DISCUSSION FORUMS
MAIN MENU
Home
Help
Advanced Search
Recent Posts
Site Statistics
Who's Online
Forum Rules
Bible Resources
• Bible Study Aids
• Bible Devotionals
• Audio Sermons
Community
• ChristiansUnite Blogs
• Christian Forums
• Facebook Apps
Web Search
• Christian Family Sites
• Top Christian Sites
• Christian RSS Feeds
Family Life
• Christian Finance
• ChristiansUnite KIDS
Shop
• Christian Magazines
• Christian Book Store
Read
• Christian News
• Christian Columns
• Christian Song Lyrics
• Christian Mailing Lists
Connect
• Christian Singles
• Christian Classifieds
Graphics
• Free Christian Clipart
• Christian Wallpaper
Fun Stuff
• Clean Christian Jokes
• Bible Trivia Quiz
• Online Video Games
• Bible Crosswords
Webmasters
• Christian Guestbooks
• Banner Exchange
• Dynamic Content

Subscribe to our Free Newsletter.
Enter your email address:

ChristiansUnite
Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 23, 2017, 05:39:40 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
277691 Posts in 26446 Topics by 3790 Members
Latest Member: Goodwin
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  ChristiansUnite Forums
|-+  Theology
| |-+  Completed and Favorite Threads
| | |-+  Hoekstra - Day By Day By Grace
« previous next »
Pages: 1 ... 21 22 [23] 24 25 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Hoekstra - Day By Day By Grace  (Read 49737 times)
nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60393


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #330 on: December 14, 2006, 02:41:42 AM »

December 7

Grace for Serving the Lord Acceptably

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.  (Heb_12:28)

We who follow Jesus dwell in a unique kingdom, the kingdom of God. "For our citizenship is in heaven" (Phi_3:20). In order to serve the Lord acceptably, we must learn to serve in a unique, heavenly manner by grace.

We all began in a different kingdom than the Lord's. We were under the powerful influence of spiritual darkness. We existed in a realm devoid of true love. Then, our great God rescued us, bringing us into a kingdom of light and love: "giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love" (Col_1:12-13). Furthermore, in that former kingdom, we were easily threatened by every manner of instability. Our lives were built upon the sand of philosophical speculations and human inadequacies. Now, we are in "a kingdom which cannot be shaken." We entered this kingdom by the rock solid provision of grace, and we stand in this same grace today: "justified freely by His grace . . . we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand" (Rom_3:24; Rom_5:2). When circumstances change, we need not be shaken. Our King and His grace are constantly available and always sufficient. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Heb_13:8).

When we received the King as our Lord and Savior (see Joh_1:12), the full resources of His kingdom became our portion forever. God "has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Eph_1:3). Yet, in a profound sense, we are still receiving His kingdom. "We are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken." This process of receiving is comprised of practical appropriation of His kingdom provisions, by faith. The provision of grace is especially strategic, since this is how we serve God acceptably. "Let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably." We are called to serve our King.

We cannot serve Him by merely attempting to do the best we can. That would be law performance, energized by the flesh. We need to have grace as our empowering resource, just as the early church had. "And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all" (Act_4:33). Desiring to minister by grace allows our service to flow forth acceptably as worship unto the Lord: "with reverence and godly fear."

Lord Jesus, my King, I praise You for bringing me into Your unshakable kingdom. I want to serve You acceptably having my service arise to You from a worshiping heart. So, I humbly look to You to fill my life with Your grace, in Your name, Amen.

____________________

Day-By-Day By Grace by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
(Courtesy of Bob Hoekstra and Living in Christ Ministries)

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
____________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60393


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #331 on: December 14, 2006, 02:43:18 AM »

December 8

The Boldness of Grace

Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word . . . and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness . . . And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.  (Act_4:29, Act_4:31, Act_4:33)

Those who serve God acceptably, must do so by grace. "Let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably" (Heb_12:28). Those who serve by grace find that the boldness of grace develops in their lives.

The early church gave testimony to this reality. Soon after Jesus' ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were boldly proclaiming Jesus throughout Jerusalem. This was extremely aggravating to the religious leaders: "being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead" (Act_4:2). When they arrested the disciples, Peter boldly preached Jesus before the Jewish authorities. "This [Jesus] is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.'

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Act_4:11-12). This bold application of prophecy and proclamation of the gospel astonished the religious establishment. "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John . . . they marveled" (Act_4:13). Yet, in their hardness of heart, they further threatened the disciples. Being released, they gathered the church to pray for continued boldness. "Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word." The answer to this prayer was another filling with the Spirit, resulting in further boldness. "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness." This filling of the Holy Spirit brought great measures of God's grace actively at work upon their lives, sustaining this powerful witness of the risen Christ. "And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all."

This is the boldness of the new covenant of grace. "Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech" (2Co_3:12). This hope is new covenant confidence, which is part of the abundant life that the God brings us by His Spirit of grace: "who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2Co_3:6).

Heavenly Father, I need this same boldness in my life. Too often, I am hesitant and apprehensive concerning my testimony of You and Your truths. Please fill me afresh with Your Spirit that I might minister in the boldness of Your grace, Amen.

____________________

Day-By-Day By Grace by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
(Courtesy of Bob Hoekstra and Living in Christ Ministries)

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
____________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60393


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #332 on: December 14, 2006, 02:44:49 AM »

December 9

More on the Boldness of Grace

I have written more boldly to you on some points . . . because of the grace given to me by God . . . Great is my boldness of speech toward you.  (Rom_15:15 and 2Co_7:4)

When the grace of God is at work in the lives of His people, spiritual boldness is a common result. This was clearly the testimony of the early church. "They spoke the word of God with boldness . . . And great grace was upon them all" (Act_4:31, Act_4:33).

The Apostle Paul experienced this same boldness, as he ministered by the grace of God. "I have written more boldly to you on some points . . . because of the grace given to me by God." Paul's letters often displayed the boldness of grace. Romans was no exception. As he applied the radical truths of the gospel of grace (given in the earlier chapters of Romans), he spoke with characteristic boldness. His exhortation to lay our lives on God's altar is a prime example. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom_12:1-2). His call to be clothed in Christ, leaving no room for fleshly tendencies, is another notable instance. "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Rom_13:13-14). His pronouncement concerning the Lord's ownership of our lives is one more illustration. "For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's" (Rom_14:8).

When Paul wrote the saints at Corinth, the boldness of grace was again evident. "Great is my boldness of speech toward you." Just prior to this confession of boldness, he had given a radical request concerning godly separation from the defilements of the world. "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God" (2Co_6:14-16).

Dear Father, I praise You for the radical nature of You and Your truth. I thank You for the boldness that Your grace can bring into lives. By Your grace at work in me, cause me to think, pray, speak, and act in godly boldness. For Your glory, grant me, I pray, a boldness that is confident, but not arrogant; daring, but not reckless; uncompromising, but not harsh; unrelenting, but not insensitive; fearless, but not unloving.

____________________

Day-By-Day By Grace by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
(Courtesy of Bob Hoekstra and Living in Christ Ministries)

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
____________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60393


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #333 on: December 14, 2006, 02:46:27 AM »

December 10

Give, the Language of Grace

I have written more boldly to you on some points . . . because of the grace given to me by God . . . I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus.  (Rom_15:15 and 1Co_1:4)

The grace of God (which produces boldness in those who live by it) is a gift from God. "I have written more boldly to you on some points . . . because of the grace given to me by God." In fact, "give" is basic to the language of grace.

When Paul began his first letter to the believers in Corinth, he emphasized this truth. "I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus." This is the starting point for all of the work of God in human hearts. The initial work of salvation is by the gift of God's grace. None of it is produced by the work of man. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Eph_2:8-9). This same pattern of the giving of grace is true concerning every good thing that God wants to accomplish in man. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights" (Jam_1:17).

Whatever God wants to do in the family of man is by His grace, which must be given to us by Him. This is true concerning eternal life. "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish" (Joh_10:28). This also pertains to the Holy Spirit in our lives. "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever" (Joh_14:16). It is true concerning spiritual gifts. "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all . . . But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift" (1Co_12:7 and Eph_4:7). This pattern applies to spiritual rest and peace as well. "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest . . . Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you" (Joh_11:28; Joh_14:27). When it comes to the greatest matter of all (getting to know the Lord better), God must give to us what is required for such growth: "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him" (Eph_1:17). All of these precious benefits from God are a result of His giving of His grace into our lives.

Will the giving heart of God ever cease toward us? We need never fear that God will be tire of giving us grace. "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luk_12:32).

Lord God, giver of every gift of grace, I thank You for the rich and extensive grace that You have given to me. Help me to understand that all of Your kingdom is brought into my experience by the giving of Your grace, in Jesus name, Amen.

____________________

Day-By-Day By Grace by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
(Courtesy of Bob Hoekstra and Living in Christ Ministries)

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
____________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60393


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #334 on: December 14, 2006, 02:47:58 AM »

December 11

Given Ministry by the Grace of God

Of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power. To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.  (Eph_3:7-8)

As we have seen, "give" is the language of grace. "I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus." Our heavenly Father wants to give us all the blessings of His kingdom as a gift of His grace. "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luk_12:32). No wonder then that we are given ministry by the grace of God.

The Apostle Paul had a special stewardship entrusted to Him by God's grace. "If indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you" (Eph_3:2). This special calling given to him by God concerned the miracle of Jew and Gentile being made one in Christ (as the body of Christ): "that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel" (Eph_3:6). This wondrous "mystery of Christ" (Eph_3:4) was a distinctive emphasis of his ministry. "Of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power." Paul repeatedly stated that this ministry calling was given to him by grace. "To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ."

On other occasions, Paul spoke of his ministry without referring to this special emphasis of Jews and Gentiles becoming one in Christ. Still, he described his ministry in the same terms of grace given to him. "According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation" (1Co_3:10). Here, Paul views his service unto the Lord as a spiritual builder, who is being used to lay a spiritual foundation for the construction of godly lives. God's grace given to him equipped him for, and sustained him in, such service.

We are all called to serve our Master. In our hearts there is a desire to be used of our King. How comforting to know that our ministry will develop by God's grace given to us. Again, humble dependence is the path to such grace for ministry. "To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given."

Lord Jesus, I long to serve You in ministry. I rejoice that ministry depends upon Your grace, not my abilities. Lord, I humbly bow before You, seeking You for the necessary grace to serve You in any way that You desire, in Your gracious name, Amen.

____________________

Day-By-Day By Grace by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
(Courtesy of Bob Hoekstra and Living in Christ Ministries)

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
____________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60393


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #335 on: December 14, 2006, 02:49:46 AM »

December 12

Courageous, Selfless Ministry by the Grace of God

But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.  (Act_20:24)

Paul was given ministry by the grace of God. "I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me" (Eph_3:7). To put it another way, he received his ministry from the Lord: "the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus." Paul's bountiful ministry was developed by the grace of God. "I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (1Co_15:10). Also, his ministry was to declare God's grace: "to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." Paul's life demonstrates that such "grace saturated" service leads to courageous, selfless ministry.

Paul's ministry was courageous. "But none of these things move me." The things that Paul faced were formidable. "The Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me" (Act_20:23). Down through the centuries, matters less substantial than these have moved many a professing Christian from completing his calling. Yet, by leaning upon the sustaining grace of God, Paul courageously endured great hardship and danger in the service of the gospel of grace. "But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings" (2Co_6:4-5).

Related to this courageous service was Paul's selflessness: "nor do I count my life dear to myself."  Soon, he would encounter another sober warning. It was given from a prophet of the Lord, who took Paul's belt and bound his own hands and feet. "So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles" (Act_21:11). Those standing by, who loved Paul deeply, urged him not to proceed. Nevertheless, Paul confessed his willingness to even lose his life for the gospel, if necessary. "Then Paul answered, 'What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus' " (Act_21:13). Such renouncing of self allowed Paul to "finish [his] race with joy." Thus his final testimony would become, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2Ti_4:7).

Jesus, my Lord and Master, You know the things that threaten to move me away from Your calling for me. You know the times I am tempted to hold my life dear, wanting to shrink back in a self-serving manner. Please saturate my life with Your grace that I might serve courageously and selflessly, Amen.

____________________

Day-By-Day By Grace by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
(Courtesy of Bob Hoekstra and Living in Christ Ministries)

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
____________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60393


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #336 on: December 14, 2006, 02:51:15 AM »

December 13

The Comprehensive, Freely Giving Plan of God

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?  (Rom_8:32)

By the free gift of God's grace, ministry is given to us. "I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me" (Eph_3:7). By His grace at work in us, our ministry can be marked with courage and selflessness. "None of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself" (Act_20:24). This pattern of grace fits the entire plan of God, because His plan is a comprehensive, freely giving plan.

As we have seen, give is the language of grace. Note the extent to which God desires to give to us. He wants to "freely give us all things." Everything that God considers as needful for fullness of life, He freely makes available by His grace. The scriptures repeatedly speak in such comprehensive terms. "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2Pe_1:3). All that it takes to live as God intends and to grow in godliness as He desires has already been given to us in Christ. As we continue to get to know the Lord, all that He has given us in Christ is progressively brought into our experience: "through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue" (2Pe_1:3).

The death of Christ is our assurance of having the comprehensive dimensions of God's grace fully available to us: "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all." Jesus is the Father's deeply loved Son. Through a prophet of old, the Father proclaimed this divine love. "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights!" (Isa_42:1). When the Son was on this earth, the Father directly declared His loving delight from heaven. "And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased' " (Mat_3:17). Jesus is persistently revealed as the object of the Father's love: "The Father loves the Son . . .  the Son of His love" (Joh_3:35 and Col_1:13). The magnitude of the Father's love for His Son is behind His love gift to us. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16). Our loving and generous Father has not held back from us the sacrificial gift of His beloved Son, who died for our sins. Now, if He did not hold back His most prized treasure (His own beloved Son), there is no way that the Father will hold back any lesser gift from us. "How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? "

Loving Father, I praise You for Your great love, in giving Your beloved Son to die for my sins. I thank You for the assurance this brings that everything else that I need will be freely given with Him!

____________________

Day-By-Day By Grace by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
(Courtesy of Bob Hoekstra and Living in Christ Ministries)

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
____________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60393


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #337 on: December 14, 2006, 02:52:50 AM »

December 14

Jesus Given for Us to be Given to Us

For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  (Rom_5:10)

As the ultimate free gift of God's grace, Jesus was given for us (dying for our sins): "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all" (Rom_8:32). Moreover, He was given for us to be given to us (that He might express His life in and through us).

We began as enemies of God. Certainly, we were lost and condemned. Yet, our situation was even worse than that. Our lives worked against the purposes and plans of God: "And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works" (Col_1:21). Our evil thoughts and activities set us against the Lord in both mind and deed. The only way that we could become the friends of God was for Jesus to be given as a sacrifice for us. "When we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son." The Lord had to deal with our dual problem of sin and unrighteousness. "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2Co_5:21).

The Father graciously placed our sins on His Son that He might give His righteousness to us. For all who would believe in Christ, this brought the precious gift of reconciliation (the turning of enemies into friends).

Even after this rich grace of reconciliation, the Lord had "much more" yet to give us. "For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." What remained after Jesus being given for us (for our reconciliation) was for Him to be given to us. This is related to Jesus coming to dwell within us that we could be "saved by His life." Why do the friends of Jesus still need to be saved? Well, His followers would be persistently threatened by the world, the flesh, and the devil. They would still be vulnerable to such matters as, temptation, doubt, fear, fruitlessness, distraction, inadequacy, and more. How then would they be saved? This ongoing rescuing work of the Lord would be "by His life" by Jesus living in and through His people. "It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal_2:20). Jesus was not, and is not, susceptible to any of these threatening issues. When He is allowed to express His life in and through us, each of us finds all that we need all of the time.This astounding statement is true, because "Christ is all and in all" (Col_3:11).

Dear Father, my reconciler, I thank You for giving Your Son for me, that I might be changed from Your enemy to Your friend by His death. Yet, much more, I praise You for giving Your Son to me, that I might be saved from spiritual futility day by day by His life. Lord Jesus, live in and through me, I humbly pray, Amen.

____________________

Day-By-Day By Grace by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
(Courtesy of Bob Hoekstra and Living in Christ Ministries)

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
____________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60393


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #338 on: December 16, 2006, 08:06:02 AM »

December 15

God Freely Giving, Man Humbly Receiving

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? . . . What do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you glory as if you had not received it?  (Rom_8:32 and 1Co_4:7)

The Lord's plan for rescuing and transforming lives by His grace is established upon the Son of God being given for us as a sacrifice for our sins: "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all." This gift of God's Son assures us that God will also give us with Christ everything we need. "How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? " God's giving is to be coupled with man's receiving. As God is freely giving to man, He wants man to be humbly receiving from Him.

Every blessing that we have was received from God. "What do you have that you did not receive? " There is no other source from which we can receive true spiritual benefits than the Lord above. "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven" (Joh_3:27). The joy of having Jesus dwelling in our lives as the children of God became true by us receiving Him. "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God" (Joh_1:12).

The fact that we are now reconciled to God and are no longer His enemies is based upon us receiving the gift of reconciliation. "We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation" (Rom_5:11). The privilege of serving the Lord in ministry is a gift of grace to be received: "the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God" (Act_20:24). The spiritual gifts that we need for enablement in our ministries is another blessing received from the Lord. "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another" (1Pe_4:10).

From initial salvation to growth and service, all that is needed must be received from the Lord. This is an encouraging reality. Yet, it is also a humbling truth. It leaves no room for us to glory in ourselves. "Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you glory as if you had not received it?"

Dear Lord, I confess that every blessing I have ever received was given by You from above. I bow humbly before You, admitting that I do not deserve even one of Your innumerable benefits. Lord, I praise You for freely giving to me. I want to humbly receive from You day by day, in Your gracious name, Amen.

____________________

Day-By-Day By Grace by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
(Courtesy of Bob Hoekstra and Living in Christ Ministries)

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
____________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60393


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #339 on: December 16, 2006, 08:11:11 AM »

December 16

Relating Rightly to the God of All Grace

The God of all grace . . . to the praise of the glory of His grace . . . the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . the Spirit of grace.  (1Pe_5:10; Eph_1:6 and Heb_10:29)

Our Lord God is "the God of all grace." God's comprehensive and infinite grace is characteristic of all the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). The Father will be honored forever for His grace, so we read: "to the praise of the glory of His grace." The Son makes that grace available to all who believe, so it is called "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ." The Spirit applies that grace in the hearts of those who follow Jesus Christ, so He is called "the Spirit of grace." Grace is found in God alone. Therefore, one must relate rightly to the God of all grace in order to receive all that He desires to give us in fulfilling His purposes and glorifying His name.

The fundamental manner for relating to the God of grace is the developing of a personal relationship. Getting to know God is what life with the Lord is all about. "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (Joh_17:3). In fact, knowing the Lord is man's ultimate treasure in all of creation. Everything else that competes is to be considered as loss. "But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ" (Phi_3:7-8). It is not surprising then that getting increasingly acquainted with the Lord is the way that His grace impacts our lives. "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord" (2Pe_1:2).

As we are getting to know the God of all grace more and more, He is developing in our lives two strategic relational realities: humility and faith. We have looked at these two spiritual qualities many times throughout our meditations. Repeated reflection on these two realities is appropriate, since they unfold the practical heart of living daily by God's grace. "Be clothed with humility, for 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble' " (1Pe_5:5). God's grace is given to those who "walk humbly with [their] God" (Micah 6:8). Likewise, faith accesses grace. "We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand" (Rom_5:2). Walking in humble dependence is the way to relate rightly to the God of all grace.

Dear God of all grace, I want to relate to You rightly that I might live daily by Your grace. Help me to know You more and more that humility and faith might develop in my life. I long to walk before You in humble dependence, in Jesus name, Amen.

____________________

Day-By-Day By Grace by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
(Courtesy of Bob Hoekstra and Living in Christ Ministries)

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
____________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60393


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #340 on: December 17, 2006, 01:53:19 PM »

December 17

More on Relating Rightly to the God of All Grace

The God of all grace . . . it is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing . . . that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.  (1Pe_5:10; Joh_6:63; and Phi_3:10)

In order to live day by day by grace, we must relate rightly to "the God of all grace" (1Pe_5:10). Essentially, this involves the developing of a personal relationship with the Lord. "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (Joh_17:3). A growing relationship with the true and living God produces the relational realities of humility and faith. Thereby, we are able to live by the grace of God: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble . . . We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand" (1Pe_5:5 and Rom_5:2).

As we are in the word of God, growing in the knowing of God, there are many ways to appropriately express humility and faith toward the Lord. We have emphasized a number of these in previous sections of these devotions. Living by the Spirit was one of these. "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing."  The spiritual life that the Holy Spirit alone can provide is what the new covenant of grace offers to man. God "also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2Co_3:6). As we humbly depend upon the Spirit, God graciously fills our lives with His life.

We considered another way to walk relationally in humility and faith in living by the power of the resurrection: "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection."  Yes, resurrection power is available for daily Christian living. "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know . . . what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places" (Eph_1:18-20). Of course, experiencing this power hinges upon us humbly admitting that we have no power on our own, and then relying on His mighty power.

Living by the Spirit and living by resurrection power are two ways to relate rightly to the God of all grace. They both are experienced through humble dependence. They both result in the grace of God becoming our daily resource from the Lord.

Lord God of all grace, I need Your Holy Spirit to fill me with Your life. My flesh profits nothing. Lord, each day, I need the power of Your resurrection working in my life. I have no effective power that I can generate on my own. I praise You that these are available through humble dependence!

____________________

Day-By-Day By Grace by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
(Courtesy of Bob Hoekstra and Living in Christ Ministries)

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
____________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60393


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #341 on: December 18, 2006, 11:38:51 AM »

December 18

Even More on Relating Rightly to the God of All Grace

The God of all grace . . . Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God . . . He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.  (1Pe_5:10; 2Co_3:5; and Heb_8:6)

If we are going to live by grace as God intends, we must get to know "the God of all grace." As we get to know Him, humility and faith develop in our lives. They are relational realities. They become real in our lives as a result of getting to know the Lord better and better. As we walk with the Lord in humble dependence, we are living by the grace of God. The Lord gives grace to the humble (1Pe_5:5 and Jam_4:6), and faith accesses grace (Rom_5:2; Rom_4:16). The scriptures indicate that there are many ways to relate rightly to the Lord in humility and faith. In our previous meditation, we saw that living by the Spirit and living by resurrection power are two examples of this truth. Now, we will consider two more examples.

Living by the sufficiency of God is a profound opportunity to relate to the Lord in humility and faith. This heavenly perspective begins with a declaration of our own inadequacy. "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves." It is true that we disciples of Jesus Christ are so inadequate that we are unable to produce any of the Christian life ourselves. Jesus Himself taught this radical fact. "Without Me you can do nothing" (Joh_15:5). If we embrace this humbling truth, we are walking in humility before the Lord. The corresponding declaration points us to the source that we need. "But our sufficiency is from God." Only God's resources are sufficient to produce the kind of fruitful spiritual life that God calls us to live. Jesus taught this great truth as well. "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit" (Joh_15:5). If we accept this encouraging truth, we are walking in faith toward the Lord.

Living by the promises of God offers another significant opportunity to relate to the Lord in humility and faith. "He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises." The promises of the old covenant of law (which are basically, "Do these commands, and you shall live" see Lev_18:5) depend on man's ability and faithfulness. The better promises of the new covenant of grace depend upon God's ability and faithfulness. Abraham was "fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform" (Rom_4:21). Sarah "judged Him faithful who had promised" (Heb_11:11). It is humbling to know that we can't perform well enough to enjoy the promises of the law. Contrariwise, it is faith building to know we can trust in the Lord to fulfill all His promises of grace.

Dear Lord of all grace, I humbly admit that I can only live by Your sufficiency and your promises. By faith, I look to You to do for me and in me what You alone can do, Amen.

____________________

Day-By-Day By Grace by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
(Courtesy of Bob Hoekstra and Living in Christ Ministries)

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
____________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60393


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #342 on: December 19, 2006, 08:46:27 AM »

December 19

Following Jesus as a Disciple

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations . . . Follow Me . . . If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  (Mat_28:19; Joh_1:43; and Luk_9:23)

Living daily by God's grace depends upon getting to know Him and then walking in the humility and grace that are consequences of growing in fellowship with Him. We have reflected upon four ways to relate rightly to the Lord in humility and faith: living by the Spirit, living by resurrection power, living by the sufficiency of God, and living by the promises of God. Another example is following Jesus as a disciple.

When our Lord was about to leave His disciples, He gave them the marching orders that were to guide the lives of His people until He would return. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations." Jesus had been calling out people to follow Him as disciples. Now, they were to continue doing the same. A disciple is a follower of a master, who guides and shapes the lives of his followers. Jesus is the ultimate Master, who gives us a new life in him life eternal. Jesus' invitation to discipleship was "Follow Me." Along with this invitation, Jesus often explained the terms of discipleship: "If anyone desires to come after Me." This would inform the willing and interested about how to respond. These terms dramatically depict the necessity of relating to the Lord in humility and faith.

The first aspect of being a disciple of Jesus is renouncing the self-life. "Let him deny himself." This amounts to a refusal to attempt to develop a life that can be produced by natural human resources (which everyone inherits from Adam through physical birth). This is a repudiation of self-righteousness, self-sufficiency, self-help, self-exaltation, and the like. Our willingness to embrace this term of discipleship will be seen by a humble agreement with similar biblical pronouncements. "Make no provision for the flesh" (Rom_13:14).

Those denying self are not wanting the flesh to have opportunities to indulge itself. "The flesh profits nothing" (Joh_6:63). Those who renounce self confess its total spiritual bankruptcy. We "have no confidence in the flesh" (Phi_3:3). Those who repudiate the self-life do not want to place any hope in the spiritual resources of the flesh. "That no flesh should glory in His presence" (1Co_1:29). Those denying the self-life agree that nothing of the flesh can ever boast in itself before the Lord God almighty.

Dear Lord Jesus, I want to relate rightly to You by following You as a disciple. I do not want my flesh to have any opportunity to indulge itself. I confess total spiritual bankruptcy in my flesh. I want to place no hope in my flesh. I agree that my flesh can never boast before You. I humbly renounce the self-life!

____________________

Day-By-Day By Grace by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
(Courtesy of Bob Hoekstra and Living in Christ Ministries)

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
____________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60393


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #343 on: December 20, 2006, 09:27:34 AM »

December 20

More on Following Jesus as a Disciple

If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me . . . But God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  (Luk_9:23 and Gal_6:14)

Following Jesus as a disciple is one way to relate rightly to the Lord in humility and faith. The first aspect of following Jesus involves renouncing the self-life. "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself." It is certainly humbling to admit that any life we would develop by our own natural resources is unacceptable to the Lord and must be repudiated. The next aspect of being a disciple is also humbling.

This second issue in discipleship is the cross: "and take up his cross." When Jesus spoke of the cross, He was speaking of the ultimate instrument of execution in  His day. Consequently, after renunciation of self, we are to confess death for self. The means of this death is the cross of Christ. Those who want to follow Jesus as disciples are to take the cross of Christ as their own personal cross. In doing so, they are admitting to God that they deserved to die upon that cross. "For the wages of sin is death" (Rom_6:23). Furthermore, they are agreeing with the word of God that Jesus died upon that cross on their behalf. "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures . . .  who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree" (1Co_15:3 and 1Pe_2:24). This gospel (which brings forgiveness of sins to all who believe) includes the essential truth of the resurrection. "Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1Co_15:1, 1Co_15:3-4).

Another wondrous benefit of the cross is that we who believe in Jesus also died there with Him. "Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him" (Rom_6:6). The old self-life that we were developing while "in Adam" (1Co_15:22) was executed on the cross with Christ. Yes, the cross is the way out of this world of dead sinners, and we can rightly boast in that truth. "But God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Meanwhile, the attitudes and resources of the old man persist in our flesh (our natural humanity). Thus, we are to renounce self and confess death to self day by day: "let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily."

Lord Jesus, I confess Your cross as my cross. I deserved to die there, but You died in my place. I boast in that cross, where I also died with You. Now, through the cross, I have escaped this dead, condemned world. I praise You that these truths both humble my heart and stir my faith!

____________________

Day-By-Day By Grace by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
(Courtesy of Bob Hoekstra and Living in Christ Ministries)

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
____________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60393


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #344 on: December 21, 2006, 09:15:25 PM »

December 21

Once More on Following Jesus as a Disciple

If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me . . . My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  (Luk_9:23 and Joh_10:27)

As we have been considering, following Jesus as a disciple is another way to relate rightly to the Lord in humility and faith. The terms of discipleship are renouncing the self-life and confessing death for the self-life. "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily." Initially and continually, these humble and trusting responses to Jesus deal with self, which is the basic obstruction to following Him.

Three simple words express the very heart of discipleship: "and follow Me." All of the Christian life can be summed up and fulfilled in this profound relationship of pursuing a humble and trusting walk with the Lord. It is the will of God that we grow in His all-sufficient grace. "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2Pe_3:18). Jesus came overflowing with that grace. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . full of grace and truth" (Joh_1:14). As we follow Him in humble dependence, He pours His grace into our lives.

Jesus has all that we need. In Him, the complete resources of the Godhead that we need for personal wholeness reside. "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him" (Col_2:9-10). In Him, all wisdom and knowledge are contained: "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col_2:3). Jesus is the very life that we are called to live: "Christ who is our life" (Col_3:4). He is our "all and in all" (Col_3:11).

We need the Lord Jesus like sheep need a shepherd. In fact, our discipleship walk with Christ is portrayed in scripture as sheep following a shepherd. Those who are in the world are like sheep without a shepherd. What a needy picture that is. "But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd" (Mat_9:36). Jesus, our shepherd, is the ultimate shepherd. "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep" (Joh_10:11). Having died for us, our shepherd wants to lead us throughout our lives. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" (Joh_10:27). In humble dependence, we can hear His voice through His word and be led by His Spirit. Thereby, we enter into the fullness of the grace that God has for us during our pilgrimage here on this earth.

Jesus, my good shepherd, I need You like a sheep needs a shepherd. I humbly trust You to lead me through life, pouring out upon me the fullness of Your grace, in Your wonderful name, Amen.

____________________

Day-By-Day By Grace by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
(Courtesy of Bob Hoekstra and Living in Christ Ministries)

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
____________________
Logged

Pages: 1 ... 21 22 [23] 24 25 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



More From ChristiansUnite...    About Us | Privacy Policy | | ChristiansUnite.com Site Map | Statement of Beliefs



Copyright © 1999-2016 ChristiansUnite.com. All rights reserved.
Please send your questions, comments, or bug reports to the

Powered by SMF 1.1 RC2 | SMF © 2001-2005, Lewis Media