Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Generosity’

What Makes You Special?

Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.  ~~  Exodus 31:13  [Emphasis mine]

Christians are both different and alike. We are like everyone else in that the same things that happen to others happen to us. We have illness, financial reverses, tragedy, death, loss, success, health and wealth by turns. Life is cyclic. We all know that old saw: what goes around comes around.

One of the things that makes us different, set apart, is how we go through the things that life hands us. When bad things happen, we are not destroyed. When good things happen, we don’t get all puffed up with self-importance.

Why is that? It is because the Lord is sanctifying us – setting us apart for His purposes.

Looking at the word “sanctify” we find this:

    1 :  to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use :  consecrate
    2 :  to free from sin :  purify
    3 a :  to impart or impute sacredness, inviolability, or respect to
       b :  to give moral or social sanction to
    4 :  to make productive of holiness or piety <observe the day of the sabbath, to sanctify it — Deuteronomy 5:12 (Douay Version)>

Today is the day we remember how God arranged to sanctify us. Our freedom from sin, our purification, was purchased at a price. The price was the death of Jesus.  But not just His death.

Look at what God did. He voluntarily took a part of Himself, Jesus – the second person of the Trinity, and limited Himself to the shape and capabilities of any man.  Then He offered that part of Himself as the sacrifice to clean up our sins.

He was reviled, rejected, scorned, spit upon, scourged, and finally crucified and buried. He allowed all this to bring us to Himself – to set us apart as His children. That’s how much God loves each and every one of us.

While we remember His sacrifice, let us set this day apart for humble gratitude for His generosity and His love.

Father, God,

Keep us ever mindful of Your love for us. Help us always to know that we’ve been set apart for Your purposes. Give us the grace to remain faithful in all things.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

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Grace and Truth

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  ~~ John 1:14

Jesus came! He became man. He came to redeem us. He set aside the fullness of His deity and constrained it in humanity, just like our humanity. He understands our human limitations and makes allowances for them. That is grace.

He is God. God with us. He is the standard of Truth, all truth. When we are confused or perplexed, He will lead us to The Truth. With that truth, we can grow towards His perfection. Towards the plans He has for us.

Grace and Truth, the doorposts of a life with God.

Father, God,

Thank You for Your generosity in sending Jesus as a man to be our redeemer, our example. Thank You for loving us. Thank You for sharing Your Truth with us. Fill us with Your grace that we may extend that same grace to all we meet in order to help them understand Your Truth.

In Jesus’ most precious name,

Amen.

Identity – Part Two

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:12-13 – King James Version (KJV)
Now that we have decided who Jesus is, perhaps we should look at our own identity.
When we are introduced to someone new, there are several identity type questions that spring to mind. Where are you from? Who are you related to? What do you do?
Take a minute and try to define who you are without answering any of those questions.
Yes, it is harder than it looks.
This is who God says you are. You are His child.
Some years ago, my friend Sandra and I were talking about children. She had five. I had four. And she was laughing at the thought that we were in charge of family planning. “We think it’s because of our love for our husbands that these children were born. We had nothing to do with it. Each child was conceived when God said ‘(Name of child) come forth!’  We had very little to do with it.”
She had come to the same conclusion as the poet, William Wordsworth.
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:    
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,    
        Hath had elsewhere its setting,    
          And cometh from afar:    
        Not in entire forgetfulness,    
        And not in utter nakedness,    
But trailing clouds of glory do we come      
        From God, who is our home:
from his Ode – Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
We started as His children. We were born into a world of sin and God-forgetfulness, becoming children of the world and of sin. When we believe on Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we claim our identity as God’s children.
And God claims us as His children.  What a privilege!  What a responsibility!
Father, God,
Help us to understand the depth of Your love that called us forth into this life and that redeems us from the world. Grant that we may be ever aware of Your love, Your generosity, Your provision. Give us the grace to extend to others as we witness to them about Who You are and how much You love them.
In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.