Deuteronomy 9:1-6 – God’s Grace

Read Deuteronomy 9:1-6

Grace is that undeserved favor we receive from God. It’s all sufficient, and it’s all a gift. Moses wanted the people to understand that God wasn’t doing all of this for them because they were righteous. We read over and over again the Bible accounts that show the stubbornness and disobedience of God’s chosen people. He didn’t choose them because they were the best students in the class.

It would be easy to become over-confident and think we are better than we are, too. When we have success in our life, it would be all too easy to take the credit. We do need to realize who is in charge, who has made a way for us, who has gifted us with the skills and abilities we use to reach our level of success.

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2 Corinthians 12:1-10 – Grace

Read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

One of my favorite verses comes up in today’s reading. In recent days we’ve talked about boasting and struggles. While most of us don’t want to boast about the things that have caused us harm, sadness, misfortune, or weakness, Paul is giving us the nod to go ahead. It is especially powerful when we can see God working amidst our pain.

Have you ever cried out to God to take away a limitation, a struggle, a sickness, or some other challenge? Paul did, too. And here’s the promise from verse 9, “Each time he [God] said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” God is speaking that into our hearts today as well.

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2 Corinthians 10:7-18 – Boast in the Lord

Read 2 Corinthians 10:7-18

We’ve all seen people who are so full of themselves and their own agendas they are almost repelling. You are probably picturing someone you know right now! Those people haven’t read this passage, or if they have, they don’t see how it should be speaking to them. They are only comparing themselves to each other. That is a limitation to be sure, and it doesn’t make for an attractive character. Do you think?

We can boast all we want, so long as those boasts are about God and how he is working in the world. Better yet, how he is working in our own lives! His authority trumps all else. When we are fortunate enough to be touched by God’s grace, we can’t help but want to share. Yet sometimes we don’t, afraid of what people may say or think. It’s seems to be so much easier to share about a good restaurant meal, a funny movie, a comfortable pair of shoes. Why is that?

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2 Corinthians 6:1-2 – Receive the Grace of God

Read 2 Corinthians 6:1-2

Do you prefer to receive gifts or give gifts? The older I get the more I enjoy giving. But aside from gifts, I love to give my time and experiences that will make a lasting memory. For gifts are often set aside and ignored. I can remember many a Christmas morning when the children would spend hours playing with new toys only to several days later see those same toys left abandoned in the corner.

Paul is warning us to be careful not to ignore God’s gift to us. God’s kindness, to me, is referring to his grace, mercy, and unfailing love for us. We don’t deserve such splendid gifts. We are sinners. We are selfish beings focused on instant gratification and being served. Many will take for granted this beautiful gift. Have we left it abandoned in the corner?

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Proverbs 21:11-21 – The Great Pursuit

Read Proverbs 21:11-21

Did you picture a movie scene with one car in hot pursuit of another? Screeching tires and dust billowing all over?! There is no question, you see a definite intention to catch up with the other vehicle. It’s not just for fun, it’s serious. Or perhaps you thought of some of your own pursuits, a college degree, a career, wealth, fame.

Solomon has some great wisdom for us in verse 21. He says, “Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.” Have you ever thought about pursuing righteousness or unfailing love? In some translations, unfailing love is referred to as loyalty. As I understand it, the word used for “pursue” here is stronger and more intentional than just a whim or something we’d “like” to have. We are to chase or follow, full of energy and definite intention. We are not to just search for but to conquer and overtake. This is serious business. Why righteousness and unfailing love?

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