Sorry, but I accidentally did the same devotional two days in a row. Here is the one intended for yesterday, plus today’s.
July 25, 2013
Scripture: Galatians 4:27-28
For it is written, “Rejoice, you childless one, you who bear no children, burst into song and shout, you who endure no birth pangs; for the children of the desolate woman are more numerous than the children of the one who is married.” Now you, my friends, are children of the promise, like Isaac.
Thought for the Day: It is said that a person is known by the promises s/he keeps, not by the promises made. We know God by the promises kept, and so it is easier to trust in new promises made. As those who continue to live in the tension between the old and new world, we find ourselves having to trust in promises not yet fully fulfilled. Like any relationship, it is easier to trust one who has fulfilled promises in the past.
Prayer: Lord, may I remember promises fulfilled as I live in the tension of new promises not yet fully realized. Amen.
July 26, 2013
Scripture: Galatians 5:1-5
For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law. You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.
Thought for the Day: The way Paul speaks of how “Christ will be of no benefit” to those who attempt to live by the law is harsh. Maybe it was a tactic by which Paul was hoping his sharp tone was shock his readers into an understanding of grace. Whatever Paul’s intention, I can’t believe he was suggesting utter hopelessness for those who try to work their way into heaven. What I do believe is that our attitudes can act like an umbrella that shields us from the grace God is always pouring over us. Grace remains grace – love that is freely given. But until a person accepts grace, its gifts of joy, freedom and empowerment will remain elusive.
Prayer: I may speak of your amazing grace, Lord God, but I know it more fully this day. Assist me as I shed all things that keep me from knowing this marvelous gift offered so freely. Amen.