(In preparation for today’s Devotional, read Joshua 24:2A, 12-13 and then check out the “The Deep Six Study” online. Go to www.capecodchurch.com/watch and click on “Discussion Notes.” Under “Message Highlights,” read highlight # 1)
Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ,to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Whether we are looking at the old covenant of the Old Testament or the new covenant of the New Testament, we are looking at an arrangement between God and his people that seeks to secure the outcome of his people living fully for him for the long haul. God went to amazing lengths to deliver his people from Egypt through Moses and get them into and established in the promise land through Joshua. This work of God through Moses and Joshua was just the beginning. All that was done gave Israel an amazing platform from which they could go forward living fully for God for generations to come so they could finish strong as the people of God under the old covenant.
Similarly, we are reminded in today’s Scripture of the amazing lengths God went to for us who are under the new covenant:“the God of peace ….brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord.” As ones who have been cleansed through the shed blood of Christ, our cleansed hearts have become his home. From the inside working out, he shepherds our lives in two ways: (1)“equipping us in every good thing to do His will” and (2)“working in us that which is pleasing in His sight.” This is all “through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
However, our tendency is to turn the tables on the preeminence of God’s role in our transformation in favor of our role in it. How readily we maximize our sense of personal sacrifice and the degree of our individual effort at following after God and aligning ourselves with him and his ways. Resisting and overcoming this tendency requires a special work of God’s grace. The one who experiences this grace will able to finish strong because they will be able to maintain the perspective that living fully for God is truly a gift from him.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I thank you for the amazing lengths to which you have gone to ensure my transformation into all you have in mind for me. Forgive me for letting “the tail wag the dog,” so to speak. Truly, it is all about you and not me. I bow before you in worship, surrender, and gratitude. Amen!
Posted on Mon, March 7, 2016
by Alan Porter