January 13 – The Danger of Concealing


“Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.” Psalm 66:1-3 (ESV)

Psalm 66 in its entirety is the story God’s dealings with His people, especially how He dealt with Israel in helping them escape slavery in Egypt and find how God wanted them to worship Him. We can know how great God’s power is from this passage. So great that His enemies cringe before Him. What He does is awesome and God is deserving of our praise, worship and to receive glory through what He does. In this Psalm, there is also a warning given as a promise of what God will NOT do if we cling to our sinful ways. “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear;” Psalm 66:18 (NASB) We cannot pray through a screen of wicked behavior and habitual sin. SOMETIMES people quote promises, and say that God is bound to fulfill those promises to them, when all the time there is some sin in their lives they are not willing to give up. It is well for us to search our hearts, and find out why it is that our prayers are not answered. Psalm, 19-20, confirms that if we are confessing our sin, God hears and will not turn away from our prayers.

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November 11 – Beneficial Sufficiency

“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NASB)

Context is important all the time an especially for our verst today. It comes in the midst of Paul’s defense of his apostleship to the believers in Corinth. Such is our promise today. This is God’s universal purpose for all the suffering Christians have in life. Suffering develops our trust and contentment in God as we learn to have less dependence on ourselves and the ways of this world. Paul stresses for us, that in our sufferings we find the glory of Christ’s all-sufficient grace magnified. God repeats for us each time, what He said to Paul in answer to the request to remove the thorn of suffering he was experiencing, “My grace is sufficient for you.”  It is sufficient and beneficial because the power of Christ is given to us to overcome suffering. And that power is made perfect when we need it most – when our weaknesses are most exposed. So suffering is intended by God not only as a way to wean us off of self and onto grace, but also as a way to spotlight that grace and make it shine. That is exactly what faith does: it magnifies Christ’s grace in the future.

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