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A Thought for the Week--Be Prepared to Receive His Word

Monday, September 18, 2006

"Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord." (1Timothy 1:2NKJ)

Paul is writing to his disciple Timothy. He is about to give him words of revelation from the Holy Spirit of God. God has called Paul to do this (1 Timothy 1:1). Before Paul expounds on the revelation he is to give Timothy, he imparts to Timothy grace, mercy and peace that he has received from God. God knows the needs of His people. He knows that without His grace, His mercy and His peace being given to His people, they would be unable to understand, receive and act upon the words of revelation He would impart to them. Paul therefore extends to the people the grace, mercy, and peace that He has received from God for them, before He brings forth the revelation he has been given for them.

Paul begins every one of His letters in this way. In his earlier letters he begins by extending grace and peace from God to them (Romans 1:7; Galatians 1:3; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2, etc.) Paul includes mercy also in his last letters. Our devotions this week will center on the grace, mercy and peace that Paul has been given and is imparting to the recipients of his letters. As I share these thoughts God has given me for you, I believe God has also given me grace, mercy and peace for you, so that you might understand, receive and act upon what God is speaking to you through what He has given to me. Therefore I begin these thoughts for this week by saying to you, "Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

God begins by extending grace to us. We need the grace of God. We need to know the grace that has already been given to us, and we need to know the grace God is still giving to us and is also imparting into us through Jesus Christ. God has extended grace to us by bringing us into His plan of complete salvation and restoration for His people, for the world, for the heavens and the earth. We know the grace of God that saves us, the sacrificial suffering and death of Jesus Christ for our sins. By grace we are saved. Having received the saving grace of Jesus we are then able to enter into the sanctifying grace of Jesus.

Jesus not only died for me, He also died with me. My old ways are dead in Christ. Romans 6:11 tells us to reckon ourselves dead to sin. I have a new life--His sinless life--now living in me. I can put off the old ways and put on His new and sinless ways (Ephesians 4:22-24). Paul says he is laboring under the grace of God: "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (1 Corinthians 15:10 NKJ). "Let us have grace that we might serve God with reverence and a godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28). Receive the grace of God from God.

Father, we need Your grace. Help us to receive it, live in it, and extend it to others so they can hear and obey Your words. Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week--Be Prepared to Receive His Word

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord." (1Timothy1:2NKJ)

Paul is writing to his disciple Timothy. He is about to give him words of revelation from the Holy Spirit of God. God has called Paul to do this (1 Timothy 1:1). Before Paul expounds on the revelation he is to give Timothy, he imparts to Timothy grace, mercy and peace that he has received from God. God knows the needs of His people. He knows that without His grace, His mercy and His peace being given to His people, they would be unable to understand, receive and act upon the words of revelation He would impart to them. Paul therefore extends to the people the grace, mercy, and peace that He has received from God for them, before He brings forth the revelation he has been given for them

Our God is a God of grace and mercy. As we saw yesterday, Godís grace for us is His acting on our behalf. He sent His Son to die for us so that our sins could be forgiven. That is the primary act of Godís grace for us. Through His grace we can be saved from Godís righteous anger and judgment that requires sinners to be separated from Him. God also extends His grace into us, enabling us to live for Him and to serve Him. Godís grace in us is His empowerment for us to know, to will, and to do His desires. His grace in me is His very life living in me. Christ in me enables me to be and do all God wants me to be and do.

God gives us grace because He is a God of mercy. God lets Himself be affected by my needs and by my woefulness. He sympathizes with our needs. He not only cares about us in our weakened and sinful condition, He wants to help us. He wants to remove from us the things that have caused us to be in the weakened, woeful and sinful state we are in. His mercy causes Him to have an active desire to remove those miseries from us. In His mercy, God wants to give us grace. The mercy of God causes Him to act on our behalf so that we do not have to experience His wrath against evil, and enables us to be changed into the image of Christ. We can then say with David, "Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever" (Psalm 136:1 NKJ). You might want to read, meditate on, and declare aloud all of this Psalm; it will give you a great understanding and respect for the mercy of God.

God has a condition for continuously abiding in His mercy. Jesus said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (Matthew 5:7 NKJ). Godís mercy, like all of His attributes, must be received by us and then extended to others in order for us to keep it. This is another reason Paul is extending the mercy of God to those reading his letter; he is giving them the mercy he has received so he too can abide in the mercy of God.

Father, we rejoice in Your mercy. Help us to receive it and to extend it to others so we all can know it and live in it. Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week--Be Prepared to Receive His Word

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord." (1Timothy1:2NKJ)

Paul is writing to his disciple Timothy. He is about to give him words of revelation from the Holy Spirit of God. Before Paul expounds on the revelation he is to give Timothy, he imparts to Timothy grace, mercy and peace that he has received from God. God wants us to know His grace, mercy and peace--then we might know and understand His purposes and His ways.

Our God is a God of grace and mercy and peace. He extends grace to us. He acts for us, by providing a way of salvation. He acts in us, so we can know Him, become united with Him, love what He loves and hate what He hates. He does these things because He is a God of mercy. He is affected by our weakness and helpless state. He knows our bondage to sin, and He is moved by our desperate need for Divine intervention so we can be one with Him. He created us to live with Him and to bring His ways into all of our being and into the earth. He has redeemed us because of His mercy.

Our God is also a God of peace. He has peace with Himself. He is totally at peace with Himself, knowing that His ways are best, and that they will be accomplished. The Father is at peace with the Son and the Son is at peace with the Father, since they are of the same nature and desire the same things. The Father and the Son are at peace with the Holy Spirit, as he dwells within each of them and He lives to energize the desires of the Father through the words of the Son. God is one within Himself. He is at peace.

God wants to bring about peace on earth. Most of the people of the earth are seeking peace. The motto and mission of the United Nations is: "they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." This is a quote from the Bible, Micah 4:3. However before this verse, the Bible says, "Many nations shall come and say, ĎCome, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.í For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off." Then we will have peace. That is why Jesus said we will have peace only when we let His kingdom rule first in us, then in the heavens and then on the earth. God will bring peace, lasting peace. He will establish His kingdom in us, then around us, then by us through Christ living in us and then manifesting His ways through us.

Father, we rejoice that You are a God of peace. Let Your kingdom come in us, around us, over us, and through us through Your Son living in us and living through us. Amen.

2 Many nations shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; he will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

3 He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Micah 4:2-3 (NKJ)

 

A Thought for the Week--Be Prepared to Receive His Word

Thursday, September 21, 2006

"Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord." (1Timothy1:2NKJ)

Paul is writing to his disciple Timothy. He is about to give him words of revelation from the Holy Spirit of God. Before Paul expounds on the revelation he is to give Timothy, he imparts to Timothy grace, mercy and peace that he has received from God. God wants us to know His grace, mercy and peace--then we might know and understand His purposes and His ways.  

Paul is addressing God as "our Father." He is telling Timothy that he has received grace, mercy and peace from God, who is "our Father." Paul knows that God is his Father. He knows that God is also Timothyís Father. Paul has addressed this letter to "Timothy, a true son in the faith." He reminded Timothy that he was a son of God.  

Paul had also considered Timothy a son of his (1 Corinthians 4:17). Paul was a spiritual father to Timothy, discipling him in the ways of God and bringing him into his calling. Paul trained and taught Timothy. He entrusted Timothy with caring for some of his churches (1 Thessalonians 3: 1-2). Paul knew that God was Fathering him so that he could father others. Paul knew that God had called His Son Jesus to father others (One of the names of Jesus, given in Isaiah 9:6, is "Everlasting Father." Paul was a spiritual father to Timothy so that Timothy could be a spiritual father to those God entrusted to him. He was to teach his spiritual children so they could father others. Paul said, "Öthe things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Timothy 2:2 NKJ).  

The key to being a good spiritual father is to be fathered. The best way to be a spiritual father is to train our children in the principles of God, so they might know Him as their Father. The best way to know God as our Father is to listen to Jesus, who has known the Father eternally as His Father and wants to have us know the love His Father has for Him. Jesus prayed to His Father for us. He said, "I have declared to them Your name, [Father] and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." (John 17:21 NKJ) 

Jesus knew the love of God as His Father. He wants His disciples to know this also. That is why He taught them to pray, "Our Father." Paul also knew this, and he confessed to Timothy, his spiritual son, that God is "Our Father." Paul had spent time with God, his Father, so that he could receive grace, mercy and peace for his spiritual son Timothy. Let us spend time learning to know God as our Father so we have much to give to our children.

Father, we rejoice that You are our Father. Help us to know You more as our Father, through Your Son living in us. Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week--Be Prepared to Receive His Word

Friday, September 22, 2006

"Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord." (1Timothy1:2NKJ)

Paul, writing to his disciple Timothy, is about to give him words of revelation from the Holy Spirit of God. Before Paul expounds on the revelation he is to give Timothy, he imparts to him grace, mercy and peace that he has received from God. God wants us to know His grace, mercy and peace--then we might know and understand His purposes and His ways.  

Paul is testifying to Timothy that He has received grace, mercy and peace for him from "our Father and from Jesus Christ our Lord. Yesterday we wrote about God being "our Father"; today we will share about "Jesus Christ [being] our Lord."

Jesus Christ is Lord; this is the message of the Christian gospel. On the day of Pentecost, Peter told the Jewish people, "God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36 NKJ). Jesus is Lord--He reigns on high over heaven and earth. He is Christ--He has been anointed by God with a heavenly mission to perform. He is Lord and Christ.

God has made Him Lord, because He loved righteousness and hated evil (Hebrews 1:8-9). He had a heart in full unity with the heart of God. God has made Him Lord over all the principalities and powers that had previously reigned, because they incited the people who crucified Him, and they tried to hold Him in hell. But God knew of His eternal plan and purposes for Jesus, and therefore justly raised Him from the dead and made Him Lord over all (Acts 2:30-32; 1 Corinthians 2:7-8; Colossians 2:15; Ephesians 1:20-22).

Jesus is Lord. He is also Christ. The word "Christ" means "anointed one." Jesus was anointed by God when He walked on the earth. He had a mission to fulfill. He fulfilled His earthly mission. He declared while on the cross, "it is finished" (John 19:30). However, once again He is Christ; He has been given a new anointing for a mission. Now He has been filled with all the glory of God, so He can impart the glory of God into us. In John 17 Jesus prayed for and received this greater measure of glory. He saw Himself functioning in His heavenly ministry as our heavenly High Priest, during His prayer in John 17 (John 17:4, 20-22, 24). God heard that prayer and answered it on Pentecost when Jesus sent the Spirit of God to the disciples. Now Jesus is functioning as our Heavenly High Priest, as the Mediator of the New Covenant, as the one through whom we can be made partakers of the Divine Nature, and become holy as He is Holy (1 Peter 1:15,16). This is "our Lord Jesus Christ," Paul says. He has grace, mercy, and peace for us.

Father, we thank You that You have rightly raised Jesus from the dead and made Him Lord and Christ. Help us to know, receive, live in, and manifest this truth ourselves and to all the nations. Amen.

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Serving God as He Unites Heaven and Earth in Christ

     
Rich and Kay Fick, Directors, Cyrus Ministries International

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