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Our DAILY GOSPEL DEVOTIONAL is the story of Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension. This is a chronology and harmony of the gospel accounts in which the ongoing narrative and doctrinal context are carefully considered. In one year we reflect on every passage of every gospel.
May God bless you as we follow the disciples on the journey through the earthly life of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Women of worth


Matthew 27:55-56 / Mark 15:40-41 / Luke 23:49…

Here they are, these women who had helped support the ministry of Jesus, with Him until the very end. They followed Him all the way to the cross. As everyone else ran away they continued to draw near. The people of the day marginalized them as insignificant, but the Word of God marks them as entirely significant, even naming their names. 

In our day, many of the “name” people, those who seem to have access to titles and achieve the tributes, run away scared when Jesus may cost them their position in life or standard of living. Some “celebrities” won’t get their hands dirty, while the meek and lowly will rise up and fill the void. This proves a point about whom God actually uses (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).

The world, even the church world, may try and marginalize you for your gender, race, age, social status, educational background, or any other of a number of things, but Jesus doesn’t do that at all (Acts 2:17-18). In Christ, the barriers to drawing close to God have been broken down (Ephesians 2:11-22). When everyone else seems to run away, you can run ahead (James 4:7-8).

You don’t have to let others limit you. Certainly, they may mock your credentials, they may put you at the back of the building, and they may dismiss your devotion. But you don’t need their permission or endorsement. You don’t have to have a seat at their table to find a place at the Throne. You can draw near to God without fear, and with faith (Hebrews 4:16, 10:22).

Don’t worry about being noticed by others. Your worship is worth it to God. 

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Monday, December 05, 2016

It is finished…so get with it


John 19:28-30…

On the cross, at the end, Jesus cried out “it is finished”. What was finished? Sure, we know it was the crucifixion of Jesus that was finished. However, not everything was completely finished; Jesus was going to rise from the dead, ascend to heaven and will be coming again. So let’s unpack this; what did the crucifixion of Christ finish? And now that it is finished, what is God calling you to do? What are the things we don’t want to miss? We can rest in these things as we receive them. It is finished, so get with it.

It is finished – The sinless life that fulfilled all of the Law (Matthew 5:17, 48 / Hebrews 4:15)
So get with it – Romans 10:4 – you can go to God in the name of Christ (Hebrews 4:16)

It is finished – The words of the prophets that had to be fulfilled (Acts 2:23-24, 3:17-18)
So get with it – Romans 8:28-30 – God’s plan for you will be fulfilled (Philippians 1:6)

It is finished – The conflict with the leaders and the people (Acts 4:27-28 / 1 Corinthians 2:8)
So get with it – Romans 8:31-39 – God is on your side (Romans 5:1-11)

It is finished – The plan that was foreshadowed in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15)
So get with it – Ephesians 1:3-9 – you are in the paradise parade (2 Corinthians 2:14)

It is finished – The plan that was pictured in the sacrificial system (Hebrews 10:1-14)
So get with it – Galatians 5:1 – you can please God (Romans 12:1 / Hebrews 13:15-16)

It is finished – The atoning work for sin (Isaiah 53:5-7 / Acts 8:32)
So get with it – 1 Peter 3:18 – you can have forgiveness and fellowship (1 John 1:8-10)

It is finished – The wrath of God has been satisfied (Isaiah 53:10-12 / Luke 22:37)
So get with it – 2 Corinthians 5:21 – you don’t have to fear (Hebrews 2:14-15, 13:5-6)

It is finished – The triumph over the evil powers (Colossians 2:13-15)
So get with it – Romans 8:1 – you can tell the devil to “talk to the hand” (Isaiah 49:16)

It is finished – The vindication of God’s justice (Romans 3:23-26)
So get with it – 1 Peter 4:12-19 – you can trust God will sort everything out (1 Peter 2:21-25)

It is finished – The validation of God’s love (John 3:16 / 1 John 4:10)
So get with it – 1 John 4:11 – you can love (Matthew 22:37-40 / Romans 13:8 / Galatians 5:14)

On the cross, God treated Jesus as if He lived your life so He could treat you as if you lived His life. That’s the Gospel, but now it is your turn to finish (Romans 10:9-13), so get with it (Matthew 10:32), before it is too late (Hebrews 9:27-28).

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Sunday, December 04, 2016

Paid in full, not paid in hell


Luke 23:44-48…

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” These words of Jesus were used to fulfill the prophecy of Psalm 31:5. Jesus had laid down His life voluntarily, when He wanted to and how He wanted to (John 10:18), which we know was in accordance with the Father’s will. He suffered the wrath of God for us on the cross.

There is a sinister teaching out there that says that Jesus, before His resurrection, while He was in the tomb, was actually suffering at the hands of demonic forces in hell, paying the price for our sins there, not having finished the matter on the cross. That is blasphemy. Jesus didn’t suffer additional torment in hell at the hands of demons (Psalm 16:10 / Acts 2:27). He had control over His own spirit, and after the Father had poured out His wrath upon our Lord, Jesus suffered no additional punishment. The Father crushed His soul, not Satan (Isaiah 53:10-11). The cry of John 19:30, it is finished, is a victory cry. Christ meant what He had said; the price for redemption was paid in full at Calvary.

This brings up another point. Have you ever seen pictures, cartoons, comics or other depictions of people in hell with Satan ruling, and demons tormenting them? This isn’t what the Bible depicts hell as being like. Demons will not be tormenting people in hell; it is God who will be punishing the wicked. The devil and his angels are going to be tormented themselves, not allowed to assist in tormenting others (Matthew 25:41 / 2 Peter 2:4). Remember the demons that wondered and asked Jesus, “Have you come here to torment us before the time” (Matthew 8:29)?  It is Jesus who will torment the demons, not the other way around!

Jesus won the victory on the cross; He paid our sins in full right there (Colossians 2:15). Jesus didn’t have to make a deal with the devil; those demonic forces weren’t going to have a beat down session in hell with Christ as the whipping boy. This is why Paul preaches Christ, and Him crucified, not Christ, and Him suffering in hell (1 Corinthians 1:23).

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