September 16

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“The Lord held out his hand over the sea and shook the kingdoms of the earth” (Isaiah 23:11 NLT).

From: September 16, 2018

EVEN THE WINDS AND THE WAVES OBEY HIM
Isaiah prophesied the destruction of the seaport city of ancient Tyre. He spoke of God’s power over land and sea. In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, we are thankful for God’s protection. We are reminded of what the disciples of Jesus said of Him after He calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee, “Even the winds and the sea obey Him” (Matt. 8:27).
 
Thank you Lord for your protection and care. Now, empower us to help our neighbors throughout Eastern NC who have been hurt by the storm. Amen.

“I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” (Galatians 2:21 NKJV).

From: September 16, 2017

God’s grace, as Paul speaks of it here, is that which saves and sustains the one trusting in Christ’s finish work of salvation. Grace is about God’s mercy, while “works righteousness” is about our merit. But grace is more than mercy, for mercy only withholds the punishment we deserve. Yet, grace gives us the opposite of what we deserve. This is not only saving and sustaining grace, it is scandalous grace. For it gives the one who deserves an “F” on life’s test, an “A+.” How is this just? It is just because Christ died in our place. He took our “F” and offers us His “A+.” He took our death and offers us His life. When we attempt to add law-keeping to salvation, we “set aside” grace. And having nullified grace, we nullify the work of Christ on the cross with it. Grace (Greek: χάρις, charis) is God’s unmerited favor freely bestowed on those who having recognized their own inability to save themselves, put their trust in Christ and His finished work of salvation. Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone saves.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 ESV)

From: September 16, 2016

Christianity is not a self-improvement course. We are not called to come and do, but to come and die. For the new life is not self-improvement, but self-denial. We consider our old self “crucified with Christ” and our new self risen with Him to new life. We die to sin and we also die to self-effort, no longer trying to please God by following some set of religious rules and regulations that we are unable to keep. Dying to self, we live by Christ, “trusting” in Him to live His life in and through us.

“You have given a banner to those who fear You, that it may be displayed because of the truth” (Psalm 60:4 NKJV)

From: September 16, 2015

In this psalm of David, he spoke of a “banner” given to Israel by the Lord, that was to be “displayed.” In the armies of old the one who carried the banner or flag was among the most courageous of the soldiers. He was commissioned to carry and protect the banner, to keep it raised high in the sky and blowing in the breeze, so that all could see it. In Spurgeon’s meditation on this verse, he identifies the gospel as the church’s standard. I agree. We are to hold the gospel, the message of the cross, high over our lives. We have been given this banner by Christ and instructed to display it before the nations. Let us keep it lifted up, not allowing it to fall, or to be trampled in the mud. It may be bullet-ridden from the battle, but it is still the standard of truth given to us by the Lord Himself. Let us wave high the gospel banner over our lives until all the nations have heard.

“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 NLT)

From: September 16, 2014

Christianity is not a self-improvement course. We are not called to come and do, but to come and die. For the new life follows not self-improvement, but self-denial. We consider our old self “crucified with Christ” and our new self risen with Him to new life. We die to sin and we also die to self-effort, no longer trying to please God by following some set of religious rules and regulations that we are unable to keep. Dying to self, we live by Christ, “trusting” in Him to live His life in us.

“You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” (Galatians 3:2-3)

From: September 16, 2012

If we are saved through faith, we must live and walk by faith. Self-effort neither saves nor sanctifies. We must learn to lean, being filled with the Spirit, we lean on Him for power and progress. More prayer, less planning. More leaning, less effort.