Evening, December 2
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Bible League: Living His Word
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.

In Ephesians 2:1-3 the Apostle Paul describes humanity's sorry spiritual state outside of Christ. He says that we were dead in our transgressions and sins, we used to follow the ways of the world and Satan, "the ruler of the kingdom of the air," and we used to gratify "the cravings of our flesh." Given this sorry state, he says that "we were by nature deserving of wrath."

Happily, however, things changed for some of us. Some of us have accepted the gospel concerning Jesus Christ and have been saved. Some of us have been rescued from humanity's wretched state.

Why? What happened?

What happened was that God did something. God did something about our sorry spiritual state. Instead of leaving us to the wrath we deserved, He saved us. Why? It was because He loved us: "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions" (Ephesians 2:4-5). When the gospel of Jesus Christ was presented to us God gave us the favor and grace necessary to believe by faith that the gospel is true. We were made alive with Christ by grace through faith.

It was, therefore, not from us. It was from God. Although it is certainly true that we are the ones that actually have the faith, although it is certainly true that God credits our faith to us as righteousness (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:22), it was God's grace and favor in the first place that enabled us to have the faith necessary for salvation. It is true that in order to be saved we must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31), but God's grace enables us to believe in Him.

Our faith is not, then, the product of our own effort and work. It is the product of God's grace. We can't boast about our faith as though we achieved it on our own. As Paul says elsewhere, "Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded" (Romans 3:27).

On the day that is coming we won't stand before God boasting about ourselves, but crying out "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb" (Revelation 7:10).

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
Ezekiel 47, 48


Ezekiel 47 -- Holy Water from the Temple; Boundaries Set

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Ezekiel 48 -- Division of the Land: Priests, Prince, Tribes, Gates

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


New Testament Reading
1 John 1


1 John 1 -- The Word of Life; God Is Light

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
Insight
How can you draw near to God? The Bible makes it clear that your own body is God's temple. Your spirit needs and wants closeness to God. You want to know the living God personally, not as an idea or concept, not as a distant monarch. You can draw near to God through prayer, worship, and Bible meditation. You need not live like a monk, but you probably need more prayer in your life. The habit of worship has become a convenience to be wedged between sports, and other recreations.
Challenge
Instead, make worship your top priority. Bible meditation may include verse memory, songs, and quiet personal reading. The Bible is the Word of God for you. Use it every day and you will draw nearer to God.
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
Ecclesiastes 1:14  Behold, all is vanity.

Nothing can satisfy the entire man but the Lord's love and the Lord's own self. Saints have tried to anchor in other roadsteads, but they have been driven out of such fatal refuges. Solomon, the wisest of men, was permitted to make experiments for us all, and to do for us what we must not dare to do for ourselves. Here is his testimony in his own words: "So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor: and this was my portion of all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun." "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." What! the whole of it vanity? O favored monarch, is there nothing in all thy wealth? Nothing in that wide dominion reaching from the river even to the sea? Nothing in Palmyra's glorious palaces? Nothing in the house of the forest of Lebanon? In all thy music and dancing, and wine and luxury, is there nothing? "Nothing," he says, "but weariness of spirit." This was his verdict when he had trodden the whole round of pleasure. To embrace our Lord Jesus, to dwell in his love, and be fully assured of union with him--this is all in all. Dear reader, you need not try other forms of life in order to see whether they are better than the Christian's: if you roam the world around, you will see no sights like a sight of the Saviour's face; if you could have all the comforts of life, if you lost your Saviour, you would be wretched; but if you win Christ, then should you rot in a dungeon, you would find it a paradise; should you live in obscurity, or die with famine, you will yet be satisfied with favor and full of the goodness of the Lord.

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Hebrews 10:22  let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 9:13,14  For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, • how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Hebrews 12:24  and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

Ephesians 1:7  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

Hebrews 9:19,21,22  For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, • And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. • And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit //www.lockman.org.

Morning December 2
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