“The police came round last night and told me my dogs were chasing people on bikes. I didn’t understand because my dogs don’t even have bikes.” Thanks to Linda
LET'S PRAY TOGETHER Lord, let our souls rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Jesus, open our eyes to our sin and bring us to repentance Help us confess so that we may grow in humility. Lord, as your people help us to become more like you everyday, Filled with love, compassion, and a willingness to serve. May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us; may You guide us through the wilderness: protect us through the storm; may You bring us home rejoicing: at the wonders You have shown us; may You bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors. Amen
MEDITATION May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify(cleanse) you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it. Thessalonians 5:23-24 NIV This meditation by a former Moody Bible Institute professor seemed like it might be helpful as we continue to contemplate the verse above… “Grace has about it the scent of scandal,” Philip Yancey observes. The Bible asserts that there is nothing we can do to earn it. Prostitutes, thieves, and murderers can find acceptance with God through the grace of Christ. But doesn’t behavior also matter? Put to death . . . whatever belongs to your earthly nature. (COLOSSIANS 3:5) Behavior matters to God, but it is not the basis for His acceptance. The secret to understanding this lies in the distinction between justification and sanctification. Justification is God’s determination to forgive us on the basis of what Christ has done. It is a divine accounting, where God wipes out our debt of sin and transfers the righteousness of Christ to us. We make no contribution of our own to this transaction. We merely accept it on the basis of faith. In sanctification we draw upon this account. To sanctify means “to make holy.” Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to God (v. 11). Sanctification is a product of justification. But unlike justification, which involves a change in our relationship with God, sanctification involves a change in our behavior. In justification God bestows righteousness upon us. In sanctification our behavior reflects that righteousness. In order for our behavior to change, we must experience new life or regeneration. This is the experience of being united with Christ in His resurrection so that we can live a new life. - Dr. John Koessler God is the one who gives us the power to change. It is the Spirit in us that softens our hearts, opens our eyes, and unplugs our ears to God. But then we must listen and respond. Gratitude is perhaps the most powerful exercise to strengthen us spiritually. What would it look like to choose to be grateful for whatever is going on in your life, to thank God for His love, faithfulness and presence? How do you think it would change your orientation for your day? Would it allow for God’s work in your heart (sanctification) to be more effective?
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING
Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… http://listenersbible.com/devotionals/biy/ If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me. I would encourage you to visit https://bibleproject.com/explore/1-2-kings/ for an overview of the book of 1st and 2nd Kings and https://bibleproject.com/explore/acts/ for an overview of the book of Acts. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. 2 Kings 21:1-22:20 We go from Hezekiah to his son Manasseh. What was Manasseh like? What kind of things did he do? I find it interesting how they can be almost completely opposite to one another, as father and son. From Manasseh to Amon. From Amon to Josiah. Now Josiah will be unlike his father or grandfather. Under Josiah something amazing will happen. (22:8) How will Josiah respond to this find? Consequently, how will God honor his response? It’s odd to think that the Book of the Law had been lost. (It’s no wonder the kings did evil in the eyes of the Lord - without the Book of the Law how would they remember) Acts 28:17-31 Paul will finally arrive in Rome. Who will be his first audience? (17) How will they respond? (24) Paul’s final statement will be words from the prophet Isaiah. (26-27) What do they mean in this context? (28) When I would read these words in the gospels, they always troubled me. (Matt 13:14, Mark 4:12) But here, in this context they seem to make more sense. What do you think as you read these words? Proverbs 16:28-17:4 So on one hand we have those who are perverse and gossips, violent, warring, full of strife. On the other we have the patient and self-controlled, the gray-haired (which is interesting) peaceful and quiet. Solomon is obviously encouraging one over the other. Those of the world act in one manner, while those of God, especially now with his Spirit, act in another. As Christians we are pointing to another way of life.