Monday, September 25, 2017

Devotion reading for the week of Sept. 25th 2017

  • Sept. 25th Psalm 33:1-9 The Lord's Words Become Actions
  • Sept. 26th Genesis 12:1-3 Abram Called and Blessed
  • Sept. 27th Genesis 13:14-17 Promises of Land and Descendants
  • Sept. 28th Exodus 23:23-27 Angel Will Lead Conquest of Canaan
  • Sept. 29th 1 Kings 4:20-25 Promises Fulfilled
  • Sept. 30th Romans 4:1-4 An Example of Righteous Faith
  • Oct. 1st Genesis 15:1-6, 17-21 God Covenants with Abram
Devotions from: Standard Lesson Commentary, (2017). Standard Publishing

Matthew 5:17-18 (quoted here in ESV; see link for KJV) “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished."
The only thing the law can do is impose penalties. It only drops us off at the doorstep of punishment. It cannot offer hope or salvation. It cannot prevent the repetition of the behavior. The law serves to make us aware of our sin, to see our sinful behavior and then once seen we can acknowledge that sin before God. God challenged the people of Israel on Mount Carmel by asking them how long were they going to shift between two opinions, to choose and stop wavering. (1 Kings 18:21) 

Jesus fulfilled the law, because of that (John 3:16) he is our propitiation (1 John 2:2). A twenty-dollar word for substitution; he stood in our place, took the wrath of God for us as the spotless lamb (sacrifice) because of the penalty of the sin-curse.

He is to us all that is needed for propitiation "in behalf of our sins"; the propitiatory sacrifice, provided by the Father's love, removing the estrangement, and appeasing the righteous wrath, on God's part, against the sinner. (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Paul and Silas responded to the Philippian jailer when he asked how to be saved, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

We must place our faith firmly in Christ. Think of this:

  • Jesus chooses you (John 15:16-17).  Because let's face it - at times we do not feel deserving.
  • Your name is written in heaven (Luke 10:20).  Because of his name, we have a power that otherwise wouldn't be available because, joyfully, the names of those saved are written in Heaven.
  • You have been transferred into Christ’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13-14).  This power has transferred us into the kingdom of Christ.
  • And no one is able to snatch you from God’s grip (John 10:28–29), because you are his child now and forever (Romans 8:16-17).
For hearts to be changed, those hearts must be receptive to change. The Word of God through the work of the Holy Spirit softens the heart.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Devotion reading for the week of Sept. 18th 2017

image source 
  • Sept. 18th Jeremiah 31:31-34 A New Covenant of the Heart
  • Sept. 19th Ezekiel 36:33-38 Nations Will Know the Lord
  • Sept. 20th Ezekiel 37:11-14 The Lord Will Restore Israel
  • Sept. 21st Ezekiel 37:15-23 Restored as One People
  • Sept. 22nd Ezekiel 37:24-28 Making a Covenant of Peach
  • Sept. 23rd Titus 3:8-11 Profitable Actions for Everyone
  • Sept. 24th Ezekiel 36:22-32 I Will Restore My Holy Name
Devotions from: Standard Lesson Commentary, (2017). Standard Publishing

Monday, September 11, 2017

Devotion reading for the week of Sept. 11th 2017

  • Sept. 11th Exodus 20:8-11 The Sabbath Commandment
  • Sept. 12th Deuteronomy 5:12-15 Recall God's Deliverance on the Sabbath
  • Sept. 13th Matthew 12:9-14 Healing on the Sabbath
  • Sept. 14th Mark 6:1-5 Teaching on the Sabbath
  • Sept. 15th Acts 16:11-15 Worship on the Sabbath
  • Sept. 16th Psalm 92 A Psalm for the Sabbath
  • Sept. 17 Exodus 31:12-18 The Sabbath, Sign of the Covenant
Devotions from: Standard Lesson Commentary, (2017). Standard Publishing

Following our Sunday School lesson in Genesis 17, let's take another look at Genesis 17:1:
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. (KJV)
At first glance, we may cringe when we see the word "perfect."  There are times when looking in other locations of the Bible helps us understand its use here.  To help us do that, for those of us 😉 without a seminary degree, use this link (a lexicon) to see the same word used in other locations. 
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him, saying, “I am God Almighty. Live in my presence and be blameless. (CSB)
Blameless or sincere (Ps 51:6) in heart, speech, and behavior in our walk with God.  God was calling Abram to walk before him faithfully and blamelessly.   After Abram's sin with Hagar, God wanted Abram to use a new standard of measurement. 

While we walk with God, we focus upon the same.  Walking with faith while being blameless or not doing wrong.  We learn what wrong is when we measure our life with God's standard of living instead of our own.  As Abram and Sarai did when trying to fulfill God's promise their way, through Hagar, instead of faithfully waiting upon God's methods.

Yes, while we still sin, we have the opportunity to reconcile and repent to God.  He then removes it, "As far as the east is from the West."  (Ps 103:12)  We still suffer sin's consequences, before God we can be blameless, walking in faith, believing, depending on God.
  • A few more references:
    • Romans 13:13 encourages us to walk honestly (decently) not participating in the licentious lifestyle of the world. 
    • Galatians 5:13 says that we are called to be free from sin, but that we cannot use freedom “for an occasion to the flesh,” somehow excusing our continued sins. 
    • Another example: 1 Peter 4:3-4

Monday, September 4, 2017

Devotion reading for the week of Sept. 4th 2017

  • Sept. 4th Genesis 17:15-17 Saria (Sarah), Mother of Nations
  • Sept. 5th Genesis 17:20-22 Ishmael, Father of a Nation
  • Sept. 6th Genesis 17:23-27 Abraham's Household Circumcised
  • Sept. 7th Acts 7:1-8 Circumcision Event Remembered
  • Sept. 8th Romans 4:13-25 Promise Realized Through Faith
  • Sept. 9th Hebrews 8:1-8 Jesus, Mediator of Better Covenant
  • Sept. 10th Genesis 17:1-14 Covenant with Abraham Reaffirmed
Devotions from: Standard Lesson Commentary, (2017). Standard Publishing, part of David C Cook family Colorado Springs, CO

Sarai to Sarah - Mother of Nations

Genesis 17:15-17; A promise is made to Abraham that there will be a son by Sarai.  The fulfillment of this promise will be fulfilled by this son through Sarai.  An assurance of this promise from God was the changing of Sarai's name:
Sarai signifies my princess, as if her honour were confined to one family only. Sarah signifies a princess-namely, of multitudes, or signifying that from her should come the Messiah the prince, even the prince of the kings of the earth. (From: Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 113.) emphasis mine
Abraham was glad, showing great joy and laughed out of delight.  Jesus, in John 8:56, said that "Abraham rejoiced to see my day."

Did you notice there was only one letter changed?  That one letter change in her name resulted in a change of such magnitude that I wonder if she could grasp.  I wonder too at times what change God has made in my life that was just a small as one letter that I may have overlooked.  Don't think that God has nothing for your life when a change, like one letter in a name, could carry lasting results.  May we learn to thrive in what God has for us, Jeremiah 29:11, even when it seems that our circumstances are not favorable.
Perhaps your life was changed by the Savior, whose name means “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). If so, your name is written in the lamb’s book of life. What a wonderful change! (Standard Lesson Commentary, (2017). Standard Publishing, part of David C Cook family Colorado Springs, CO)