Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Living Hope

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
1 Peter 1:3-5 (NIV)

In today’s reading, the living hope is the salvation waiting for those who believe in Jesus Christ. Peter opens his letter with words of praise for God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, reminding readers that salvation is a gift of God’s mercy. Then Peter states believers are given “a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” What exactly does Peter mean when he speaks of “a living hope”?

In verse 3 Peter states that it is the “new birth” that provides our living hope, affirming that salvation is a gift from God. The Greek term for “hope” in the passage means “an eager, confident expectation”. We experience rebirth not because of who we are or anything we have done. We are reborn of God through Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Salvation changes who we are, making us dead to sin and alive to righteousness in Jesus Christ. This new birth serves as our reason for hope, the assurance of salvation.

Then in verses 4 and 5 Peter goes on to describe our salvation as an inheritance, locked up in the bank vault of heaven, guarded against every intruder who might take it from us. We are assured that God’s power is guarding us so that someday we will enjoy our inheritance.

Peter says our salvation is indescribable that the only way Peter can describe it is by telling us some things that it is not, it is not perishable, not defiled, and not fading. By imperishable, Peter means that our salvation is free from death and decay. Also, our inheritance is undefiled, which means that it’s free from moral impurity or uncleanness of any kind. Furthermore, our inheritance will not fade away. It is free from the ravages of time.

Next, in verse 5 Peter tells us our salvation is protected guarded by God’s power through faith. In Greek, protected is a military term implying those who are born again are under enemy attack. Satan wants to keep us from gaining our inheritance. But we are surrounded by an army taking us, with safe passage, to the place where our eternal inheritance awaits us. But it is no earthly army that protects us it is the very power of God. What could be more powerful than the power of the God who spoke the universe into existence?

Finally, when Peter says that our salvation is “ready to be revealed in the last time,” he means that we now only enjoy a small part of what God has laid in store for us. We cannot even begin to comprehend it all, but we can trust God that it will be far better than we can imagine. Our salvation is ready to be revealed, like a statue waiting to be unveiled. And what determines your future is seen in the phrase, “through faith.” We receive God’s salvation by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Prayer For The Day

Lord God, I thank You for all Your blessings, today I especially praise You for the blessing of ___________ (fill in the blank). I thank You for the living hope of salvation that comes through my faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ. I pray in His name, for He is my Savior and Lord. Amen.

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Monday, July 13, 2020

The Power Of The Holy Spirit

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty
Zechariah 4:6 (NIV)

Thought For The Day

Today’s reading speaks of a truth believers should never forget. In today’s reading, we are told all God’s Kingdom work considered valuable takes place through His Holy Spirit, not by means of human power or might. God’s Kingdom work, far from being aimed at the select few who are called to ministry, is the work of all believers.

So what is the power of the Holy Spirit? Power is defined as the ability to act effectively, and the capacity to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. These two definitions accurately describe the power of the Holy Spirit. Because the power of the Holy Spirit is literally the power of God, the ability to act and influence is infinite, unlimited, and eternal. In this way, the power of the Holy Spirit is different from any other kind of power.

The Holy Spirit's power was first seen acting effectively in the act of creation. It was by the Spirit’s power the world came into being. His power in creation was unique in that it produced everything from nothing. This raw, incomparable power could only belong to God, the Creator. The Holy Spirit's creative power is also seen in His creating new life in believers, producing spiritually alive beings out of those who were once dead in sin.

The power of the Holy Spirit is the power of God. The Holy Spirit appeared throughout the Bible as the Being through and by whom great works of power are made manifest. The Holy Spirit also empowered people in the Old Testament to bring about God’s will.

In the New Testament, Jesus promised the Holy Spirit, as a permanent guide, teacher, seal of salvation, and comforter, to all believers. He also promised that the Holy Spirit’s power would help His followers to spread the message of the gospel around the world. The power of the Holy Spirit enabled the Disciples to turn the world upside down with the powerful preaching of the gospel. They could not have accomplished this in their own power.

The Holy Spirit still works in the world today, accomplishing God's will through believers. His power leads us, convicts us, teaches us, and equips us to do His work and spread the gospel. He also works in unbelievers who are not able to resist His power to bring about God's plans and purposes.

Prayer For The Day

Lord God, I thank You for all Your blessings, today I especially praise You for the blessing of ___________ (fill in the blank). I thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
May I never forget the power He has in my life. May I always use that power for Your glory. I pray in Jesus’ name, for He is my Savior and Lord. Amen.

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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Our High Priest


14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)

Thought For The Day

In today’s reading believers are given two commands. In verse 14, “hold firmly to faith we profess’. And in verse 16, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence”.

They are both based on the truth about who Jesus is. Since Jesus is our great high priest, the Son of God, who has passed through the heavens, we must hold fast our confession. And, since Jesus is a high priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses, we should draw near to the throne of grace for help in our times of need.

The phrase “hold firmly to the faith we profess”, imply danger and effort on our part. “Profess” implies not only our private belief in the essential doctrines of the faith but also our public declaration of this truth in the face of persecution. We make such a public profession of faith and that profession is put to the test when persecution arises. Are we only fair-weather believers who deny the Lord when it becomes costly to believe, or will we stand firm even to death because we know whom we have believed?

Then in verse 16, we are ““Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence”. “Throne of grace” is incongruous. To the ancient world, a throne was a forbidding place of sovereign authority and judgment. If you approached a throne and the king did not hold out his scepter, you were history. You definitely would not draw near to the throne for sympathy, especially with a trivial problem. But the author calls it the throne of grace. He makes it clear that we are welcome at this throne.

The author gives us four reasons why we should approach “the throne of grace”: Because we are weak and we have there a sympathetic high priest; whenever we need help; with confidence in our high priest; and knowing will receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need.

As we live in today’s world may we always remember these two commands.

Prayer For The Day

Lord God, I thank You for all Your blessings, today I especially praise You for the blessing of ___________ (fill in the blank). May I never forget these words of encouragement in today’s verse, hold fast my faith, and approach to You with confidence. I pray in my High Priest’s name, for He is my Savior and Lord. Amen.

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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Light For Darkness

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
Isaiah 9:2(NIV)

Thought For The Day

The people of Israel defected from God, rebelling against Him, walking in darkness and gloom. In the face of this defection Isaiah spoke of a coming Messiah, Who would not only bring light with Him but would be the light of lights. He would be the light of the world to the people who walked in darkness. He would give light to everyone who believed in Him.

The light of which Isaiah prophesied is so brilliant that it was to embrace every person in this world. The world in general, and Israel, in particular, lived in a state of deep darkness. The minds of people were shackled in sin, rooted in unbelief and blinded by gross ignorance, thinking they were “masters” of their own destiny if the follow the worlds’ truth. Sound familiar?

Into this world, God sent His Son, Christ Jesus, the light of the world. What does it mean that Jesus in the light of the world?

Jesus’s being “the light of the world” means the world has no other light than Him. If there is going to be a light for the world, it will be Jesus. It is Jesus or darkness. There is no third alternative. No other light.

It means that all the world, and everyone in it, needs Jesus as their light. It means that the world was made for this light. This is not a foreign light. This is the light of the Creator of this world. When this light comes, it not only makes sin plain as foreign and ugly, but it also makes everything good in the world shine with its full and true beauty. This world was made to be illumined by this light.

And finally, Jesus being “the light of the world” means that that one day this world will be filled with this light as the waters cover the sea. All darkness, and all the works of darkness, will be cast out. That’s why Jesus called hell “outer darkness”. On that day, all will be light. Jesus, the radiance of the Father, will fill the world, and everything will be beautiful with the light of Christ.

Prayer For The Day

Lord God, I thank You for all Your blessings, today I especially praise You for the blessing of ___________ (fill in the blank). Thank You, Father, for sending Jesus as the Light of the world to offer the light of salvation to everyone in the world. Thank You that in Him is the light of the glorious gospel of grace that can never be extinguished by the darkness of this world. I praise and thank You that His light has come into my life and enlivened my spirit and enlightened my soul. I pray in His name, for He is my Savior and Lord. Amen.

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