Sunday, January 06, 2013

January 6 - The Grace in Which We Stand

Today's Reading:
1 Samuel 2:22-4:22
Romans 4:13-5:5
Psalm 75:1-10
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Focus Verses:  
Romans 5:1-5
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.


By grace, Jesus' death and resurrection make it possible for us to have peace with God. We take hold of this possibility through faith in Christ Jesus. The hope we have, though faith in Christ, gives us joy and hope. More than just a hope for some distant future, this is a hope for today. Faith in Jesus makes it possible for me to rejoice even in times of suffering. Suffering can produce perseverance, character, and hope. God's love, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, fills our hearts.

Response and Action:
How can I press through suffering and hardship? I can look to Christ Jesus in faith, and rejoice because of what he has done. He can give strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. If II press on in faith, trouble and hardship will only serve to make me a deeper, stronger, and more committed follower of Christ. I must learn to persevere and grow in Christ-like character.

O God, by the power and grace of your Holy Spirit, help me to persevere through the hardships of life. Grant me the strength and hope to press on through difficulties and burdens. Use them to refine me and bring me to maturity in Christ. I ask this in the name of Jesus, the One and Only, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and evermore. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: James 1:2-4
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Perseverance: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
by Eugene Peterson

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