Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 07-25-23

Intro: The Hebrew word for ‘grace’ is khen [pronounced w/throaty ‘k’hen] and is associated with undeserved favor, relief from distress, mercy, and honor. The word khen is exclusively used when someone with a higher status looks kindly and compassionately on the helpless [those with a lower status]. Because of Christ, we find grace in the eyes of Father God. The work of grace is to bring restoration—dignity, wholeness, and peace—to broken and hostile souls. Grace is God’s beauty, glory, and delight extending to His creation. God is gracious to those who cannot save themselves, so he gives the Gift of khen.

In the Talmud (Jewish teaching/theology), khen is associated with words like: recognition, repentance, tabernacling, and resting. The Gift of khen connects us to salvation, sanctification, and the blessing of God. We are saved by grace through faith when we believe in Christ (Ephesians 2:8). Therefore, saving grace connects and offers God’s favor to the underserving [repentant humanity] through belief in Christ as our Redeemer—the One who paid the penalty for our sin and marks us as forgiven and belonging to God. Sanctifying grace connects us in God’s favor so believers can humbly grow in the holiness of God’s character; in this way we align ourselves with the will of God. The blessings of khen is the favor we enjoy as we tabernacle with God and rest in Oneness to live for his purpose.

In our passage today, it is evident that God has been working khen in the hearts of Issac’s sons by blessing them both. At one time, Esau had threatened to kill his brother Jacob for deceiving their father and stealing his birthright blessing. But now Esau is able to see his brother through the eyes of saving khen and forgive him. God has worked in Jacob’s heart, as well, because he is humble [takes the posture of a servant bowing before royalty] and is able to see his brother through the eyes of sanctifying khen. Only God can make this kind of change in human attitudes and actions. God sees you through the eyes of grace and he is making a masterpiece of you because he loves and delights in you, too! (Ephesians 2:10).

Genesis 33:1-11 NLT Then Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming with his 400 men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and his two servant wives. 2 He put the servant wives and their children at the front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. 3 Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. 4 Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.

5 Then Esau looked at the women and children and asked, “Who are these people with you?”
“These are the children God has graciously given to me, your servant,” Jacob replied. 6 Then the servant wives came forward with their children and bowed before him. 7 Next came Leah with her children, and they bowed before him. Finally, Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed before him.

8 “And what were all the flocks and herds I met as I came?” Esau asked.
Jacob replied, “They are a gift, my lord, to ensure your friendship.”

9 “My brother, I have plenty,” Esau answered. “Keep what you have for yourself.”
10 But Jacob insisted, “No, if I have found favor [khen] with you, please accept this gift from me. And what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God! 11 Please take this gift I have brought you, for God has been very gracious to me. I have more than enough.” And because Jacob insisted, Esau finally accepted the gift.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for extending to believers your saving and sanctifying grace; for blessing our lives with your amazing presence, transforming love, and holy character. We do not always see the work of your grace while it is happening within us, but thank you that all things hidden are eventually manifest outwardly. You are our blessed Hope. May we continue to learn and follow your ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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