OYB October 2

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted 15 October 2006, back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Isaiah 66
NT: Philippians 3:4-21
Ps: Psalm 74
Pr: Proverbs 24:15-16

Today´s notable verses:

Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the LORD. "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.

Isaiah 66:2 (NIV)

7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death...

Philippians 3:7-10 (NIV)

Philippians 3 might possibly be my favorite chapter in all of the Bible. Paul reveals a passion for intimacy and identification with Christ and an understanding of both the cost and reward of that identification with amazing depth and eloquence. I think this paragraph succinctly and powerfully illustrates the life of the believer - a perspective to which each one of us should pray to attain.

...for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity.

Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)

As Christians, we understand that we are saved by grace - that it must be so, because we are imperfect, sinful humans. We fell before we were in Christ, and we continue to fall even after we are saved - because we are still human. Being Christian does not make us perfect; rather, we are made aware of our own sinfulness, and through Christ we are given the ability to pursue righteousness contrary to our inherent sinful nature.

And this thought brings me back to the verse from Isaiah quoted above. God esteems the one who in humility recognizes his own sinfulness and need for God, who being contrite in spirit truly expresses regret for his sin and desire to live differently, and who understands the ultimate result of a life of sin and reveres God as soverign.

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