Sunday

Are You Weary Of "Cheap Grace" and Ready to Mature in Christ ? 2 Peter 1:3-15

Are you weary of the “cheap grace” so prevalent in modern Christianity? Do you want to grow in the Lord? Do you want to run your race instead of sitting on the couch (1 Corinthians 9:24)? 

growing in Christ
Second Peter 1:3-15 explains that God doesn’t give us maturity, but He gives us all we need to achieve it.

Knowing what Christ has done for us (Romans 12:1-2), and knowing our spiritual growth will transfer into eternity (1 Timothy 4:8), we’re motivated to get serious about our growth (Philippians 2:12-13).

So what can we glean from 2 Peter 1:3-15?

The source of maturity: God’s divine power 
The recipients: Believers (faith in Christ is the prerequisite) 
The promise: Everything we need for life and godliness 
The way to access the promise: Knowledge of Jesus 

Our maturity increases as our knowledge of Jesus increases (verse3,8). 

How can you increase your knowledge of Jesus this year? Take time to plan for it.

For a definition of “cheap grace” click HERE 
Check out the links in the devotion - they are linked to Scripture or devotions. And if you'd like to do a short Bible study on this devotion check out today's Bite Size Bible Study.

Friday

6 Practical Ideas For Energizing Your Faith Walk

Keeping your faith vibrant
I asked readers for Practical Ideas to Keep Our Walk With the Lord Energized and here are some of their great ideas:
In parenthesis I've shared devotions with similar content.

1. When I can’t sleep, instead of praying to fall asleep (which never works for me), I start praying for others until I fall asleep. ~ Emily (Singing in the Shadow)
2. I’ve taught myself to “pray throughout the day whenever God prompts. It takes time to build this habit, but it’s now part of my daily life. ~ Linda ("Have You Folded Any Socks Lately?")
3. Before my feet touch the ground each morning, I praise Jesus.
4. I “write Scripture creatively.”  (Bible Journaling & Learning Styles)
5. I’ve stopped listening to any music that doesn’t glorify God. ~ Marcia (Music Appreciation & Shout)
6. When I walk my dogs I pray for the people in each house I pass. ~ Tracy (Praying for Those in Your Path)

I summarized the ideas for the sake of space and I've put names on the ideas when the reader shared their name. I hope you enjoy these. I have more reader ideas coming in future devotions! If you haven't shared an idea but would like to, please let me know.

Thursday

Asking God for an Eternal Perspective - 2 Corinthians 4:17

Living for Heaven, We will have troubles on earth
Lately I’ve been worrying about things over which I have no control. My anxiety is a sign that I haven’t been faithfully “putting off and putting on.”

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life...

to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires...

to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24

Jesus understands earthly troubles and tells us to put them into eternal perspective: "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Paul, echoes this sentiment in 2 Corinthians 4:16-17: "we do not lose heart ... For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."

It's my prayer to have an eternal perspective. How about you?

Wednesday

Spiritual Atrophy - We Never Stand Still in Our Christian Growth - We Move Forward or Backward

Without God's Word, we go backward spiritually, Jesus, Bible, Christiain growth
Years ago, I became disappointed by continuing difficulties and doubted my prayers were making much difference. So I cut back on prayer and Bible study.

Nothing happened immediately, but gradually my faith muscles grew weaker. I struggled more, I questioned more, I was more confused and frustrated. I couldn’t push Satan’s condemning remarks from my ears as easily, and my grasp on Truth grew weaker. 

One afternoon I was overwhelmed with oppression like nothing I’d ever experienced before—total despair without any basis in fact. It frightened me and I reestablished my quiet-time disciplines. 

“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is” Romans 12:2 (NIV)

At first my spiritual muscles were weak and wobbly, but gradually they recovered. And I learned an important lesson: We never stand still—we either move forward or backward!

copyright Gail Burton Purath, 2012 


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Monday

Nature is One of God's Love Letters - A Way He Speaks To Us - Romans 1:20

Nature, God's Beauty in Creation, God's Message, Psalm 19:1-2
Nature is one of God’s Love Letters, one way God proves His existence.

“The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.” Psalm 19:1-2 (NLT) 

The sky is not the limit - the sky is the message!

The beauty of nature is one way God reaches out to us.

“…since the creation of the world God’s…eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…” Romans 1:20 (NIV)

In nature we discover a Creator who loves beauty, purpose, and complexity. Nature is an undeniable obstacle for the beliefs of atheism and random evolution. God never ceases to amaze us with or without words! 

Take time today to enjoy the message of God in nature!
copyright Gail Burton Purath, 2012

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