From Handbook to Scripture, Day 266
READING: ROMANS 4
Paul uses the experience of David and the life of Abraham to illustrate the principle of justification by faith apart from works. It was through the righteousness of faith that Abraham was justified, and this took place prior to his circumcision in order that he would be the father of all who believe, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. Abraham believed God’s promise concerning his descendants (“Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness”; Genesis 15:6), though this faith in the promise of God was contrary to human appearances. Thus, Abraham became the exemplar for all “who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.”
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for Abraham’s faith in You and in Your promise to him, even though it appeared impossible to fulfill. I am grateful that when I put my trust in Jesus, this faith was credited to me as righteousness.
Meditation passage: verses 3–5, 17, 24–25
From Simple Prayers, Day 266
I DRAW NEAR TO YOU, GOD
O Lord, I am deeply grateful for Your wonderful acts, for Your abundant promises, and for the gift of my relationship with You through the merits of Christ.
It is God the Lord
Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it,
Who gives breath to its people,
And spirit to those who walk on it. (Isaiah 42:5)
You, O Lord, are a shield around me;
You bestow glory on me and lift up my head. (Psalm 3:3)
Take a moment to express your gratitude for the many blessings that you have received from the Lord.
THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE
Once God has spoken; twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God, and that You, O Lord, are loving. For You reward each person according to what he has done. (Psalm 62:11–12)
Jesus performed the first of His miraculous signs in Cana of Galilee and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him. (John 2:11)
I LISTEN TO YOUR WORDS OF TRUTH
I will not think of myself more highly than I ought to think, but I will think soberly, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given me. (Romans 12:3)
MY RESPONSE TO YOU, LORD
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; wisdom hates pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth. (Proverbs 8:13)
He who oppresses the poor reproaches their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors Him. (Proverbs 14:31)
Lord, I thank You for Your power and love and for the glorious ministry of Jesus Christ. I pray that I would have a proper view of myself, and I ask that I would not capitulate to pride, but show kindness to the needy.
Adapted from: Handbook to Spiritual Growth
PERSPECTIVE ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE
Without a growing sense of desperation, we will not maintain our focus on God. The Lord lovingly uses trials and adversities in a variety of creative ways in our lives, and part of the purpose of our suffering is to drive us to dependence on Him alone. As God’s children, our pain causes us to ask, to seek, and to knock (Matthew 7:7–8), and in His time, God responds by revealing more of Himself to us. This personal knowledge increases our faith and our capacity to trust His character and His promises.
As we renew our minds with a growing biblical perspective on the experiences and circumstances of life, we come to see that this life is a time of sowing the seeds of eternity rather than multiplying ephemeral treasures on earth. Such a perspective reduces our anxieties, increases our contentment, and strengthens our trust and hope.
The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
(2 Timothy 2:2)