Wednesday, December 09, 2015

December 9, 2015: God’s Amazing Grace

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 342  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a poignant video of Phillips, Craig, and Dean singing … Your Grace Still Amazing, proclaiming the amazing grace of God and the mystery of His love … that He would become a man and die on a cross for the sins of all of wretched mankind.

Highlight Passage:   Ephesians 1: 7 [NKJV] …  
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace … 
… Truly amazing grace … that He would save a wretch like me …
Highlight Context – Ephesians 1:1-10 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK  …  
… Think about the gift of God’s grace given to us FREELY through Jesus’ sacrifice.

Reference Passage #1 - Ecclesiastes 7:20 [NKJV] …  
20 For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin. [see also Romans 3:23 and 6:23] 
… Wonderful grace offered to us ALL, … none of us deserving anything else by death.

Reference Passage #2 - Romans 7:24-25 [NKJV] …  
24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! 
… The Apostle Paul recognized - with thankfulness - the amazing grace which has saved him.

Reference Passage #3 - Philippians 2:5-11 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK  …  
… Paul’s exposition of God’s willingness to humiliate Himself to become man, die on a cross, to extend His amazing grace to all who would receive it in faith … truly, truly God’s amazing grace!!

My Journal for Today:  Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Jennifer Benson Schuldt, took me back to our trip to Greece and Turkey several years ago where we had the opportunity to visit Ephesus, restored by archeologists, where the Apostle Paul had the opportunity to help birth a church of believers in that thriving sea port in Asia Minor in his day.

 As the ODB entry today explains, Ephesus was a bustling, cosmopolitan city in the first century, dominated by a hyper-selfish culture which featured a temple to Diana, the Greek god of sensuality, where men worshipped Diana with both male/female prostitutes. And also gory combats took place between men and animals in the largest theater in the world at the time (see attached photo of the theatre which we’ve visited). And Paul helped introduce Christ and His amazing grace to those pagan peoples; and later we know that Timothy, with Paul’s help, became the Pastor of the church in Ephesus.

 Really what was going on in Ephesus back then was not that much different from the hyper-sexualized, hyper-selfish world we see around us now in our world, does it? So, … in this Advent season, it’s good to remember, and be thankful, for God’s grace, extended to all of mankind in the gift of God’s Son, … Who was willing to set aside His heavenly glory, … be humbly born in a manger, … to walk the earth ministering to sinners, like me, … and then, … to die on a cross, shedding His perfect blood to save a wretch like me (or you).

 And if you take in the song linked above as well as meditate on today’s Scriptures, I think you’ll echo - with me - just how amazing God’s graceful gift was/is during this Advent season.

My Prayer Today:  Oh, dear Lord, … Your grace always amazes me!! … Amen  

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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