Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 12-23-22

Intro:  Grace is a beautiful gift from God—in kindness God stooped down to rescue humanity from evil’s work of sin and death. Therefore, grace is about God’s love and redemption—an act of salvation— and is at the center of the Good News.  Jesus is God’s gracious gift [Gk. kharis] who came into the world to take on flesh and save us from eternal destruction—separated from the glorious presence of God and eternal life (Jo 1:14; Mt 25:26; 2 Thes 1:9).  

Although grace was certainly active in the Old Testament, we tend to connect grace with the first advent of Jesus the Christ.  Most assuredly, God sent his Son to be our gift of Love, eternal Life, and our Savior in living. We are saved by grace, continue to grow in grace, and learn to rely on the grace provided as we follow Christ each day (Eph 2:8; 2 Pt 3:18; 2 Cor 9:8).  Dwight L. Moody once said, “Grace isn’t a little prayer you chat before receiving a meal.  It’s a way to live. The law tells me how crooked I am.  Grace comes along and straitens me out.”  Jesus came to earth to be born into our humanity, so we could be born anew into his divinity.  Grace makes that transformation possible—saved from living life without our Creator, so we can live like Jesus.

If we are going to follow Jesus beyond the demands of our flesh and into godly living, we must have sufficient grace (2 Cor 12:9).  God is working in our lives and provides grace to produce his character in us: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…” (Gal 5:22-23).  Just think; God’s grace has already been provided for us each day and is simply waiting for us to appropriate it; whatever strength I need and whatever challenges I may face God is there to make me victorious.  This is the Good News of Immanuel—God with us.  This is the Christmas Story the world needs to hear.

Titus 2:11-14 NLT

11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.

Prayer:  Lord, it cost you everything to provide grace for me, even though all I have to do is receive it.  You are so loving and good and I certainly do not deserve your grace, but thank you for your perfect and priceless Christmas Gift found in Jesus.  Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul.  Thank you, Lord, for making me whole.  Thank you, Lord, for giving to me, Thy great salvation so rich and free.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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