“Are you growing in Christ?” December 5

 

Are you growing in Christ? - Are you growing in Christ? While we don’t earn God’s love through good works or stay in His graces because of them, a life that has truly been changed will produce different fruit. In fact, Jesus said, you will know a tree by its fruit (<a class="bible-gateway" href="http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=%26quot%3BLk.&version=NIV" onclick="biblegwlinkpop(this.href,'"Lk.',800,950);return false;" target="_blank">"Lk.</a>). The amount and quality of our fruit is often a good indication of our spiritual maturity. Today's New Testament reading talks about some of that fruit. Are you growing in Christ? While we don’t earn God’s love through good works or stay in His graces because of them, a life that has truly been changed will produce different fruit. In fact, Jesus said, you will know a tree by its fruit (Lk. 6.44). The amount and quality of our fruit is often a good indication of our spiritual maturity. Today’s New Testament reading talks about some of that fruit.

 

Today’s Readings:
Hosea 1 & 2
Psalm 138.4-6
Proverbs 29.17
1 John 3

 

We have finished the “Major Prophets”—Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel. Now we are beginning the “Minor Prophets”—Hosea through Malachi. In the New Testament, once we finish 1 John we have only three epistles (letters): 2 John, 3 John and Jude, before we begin the book of Revelation.

On to the Word …

 

Are you growing in Christ?

 

1 John 3:

We Shall Be Like Him

 

1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure (vss. 1-3).

Think about that, “we shall be like Him.”

Jude said it this way:

“Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault” (Jude 24).

God who saved us and declared us righteous is working in us in the present. He is using the “all things” of Romans 8.28-29, to help us become progressively more and more like His Son. But one day, when we stand before Him, He’ll finish the work He started in us (Phil. 1.6) and cause us to stand before Him without a single fault!

Keep GrowingIn the meantime, we need to read and study and memorize and meditate on God’s Word (Ps. 119.11; 2 Tim. 2.15) and with His help seek to become more and more like Him by obeying His commands. Jesus said the greatest of those commands is to love God and love others (Matt. 22.37-40).

Verses 16-18 of today’s reading:

16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Let’s ask ourselves: How am I doing in that process of spiritual growth? Am I loving others sacrificially? Am I “laying down my life”—willingly giving up what my sinful heart desires in order to do what is best for others? Am I loving, not only “in word or tongue, but in deed and in truth”? Am I becoming more like Christ?

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Hosea 1 & 2:

Adulterers and Adulteresses

 

In this rich little book the prophet is commanded to marry a prostitute so he would be a living example of God’s love for His people in spite of their spiritual adultery.  Continue reading

December 5 “How’s your progress?”

progress While we don’t earn God’s love through good works or stay in His graces because of them, a life that has truly been changed will produce different fruit. And He has given us the goal; our goal is to become like Christ. So how is your progress?

Today’s Readings:
Hosea 1 & 2
Psalm 138.4-6
Proverbs 29.17
1 John 3

Well, we have finished the “Major Prophets”—Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel. Now we are beginning the “Minor Prophets”—Hosea through Malachi. In the New Testament, once we finish 1 John we have only three epistles (letters): 2 John, 3 John and Jude before we begin the book of Revelation.

On to the Word …

 

Hosea 1 & 2:

Adulterers and adulteresses

In this rich little book the prophet is commanded to marry a prostitute so he would be a living example of God’s love for His people in spite of their spiritual adultery.

That didn’t mean they wouldn’t suffer consequences for their idolatry. Just as Hosea’s wife, Gomer, would sell herself into slavery to sin, God would allow His people to be taken into captivity. But just as Hosea would buy Gomer back, God would buy them back from slavery. He would redeem them and send them back to their homeland after the Babylonian captivity (but that captivity would last 70 years), and some day He will completely redeem his people Israel.

We, too, were adulterers and adulteresses (Jas. 4.4) yet He bought us back from our slavery to sin, and made us His bride. The price was the precious blood of His Son. He has redeemed us, both believing Jews and Gentiles. And some day, Jews and Gentiles alike, we will be with our Bridegroom at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Continue reading

August 23 “Danger in not judging sin”

dangerWhile we cannot know another person’s heart, it’s a misunderstanding of the Bible to think we are never to judge someone else’s behavior. In fact, there is great danger in not judging sin, especially to the person caught up in it.

Today’s Readings:
Job 37 & 38
Psalm 100.1-5
Proverbs 23.26-28
1 Corinthians 5.1-13

Job 37 & 38:

Things to consider when going through a test or trial

In chapter 38, God turns the tables on Job and begins to question him! Remember God has already vindicated Job in the court of heaven and He will vindicate him again as He speaks to Job and his friends, but as John MacArthur says in his Daily Bible notes, “… He first brought Job to a right understanding of Himself.” Continue reading