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Daily Devotion

boldstardex

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BELIEVING IN GRACE, BEHAVING GRACIOUSLY
November 21, 2021
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4
Jonathan, you have grace for everyone else in your life. You need to have grace with your family, too.”

I didn’t want to admit it, but my wife spoke the truth. I hadn’t been the most gracious husband or father recently. She wasn’t trying to hurt me, yet what she said was like a precise cut from a surgeon’s scalpel. And although painful to hear, I knew her words could ultimately bring healing.

That is… if I allowed them.

For healing to happen, I’d have to face the fact that there’s often a disconnect between what I believe and how I behave.

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You see, I believe very deeply in the grace of God. Grace, the undeserved favor of God through Jesus Christ, has “made me alive” and fundamentally changed who I am (Ephesians 2:4).

Often referred to as the ‘heart of the gospel,’ Ephesians 2:1-8 beautifully describes the grace that is the foundation of my life. I cherish this passage, and others like it, as precious reminders of the grace-filled air I breathe as a born-again child of God.

So, as someone who believes in grace with every fiber of my being, why do I often struggle to behave graciously?

To ask it another way: as a recipient of such a life-changing grace, shouldn’t I freely give grace to others every chance I get?

Here’s the truth: what I believe should directly impact how I behave. In other words, the ‘dots’ should connect. But obviously, they don’t always…connect.

The doctrine of saving grace is not only meant to be believed but lived out every moment of the day. Grace should influence my every action and attitude, infusing all of life with an “aroma of grace” (2nd Corinthians 2:15-17).

I’m called to embody grace, not in some theoretical world, but in the real world, filled with real-life situations and relationships.

And yes, this includes my family…especially so.

One day, my wife and kids will reflect on my legacy as a husband and father. Do I really want them to think of me as someone who read about grace, wrote about grace, sang about grace, but wasn’t very gracious in everyday life?

Lord Jesus, may it never be!

I’m not sure how this message resonates with you, but I’ll bet you somehow share my struggle to demonstrate grace on a daily basis.

What’s more, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This annual gathering brings together family and friends with various personalities around a common table. Mix in everyone’s moral, political, and religious views, and you have the recipe for a potentially exciting afternoon!

(Heads up! You might have a chance to display grace to someone this Thanksgiving.)

If the opportunity indeed arises…take a deep breath, remember the grace that has saved you, and allow your belief in grace to influence your behavior at the moment. Ask the Lord for the strength to treat the person with kindness, even when they don’t deserve it.

You’ll be glad you did…and your family will, too.


Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, RFTH
 

boldstardex

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November 25
A Thankful Heart
Bible in a Year:

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Colossians 4:2
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Today's Scripture & Insight:
Colossians 4:2–6
Seneca, the great philosopher of ancient Rome (4 bc–ad 65), was once accused by the empress Messalina of adultery. After the Senate sentenced Seneca to death, the emperor Claudius instead exiled him to Corsica, perhaps because he suspected the charge was false. This reprieve may have shaped Seneca’s view of thankfulness when he wrote: “homicides, tyrants, thieves, adulterers, robbers, sacrilegious men, and traitors there always will be, but worse than all these is the crime of ingratitude.”
A contemporary of Seneca’s, the apostle Paul, may have agreed. In Romans 1:21, he wrote that one of the triggers for the downward collapse of humankind was that they refused to give thanks to God. Writing to the church at Colossae, three times Paul challenged his fellow believers in Christ to gratitude. He said we should be “overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:7). As we let God’s peace “rule in [our] hearts,” we’re to respond with thankfulness (3:15). In fact, gratitude ought to characterize our prayers (4:2).
God’s great kindnesses to us remind us of one of life’s great realities. He not only deserves our love and worship, He also deserves our thankful hearts. Everything that’s good in life comes from Him (James 1:17).
With all we’ve been given in Christ, gratitude should be as natural as breathing. May we respond to God’s gracious gifts by expressing our gratitude to Him.
By: Bill Crowder
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Reflect & Pray
What are some of the biggest, most enduring blessings you’ve received in life? What everyday blessings have you experienced that are often easy to forget?
Loving Father, forgive me for the times I’ve taken You and Your blessings for granted. Create in me a thankful heart, so I’ll honor and praise You for all You’ve done and are doing.
 

boldstardex

Moderator

SAYING THANK YOU IS SO IMPORTANT
November 25, 2021
“Was no one found who returned to give glory to God…?” – Luke 17:18
Centuries ago, ten men with the dreaded disease of leprosy saw Jesus. They were a long distance away from Him, because leprosy was the most feared disease of that day. They were outcasts. People didn’t want to touch them, or even get close to them, for fear of getting the disease.

The men cried out to Jesus to have mercy on them.

And He did.

He healed them all.

What a fantastic day that must have been! Those ten guys got so excited that they all began to run and tell everyone what had happened to them.

But one turned around and took time to worship and thank Jesus – only one.

“Weren’t there ten? Where are they?” Jesus asked. Even God desires to be thanked.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to take time to say thank you – to God for His blessings – to friends and loved ones – and to anyone who helped you along the way.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
 
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