Lenten Devotion 04.01.2014

April 1 – Tuesday
Fasting Item(s): Computer (except for school) & Video Games.
Today’s Scripture: Acts 17:28 “For in Him we live and move and exist.  As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.’” NLT
Question: Is it obvious to unbelievers, that you are the offspring of God?
Devotion: You’ve heard the saying (idiom), “He’s a chip off the old block.”  Likewise, you’ve heard the saying that, “He’s got a chip on his shoulder.”  Now I know the ladies reading this have assigned in their minds, the male figurehead to which these idioms exist.  For the male readers, the female counterpart could be, “The chickens have come home to roost” or “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”  There are hundreds of these sayings for both sexes, but I want us to think more of what we hear people saying about us and if that’s different than what we’d like to be known for.  To give a proper context of where to begin, I’d like to share Romans 4:13-15.  The text says, “It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.  For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, because the law brings wrath.  And where there is no law there is no transgression.” (NIV)  In the Genesis account, Abraham is promised by God that all the peoples on the earth would be blessed through him and that they would inherit the land God would give them.  Now I would dare take an estimated guess that the readers of today’s devotion are not of Jewish descent and therefore I could rationalize that this promise wasn’t (biologically) for you.  But that’s NOT what God intended the covenant between Him and Abraham would be.  It would rather carry a much deeper meaning of God’s full and gracious love for ALL people, Jews and Gentiles (everyone who is not a Jew) and that through faith in the Messiah (whom Abraham believed), ALL believers would be Abraham’s (spiritual, not exclusively biological [look at how Esau responded to God as well as the Edomite people]) offspring.  The Israelites talk highly of Abraham and Moses because they were heroes of the Jewish culture, but it was God who made them heroes of faith and obedience.  They are also highly esteemed among the Gentiles, those brought into the original covenant between God and Abraham, not because they kept the Law perfectly or with less error, but that they believed in the One who can and did keep God’s standard of perfection perfectly.  Each hero in Scripture was known for their faith in God, in the midst of adversity.  Are you known in those terms or are you known by your “good deeds”?  Would people say that you are godly because you keep a moral law or would they say that you are godly because you believe in Jesus’ keeping of the biblical laws?  May we be the offspring of God and not compromise the understanding of Romans 8:1-8.  “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.  And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.  Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” (NIV)   And may we be a “chip of the Eternal Block”, also known as Christ Jesus.
Prayer focus: Kids and Parents pray for your school leaders, church leaders and co-workers.

Here’s the free Lent Calendar to follow along the path God is calling us to. Take others on the journey with you, but not in a “look at us” sort of way. This is a humble journey to be endured with the help of God.

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