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Monday, July 22, 2019

July 22 – Our Plea Agreement

“...but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”  Hebrews 7:24-25 (NIV)

In the times of the Old Testament after God had given His Law to the Children of Israel, it was their duty and practice to bring animal offerings of to the priests at appointed times.  This practice resulted in covering their trespasses and sins which were against God's Law – but covered only for a time.  This had to be done over and over, each time a person broke the Law of Moses.  When Jesus came to earth and after he lived a perfect sinless life, He too was sacrificed for sinners.  He was our willing sacrifice.  Jesus became our permanent priest.  We do not need to approach God through any earthly priest because Jesus Himself was offered once and for all and is in heaven taking up our defense before God the Father.  That is why He was willing to die on the cross so that we can go directly to him.  It is our promise that He is our defense attorney pleading for our forgiveness forever – and God the Father accepts this plea of Jesus as our sacrifice. Our forgiveness is granted directly and we are saved completely (once and for all) because Christ has saved all who come to God through Him.     

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

July 21 – Precious Promises Granted

“For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”   2 Peter 1:4 (NASB)

Take notice of “by these” in the first six words in today's verse.  The “these” are what he wrote in the previous verse,  “everything pertaining to life and godliness...”  Peter asserts that as Christians we are fully equipped to live a life pleasing to God for we have been given all we need to overcome any obstacle we face, and that we can persevere under trial. God is sufficient.  These are the promises God has given to us, promises we find in other scriptures, and promises we can  trust.  By trusting in God's promises we are allowing Him to make us more and more like Him – we become participants in the divine nature which He is developing in our lives.  Each of us who believe in Jesus and have received Him as our Lord and Savior are being conformed to Him.  This is a wonderful truth and promise that one day, when we are in heaven, corruption of this world will no longer be a factor and we will experience the completion of that process conforming us to His nature.  It will all be to the glory of our Almighty God.

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Saturday, July 20, 2019

July 20 – Always For Everything

“...addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,”   Ephesians 5:19-20 (ESV)

We have assurance in our promise today and we are reminded how our lives can be lived in true worship of God.  Wherever we are at anytime we can participate with the music of our hearts to the Lord. We do not have to wait until we are in a church building or church service.  We are encouraged to be giving thanks always to God for everything.  We have even more than a 24/7 access to God and can approach Him whenever we need or wish to.  Think for a minute of the times you might be busy with one task but in your mind is a favorite song, hymn, or chorus that brings praise of God to your mind.  If we practice that we will find it happening more frequently.  Such a practice, when it is from our hearts brings glory and honor and praise to our Almighty God and He will accept it as true suitable worship.

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Friday, July 19, 2019

July 19 – Unmerited Unending Favor

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”   John 1:16 (ESV)

These words were spoken by John the Baptist and are part of a much larger proclamation about Jesus when He was beginning His earthly ministry. The Baptist was announcing to his followers the purpose of Jesus' mission on earth.  God was blessing His people through His Son Jesus, and those around at the time were made aware of it.  Although the people of Jesus' race and country rejected Him, Jesus did not reject those who believed on His name.    From His abundance of grace – unmerited favor – we all who believe in Jesus have received grace.  But we do not receive this grace just once and for a singular purpose, we receive this grace continually – more grace is received upon grace that has been received – it overflows.  There will never a time where God's grace will run out.  His fullness is unending.  The Jews were used to the Law and followed it to remain right before God.  Jesus brought grace and truth and forgiveness, which fulfilled once and for all the obligations of the Law.  Do we have a struggle? Do we need grace for a challenge facing us?  It is there and will be there the next time we need it. 

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Thursday, July 18, 2019

July 18 – He Knows

“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me,”  John 10:14 (NASB)

We are glad and comforted knowing that we have a wonderful Savior who is watching over us every day.  We have not been left alone to live our Christian lives by ourselves.  Jesus used the imagery of a shepherd and his flock of sheep to teach us how He cares and takes care of us who have believed and received Him as our Savior. When Jesus was teaching His followers He wanted them to realize how closely He would be paying attention to their needs.  A good shepherd always knew his sheep, where they were, what they needed, and he watched out for their safety.  As our good Shepherd, Jesus knows us because we are His and we know Him. We've looked at this lesson previously and it is always good to be reminded that Jesus knows us, His followers, and calls each of us by name. He knows our name and He knows our needs and He watches over us.  He protects us from evil and the evil one who seeks to destroy our faith.  Let's stay close to Him today and each day.   

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

July 17 – Taking Refuge

“The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him.” Nahum 1:7 (NASB)

These words of promise and comfort are found in a prophecy of warning directed at the people of Judah. Nahum, one of God's prophets spoke and recorded these words about a century after Jonah had preached repentance on the streets of Nineveh.  All though the people of Nineveh repented after hearing the proclamation of God from Jonah, they were back in under God's wrath.  It is a severe prophecy but in it are these words; "the Lord is good."  In Him we find a secure strong place that helps us withstand the trouble we will encounter in our world.  We need this refuge because we do not have a promise of no trouble.  In fact we are promised in scripture that we will encounter trouble and persecution because we proclaim Christ.  We do have this promise that our Almighty God is good and a good place to take refuge.  What's happening in our world and our lives should not cause distress or worry, God knows who we are and where we are.  He cares and will care for us, trust that promise today.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

July 16 – Special, Chosen, Purchased

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”   1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)

Do you consider yourself to be a member of a special people?  If you have believed and received the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you are one of God's chosen race.  Not by human race or ethnic origin.  Not by status or family you are born into.  But by the grace and mercy of God, each of us are part of a very special people of God's making.  It is a people made out of all races, ethnicities, colors, without regard to status or lineage or family tree.  The King James version uses the phrase “But ye are...a peculiar people...”  This may sound peculiar but the word “peculiar” in the KJV does not mean “a strange people.”  It means we are “purchased” and that means we are a people owned by God Himself - we belong to Him.  How do we become a member of this special people?  By faith believing and responding to His call.  We are called out of darkness of the world to live in His light – His marvelous light.  Our promise is that Jesus paid the price and we are redeemed and called by Him to proclaim to the world what the Christ Jesus has done.  

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