January 10

So, are you keeping up on reading 30 chapters this week? I’m finding it easier this week than last. I’m also finding a ton of neat things I’m learning or haven’t noticed for years. It’s really exciting.

The application of what we read in Scripture is often naturally produced as the Holy Spirit works within us and changes our thinking processes. In fact, the most important thing you could do, and the one thing you should do above all else, is read the Bible. It’s more important than any Bible studies, devotions (including this one), or even sermons. The Word of God is His direct revelation to mankind on how to live, how to obey Him, how to think, and even how to have faith.

While you read the Bible in large doses you will encounter God’s grace and when you consider our deep, sinful state as severely fallen human beings, you come away amazed and in awe that God would even forgive you!

  • “Grace, by definition, is something that God is not required to grant. He owes a fallen world no mercy.”—R.C. Sproul

Because of this grace you find that God forgives you and you find true freedom in Christ. But then you encounter that God doesn’t want to merely forgive you, but that He wants you to freely forgive others in the same, sacrificial manner that He did even when we hated Him, even when we abused Him, even when we put His Son on the cross!

  • “This, rather, is our forgiveness: willingly to cast from mind wrath, hatred, desire for revenge, and willingly to banish to oblivion the remembrance of injustice.”—John Calvin

So, to enter the weekend I want us to focus on the Word of God as the source of our internal transformation into being Christians who are gracious and forgiving beyond any comprehension the lost and dying world could ever understand. We cannot be the salt and light of the world if we are not salty or bright. That’s where the Word comes in.

  • “Read and read again, and do not despair of help to understand the will and mind of God though you think they are fast locked up from you. Neither trouble your heads though you have not commentaries and exposition. Pray and read, read and pray; for a little from God is better than a great deal from men.”—John Bunyan
  1. Look back at your Bible reading this week and notate some of the evidences of God’s grace and forgiveness in the passages you read: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    1. Did forgiveness remove personal responsibility from the transgressors? ___________________________________________________
    2. Were there examples of eternal punishment for those who didn’t repent? _____________________________________________
  2. Did your Bible reading demonstrate grace and forgiveness emanating from God’s people towards others? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    1. Would those people have been justified to seek justice? ___________________________________________________
    2. What was notable about their disposition towards those who injured them? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. Lastly, did you find any direct instructions to be gracious or forgiving towards others? If so, what were they? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    1. How do these instructions apply to you personally? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Have a great weekend, and continue being transformed by the renewing of your mind through the reading of God’s Word!