Welcome To Daily In Christ Devotionals

Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

More Joyous than Wine

Psa 4:7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.

It has been said that Christ in your heart is better than corn in the barn or wine in the vat. Oh how we strive to keep our belly's full and our life filled with drink in order to acquire peace and joy. Eat, drink, and be merry they say. As a culture we focus so much of our attention on being comfortable, happy, and filled with many worldly things that we sometimes forget about our time with God and the joy He brings us.

The psalmist declares that there is more joy that comes from having God in our heart than any material thing such as food and drink. Even when we have an abundance, the joy of the Lord is far more fulfilling.

So where is your joy coming from today? Here is a little test... Let's just say for a moment that a man came up to you and told you that one of your distant relatives died today and left you an inheritance of 10 million dollars. The only thing about it is that you are unable to get the check for two weeks. How would this change your life for the next two weeks? Would you act differently, respond to people in a different way, or even be filled with an abundance of joy? Well of course we would. Having an inheritance like that would bring me joy. It would solve many of my struggles, give me the freedom to do things I had never imagined were possible, and I know, that if managed properly, I would no longer have need in my life for material things. During that two week period of time I would probably think and dream about all the things I could do now that I was empowered with this kind of resource.

Ten million dollars is a great amount of money and with it many amazing things could be accomplished. What would life be like for you if you were told not only were you getting this sizable amount of money, but that you were inheriting the entire earth? Would your perspective change? Would you walk differently, talk differently, and do things without reservation? After all, you are gaining the entire world.

Gal 3:29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.

That's what happens when we give our life to Christ... we gain the entire inheritance promised to the descendants of Abraham. Abraham was promised by God that he would inherit the world. Is not the same promise assured to his heirs? As follower's of Christ we have an inheritance that is far greater than 10 million dollars and it comes from the Almighty God who has resources that stretch from one side of the universe to the other. So, with that kind of inheritance, how should we walk differently, talk differently, and what shall we do without reservation?

Is your joy in God greater than the joy that comes from earthy things. Knowing that we have all the resources God has promised through His word to get us through each day should bring out the fullness of joy described in psalms 4:7.

Lord, help me find my truest joy in you and not the things you have provided for me.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Faith and Works... Which comes first?

Eph 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Faith and works. What a concept. Many people believe that in order to be right with God they need to be good, do good, and act good. Which in part is true. But our salvation, the foundation on which we build must be based on faith alone. For by grace we have been saved by faith alone.

We are saved through the blood of Jesus Christ through faith. If we tried hard to earn our way to heaven we would either fizzle out and quit, resulting in eternal death, or we would get to the top of our spiritual mountain and boast about how much we have accomplished on our own. And of course, should the latter occur, God would probably just flick us off the mountain with his finger and we would die. Either way, without salvation through faith alone we die.

There is a place for works in our Christian faith. Works are a manifestation of the validity of our faith, not a means to our salvation. James states in the book of James 2:21-24

Jas 2:21-24 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"--and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. (esv)

If we try to work our way into salvation God will not honor our works. He wants us to turn to him in faith in Jesus as our atonement rather than our own efforts. Our works are the fruit that comes from having a renewed heart within us.

Faith and works... They are both a vital part of our Christian walk. Faith is the foundation and works is the building we build on that foundation.