“For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want!”
Paul shows the futility of human struggle against sin in this chapter. Man may intend to do go, but he winds up committing the sin he has rejected.
The final declaration of the chapter ends this exercise in frustration. It is a must read. It leads into the rich victory of chapter 8.
#votd #Romans #gospel
“Samuel said to Saul, ‘I will not go back with you, for you have rejected the Lord’s orders, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel!'”
1 Samuel 15.26
The Lord’s prophet refuses to support King Saul after his disobedience. He flatly informs the king of God’s rejection. The rupture is complete. Saul has a different spirit.
The Lord treats people as they treat him. When we reject his commandments, he rejects us and will no longer help us.
#votd #1-Samuel #rejection
“He is the one who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not based on our works but on his own purpose and grace, granted to us in Christ Jesus before time began,”
2 Timothy 1.9
God’s eternal purpose was formed “before time began.” It was granted to us in Christ, based upon his merit, not our own. Through him we received our calling to be his people.
What a marvelous thought that God’s purpose reaches beyond time and includes us in his salvation! Let every day become timeless grace!
#votd #2-Timothy #in-Christ
“For indeed, what had been glorious now has no glory because of the tremendously greater glory of what replaced it.”
2 Corinthians 3.10
The gospel outshines the law of Moses. The latter has lost all its brilliance next to the surpassing glory of Jesus Christ. He occupies all our attention.
The greater glory of the gospel gives us boldness, v. 12. We let his glory shine in us. We have freedom to become his holy people. We embrace nothing but Christ.
#votd #2-Corinthians #glory
“My heart is crushed because my dear people are being crushed. I go about crying and grieving. I am overwhelmed with dismay.”
The weeping prophet felt the weight of Israel’s sin. The Lord had told him to tell the people the consequences that will follow. There is a solution, v. 22, but they have refused it.
Jesus wept over Jerusalem’s rejection. Do I feel the burden of people’s sin to the point of offering them the solution of God’s salvation?
#votd #Jeremiah #compassion
“The army was given over, along with the daily sacrifice, in the course of his sinful rebellion. It hurled truth to the ground and enjoyed success.”
Daniel prophesied of the last days, when the temple worship would be desecrated. The verb “hurl” here in context connotes violence and force. At times, sin gains the upper hand.
How is truth cast down today? Am I guilty of doing so? Or, am I a witness to it? Does seeing truth defeated in a situation discourage or dismay me?
#votd #Daniel #truth
“And whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”
In order to follow Jesus conditions must be met. Since salvation is in Christ, these conditions are not optional. Following him requires dying to self.
To be worthy of Jesus does not mean that one can merit Jesus’ fellowship, but that one is able to receive his presence and walk with him.
#votd #Matthew #discipleship
“But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a man who was a murderer be released to you.”
Peter’s second sermon to the Jews in Jerusalem pointed up how the rejection of God’s Chosen One led them to seek the release of a murderer.
The rejection of God’s plan will lead us to embrace great injustices and gross immoralities — even people who still claim to belong to the Lord.
#votd #Acts #rejection
“The Lord is just; he cut the ropes of the wicked.”
God’s justice is shown in caring for his people and thereby fulfilling his promise. He is faithful to his covenant. He frees from the oppressor.
God’s people often cry and ask how long they must suffer. They appeal for justice, v. 5. Justice is not blessing those who oppose the Lord, v. 8.
#votd #Psalms #justice
“And, after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
1 Peter 5.10
The Worldwide English version translates “God of all grace” as “God gives all blessings.” All that is good comes from God and is found in Christ.
Suffering brings us to the God of all grace. We find in him our “fount of every blessing.” We obey and are faithful, but the work of saving and establishing is his.
#votd #1-Peter #God
“Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of the varied grace of God.”
1 Peter 4.10
Every single Christian receives gifts to be put to use in the body of Christ. To be a good steward, one must use them to serve the saints.
God is a giver. From his varied grace, he gives me a gift of some sort to serve. What is that gift? How can it be used? What needs are there in the body that it can meet?
#votd #1-Peter #gifts
“For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’”
He was different. Very strange. In that strangeness he caught their attention. But they still spoke evil of him, even while being immersed in water by him.
People who refuse to leave their sinful ways will find fault with anyone who challenges their status. Are you a fault-finder, when your real need is repentance?
#votd #Luke #criticism
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”
Paul’s question draws attention to the strength of Christ’s love. Nothing can happen that will drive him away. No bad situation can overcome this relationship.
Does our faith drive us to Christ or do we desire new and better circumstances? Our relationship with God defines how we approach the difficulties of life, and not the other way around.
#votd #Romans #love
“Why wasn’t this oil sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?”
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus used their wealth to serve Jesus. They freely gave to the Lord. Mary showed her love by anointing Jesus, but Judas could only criticize and count pennies.
The miserly spirit may hide the sin of greed. Churches with big bank accounts often talk about the need to be prepared, but are often trusting in their bank balance.
#votd #John #money
“When you sit down to eat with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you possess a large appetite.”
In some situations, extreme self-control is necessary, especially in those areas where we are weakest. If not, others will take advantage of us.
The first step to such self-control is to “consider carefully.” We must evaluate situations objectively, not emotionally. Otherwise, our passions will be our downfall.
#votd #Proverbs #self-control