365 Days of Grace From God's Word

Month: March 2022

Confession

John 9:35 – Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” 38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” 41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains. (NIV)

I wear glasses.  The very first thing I do when I get up in the morning is reach for my glasses.  I confess, I can’t see without them.  Imagine if I were arrogant enough to think that I did not need any help at all.  Imagine if I were to get up and say to myself, “I need no one’s help, I can see just as I need to see.”  If I were to do this, I would stumble over every little thing.  I would have a rough time making it through life. 

The simple truth of today’s reading is that left on our own, we are all blind.  Left on our own, we would stumble over every little sin that comes our way.  Left on our own we would have a rough time making it through life.  Likewise, left on our own without a Savior, the guilt of every little sin would remain.  Fortunately, with Jesus as our Savior, we are not left on our own, and our guilt is removed!

Let us freely confess to God that we cannot see our way through life on our own.  Let us confess that we need a Savior and let us celebrate a Savior who removes the guilt of our sin!

Posted by Ramón Torres

Clothed and Ready!

Luke 12:35 – “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks, they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (NIV)

In today’s reading, Jesus uses two analogies to teach us to be ready.  In the first, using the analogy of a wedding feast, he tells us to be dressed and ready.  This reminds me of Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus where he tells us to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11).  Paul also tells us to clothe ourselves with Jesus (Romans 13:14 and Galatians 3:27).  Then, in Colossians 3:12, Paul writes: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” 

Clothing ourselves is something that we do every day. Likewise, preparing our hearts and minds for our service to God is also something that we should do every day.  To miss even one day of spiritual readiness is to set ourselves up for the possibility of being unprepared.  Unprepared for what?  Unprepared for service.  Unprepared for an encounter with someone God sends into our path.  Unprepared for an encounter with God. 

The second analogy uses the example of a thief coming in the night.  Thieves do not announce when they are coming.  Likewise, we never know when we will encounter Jesus, spiritually or physically upon our death.

Let us do everything that we can to stay prepared spiritually.  If we do, we will never miss an encounter with Jesus. 

Posted by Ramón Torres

Knowing Him

2 Peter 1:1 – This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ.

I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior. May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 

The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NLT) 

In these opening verses of Peter’s second letter, we read through a list of characteristics that define the Christian faith.  We read about moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, patient endurance, and godliness.  Every Christian should be growing in these areas.  We may not have achieved all we should in these areas, but we should be growing and improving.  If we are having difficulty realizing any growth in these areas, we must ask ourselves: How well do we really know God?

How do I arrive at this question?  In verses three, Peter wrote: “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him.”  For anyone to grow closer to anyone else, they need to nurture their relationship with that person.  If we wish to grow as a Christian, we must know God better, and we can know God better by nurturing our relationship with God.  We can nurture our relationship with God through prayer, Bible study and worship. 

The Apostle Paul wrote several times to the churches that he was praying they would know God better.  In Ephesians 1:17 he wrote, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better (NIV).”  This is a good prayer for each of us! 

Take time this day to nurture your relationship with God.  Grow as a Christian.  Shine God’s Light! 

Posted by Ramón Torres

Unity

Psalm 133:1 – How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!

It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore. (NIV) 

How good and pleasant is unity amongst God’s people.  It is, indeed, good and pleasant, but it can often be quite elusive.  Every day, dissatisfied men and women leave churches in hopes of finding something better.  Congregations become divided by a myriad of issues, from differing ideas about direction and leadership to worship styles.  Our world is filled with sin, and sadly, this sin often comes between those who worship together.

Psalm 133 is part of a group of psalms called ‘Psalms of Ascents.’  Psalms of Ascents would be sung by Jewish pilgrims as they made their way from distant lands to Jerusalem to worship in the temple.  Interestingly, it was divisions amongst the Jews that led in part to their downfall as a nation, and dispersion throughout their world.  Had they maintained their unity of purpose as the people of God, they may not have been spread so far and wide.

Verse two tells us that unity among godly people is like precious oil poured on the head.  This referred to the oil that was used to anoint the high priest.  It was precious because it was reserved for one solemn ritual.  In this verse it runs down Aaron’s beard.  This signified all of God’s people. 

Verse three speaks of the dew of Hermon.  Mount Hermon is located along the border of present day Syria and Lebanon.  It is nearly ten thousand feet in height, arising abruptly from near sea level. The peaks are often snow covered.  The land below Mount Hermon is very fertile, being watered from the frequent dew.  We are told that godly unity would be as refreshing as if that dew watered the arid land surrounding Jerusalem (Mount Zion).

Unity may be rare and precious at times, but it should always be our goal.  In all we do, we should seek to be unified with our Christian brothers and sisters.  Will we always agree on everything?  Of course not, but we can be unified in our purpose as God’s people.  Our purpose is clear, to be and make disciples for Jesus Christ.

Today, let us seek to live in unity with our Christian brothers and sisters.  Let us be unified in our purpose of shining God’s light into the darkness of the world. 

Posted by Ramón Torres

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