Hoekstra’s Day by Day by Grace (August 14th)

Coming to the Lord for Edifying Grace

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5)

Coming to Jesus habitually for the grace that we need daily is at the heart of growing in grace. These closing verses of our previous meditation provide a profound example of this relational emphasis in the Christian life. The spiritual impact in view here is edification: being built up.” As we saw earlier, God’s grace is the edifying resource for our lives. “And now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up (Acts 20:32). Now we will look at the relational path that God has designed for accessing that edifying grace.

Jesus is likened here to a “living stone.” He is solid and reliable, like a rock. Yet, a rock is lifeless, insensitive, unresponsive. Jesus is a living stone.” He is alive, tender, lovingly responsive. The Lord wants to build us up to be like Him (solid and stable, yet loving and caring). The Lord’s way to build us up “as living stones is to call us to an ongoing process of coming to Himself: Coming to Him as to a living stoneyou also, as living stones, are being built up.” In order to practically grow “as living stones,” we must be coming to the one who already is innately what He wants us to become. He alone can provide what is needed in our lives.

How do we come to Jesus in this manner? Well, again, it is a matter of relating to Him. When we get into the word of God, we are not merely looking for more biblical information. Jesus is the one we are to be seeking. When we are praying, we are not merely “saying our prayers.” Jesus is the one in whose name we are praying and whose will and work we are seeking. When we are worshiping, we are not merely singing songs, we are singing to the Lord Himself. When we are going forth in ministry, we are not merely carrying out a valid task. We are looking to the Lordfor enablement, while desiring to please and honor Him.

The more we come to Jesus in this way, to that extent His edifying grace will be building us up “a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Dear Lord, You are the true living stone, stable and loving. So often I am unstable and unloving. I need to be built up as a living stone. I need to be more like You. Lord, help me to come to You daily, habitually. When I am studying the Scriptures, praying, worshiping, or serving, help me to seek You in and through it all, in Your mighty name I pray, Amen.


MY UTMOST TO HIS HIGHEST

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The Evidence of the New Birth

You must be born again.  John 3:7

The answer to Nicodemus’ question, “How can a man be born when he is old?” is: Only when he is willing to die to everything in his life, including his rights, his virtues, and his religion, and becomes willing to receive into himself a new life that he has never before experienced (John 3:4). This new life exhibits itself in our conscious repentance and through our unconscious holiness.

But as many as received Him…” (John 1:12). Is my knowledge of Jesus the result of my own internal spiritual perception, or is it only what I have learned through listening to others? Is there something in my life that unites me with the Lord Jesus as my personal Savior? My spiritual history must have as its underlying foundation a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ. To be born again means that I see Jesus.

“…unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God ” (John 3:3). Am I seeking only for the evidence of God’s kingdom, or am I actually recognizing His absolute sovereign control? The new birth gives me a new power of vision by which I begin to discern God’s control. His sovereignty was there all the time, but with God being true to His nature, I could not see it until I received His very nature myself.

Whoever has been born of God does not sin…” (1 John 3:9). Am I seeking to stop sinning or have I actually stopped? To be born of God means that I have His supernatural power to stop sinning. The Bible never asks, “Should a Christian sin?” The Bible emphatically states that a Christian must not sin. The work of the new birth is being effective in us when we do not commit sin. It is not merely that we have the power not to sin, but that we have actually stopped sinning. Yet 1 John 3:9 does not mean that we cannot sin— it simply means that if we will obey the life of God in us, that we do not have to sin. From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition

Bible in One Year: Psalms 91-93; Romans 15:1-13

 

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The great point of Abraham’s faith in God was that he was prepared to do anything for God.

from Not Knowing Whither

Supernatural access YouVersion Devotional

DAY 1: A Supernatural God of Supernatural People

We seem to be trapped in a religious haze. Much of the Western church holds God as an idea that they fit somewhere into their busy lives. He is a concept, an idea, or a theology but not an actual person from another realm who has become their fascination and the central theme of their whole lives.

The reality is this: God is a supernatural God! When we were born again, we became supernatural people called to manifest the kingdom of God.

I have always been a radical. I have never been a half-volume, half-hearted kind of guy. I go in strong, and I go in full force. It is with this personality that I came into the gospel. I was radically set ablaze by the power of God. My life took a bold turn toward the call of God, and I found myself leaving everything that was familiar to step out into the unknown.

You can be effectively led by Holy Spirit. You can know and discern the will of God for your life. You can operate in tremendous miracles and authority. The supernatural life is for you. You are a child of God, born into His kingdom with all the rights and privileges of an heir. Let’s journey deep into the mystery and wonder of our majestic Father.