evil tidings.
Christian, you ought not to dread the arrival of evil tidings; because if you are distressed by them, what do you more than other men? Other men have not your God to fly to; they have never proved His faithfulness as you have done, and it is no wonder if they are bowed down with alarm and cowed with fear: but you profess to be of another spirit; you have been begotten again unto a lively hope, and your heart lives in heaven and not on earthly things; now, if you are seen to be distracted as other men, what is the value of that grace which you profess to have received? Where is the dignity of that new nature which you claim to possess? Again, if you should be filled with alarm, as others are, you would, doubtless, be led into the sins so common to others under trying circumstances. The ungodly, when they are overtaken by evil tidings, rebel against God; they murmur, and think that God deals hardly with them. Will you fall into that same sin? Will you provoke the Lord as they do? Moreover, unconverted men often run to wrong means in order to escape from difficulties, and you will be sure to do the same if your mind yields to the present pressure. Trust in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Your wisest course is to do as Moses did at the Red Sea, "Stand still and see the salvation of God." For if you give way to fear when you hear of evil tidings, you will be unable to meet the trouble with that calm composure which nerves for duty, and sustains under adversity. How can you glorify God if you play the coward? Saints have often sung God's high praises in the fires, but will your doubting and desponding, as if you had none to help you, magnify the Most High? Then take courage, and relying in sure confidence upon the faithfulness of your covenant God, "let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

~Charles Spurgeon~


Flawless Words

Flawless Words 
And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. Psalm 12:6

The words of the Lord are flawless. There is no dross in Christ’s conversation. Men may lie, but He is the truth. Men may deceive, but Jesus enlightens. Men may flatter, but the Lord edifies. Men may boast, but Jesus gives the glory to God. Words can be wonderful or terrible depending on their source. The words of the Lord are rooted in righteousness. You can trust what God says. He is appropriate and applicable. It is the words of heaven that make earth better. Indeed the words of the Lord have stood the test of time. They have been tried by fire and have come forth faithful.

The Holy Scriptures have not been without criticism and consternation. Some “scholars” have stripped them of miracles even though Jesus warned there are severe consequences for adding to His word (Revelation 22:18). Furthermore, God’s Word does not need help. His words have survived the ravishing of faithless liberalism and loveless legalism. The Bible has been burned, belittled and ignored. Nonetheless: the Holy Scriptures are translated into more languages today than ever in the history of mankind. It has stood the test of time.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my [Christ’s] words will never pass away” (Luke 21:33).

So take the Lord’s flawless words by faith. Read them daily and apply them moment by moment. Study them and struggle with them. Seek to understand the context of the Bible and why God chose to speak specific infallible words through fallible followers. The Holy Spirit is the author of the Holy Scriptures (2 Peter 1:21). The pen of men moved under the instruction of divine inspiration. We have a stewardship of truth. Scripture is our handbook for holiness and happiness.

We honor and value His words when we take them to heart. We listen for instructions in our obedience. We listen for encouragement. We listen for rebuke. We listen to the Lord’s flawless words because we know we are loved by Him. We have infinite access to wisdom. Like a precious jewel the clarity, cut, color and carat of Christ’s word is flawless and invaluable. They are matchless compared to man’s meager trinkets. By God’s grace we apply His flawless words to our flawed lives.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, by faith I look to Your perfect Word to instruct my imperfect life.

~Wisdom Hunters Devotional~

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