Devotion for Sunday, December 6, 2020

“Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.  But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother” (Galatians 4:25-26).

It is interesting that this distinction is not something Paul made up but is evident throughout the Old Testament.  There you find the distinction between Jerusalem and Zion.  They are the same place and yet they are not the same place.  One is the city of those in this age and world.  The other is of those who have overcome this age and world.  Be one who dwells in the promise of Christ.

Lord, You speak of the two places throughout Scripture.  Help me to not be bogged down with the details of life in this age, but be transformed by Your grace for the age to come. Lead me in the way of everlasting life and teach me the difference between these two places.  Let me put the old Adam to rest that the new person in Christ may live, thrive, and dwell in You always.

Lord Jesus, You have come asking us to follow You.  This is not a one time proposition, but a new way of life.  Lead me in this new way of life that I may learn more fully what Your grace and mercy mean.  Guide me, O Lord, and lead me today in the way You know I need to go.  Help me to stay firm in grace and my new life for which You died.  Help me now and always that I may follow You forever.  Amen.

Devotion for Saturday, December 5, 2020

“This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar” (Galatians 4:24).

What Paul is talking about is the oft repeated story with some variation of repackaging living according to the law as a first order of things.  We do this because in sin, we easily recognize this.  However, Christ died once for all of our sins and there is a new life to which we are called.  It is more difficult for us because it requires that we trust in the grace of Christ over our desire to fulfil the law.

Lord, it makes sense and yet I want to be in control.  But is not that the problem?  I want to be in control.  Lead me, Lord, into the way of grace that I would not make laws my sole guide, but live according to Your grace and mercy.  Guide me, Lord, in Your goodness that I may now and always abide in You as You abide in me and live by Your grace willingly and freely at all times.

Lord Jesus, You have come that we may have life and have it abundantly.  Guide me, O Lord, in the way of life that You have established.  Help me now and always to look to You, the author and finisher of my faith and not to myself and the law I would quickly adopt.  Let me not wander in captivity, but live freely into the life You won on the cross for all who believe.   Amen.

Devotion for Friday, December 4, 2020

“But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise” (Galatians 4:23).

God has shown the means by which salvation would come.  It began with Abraham, “And it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”  What then?  Only this, that in what God has ordained, through the revelation and the prophets, God has made clear that a Savior would come and that through Him those who believed would be saved.  Come then into what God has prepared.

Many are they who choose the way of bondage.  Why bind yourself when the Lord has set you free.  Not free to do as you please, but free from the recompense of sin which is death.  Be lifted out of the mire of sin and live in the freedom of grace.  Come through faith to the promise, which is Christ, and in His mercy and grace, be lifted up by the faith you have been given,

Lord Jesus, You have come that we may have life and have it abundantly.  You have come that as many as believe would be given the power to become the children of God.  Lead me, O Lord, in the eternal way You have established that I may not fall into the error of thinking I can do anything by myself.  Shape and mold me into Your image Savior that I may humbly walk with You.  Amen.

Devotion for Thursday, December 3, 2020

“Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law?  For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman” (Galatians 4:21-22).

We are born in bondage to sin.  The power of sin is the law.  The recompense of the law is death.  Christ died once for all that those who believe would be united with Him in His resurrection.  Why would anyone want to be reunited with sin and death?  If the law could save us then we would have no need for the Savior.  Do not enter back into bondage, but live in the freedom which is yours in Christ.

Lord Jesus, You have come that we might have life and have it abundantly.  Guide me, O Lord, in the way of truth that I may not fall into the snares of sin and death through the law.  Yes, Your law is good, but without You I cannot do anything.  Lead me into the right way of thinking and acting.  Through Your grace, show me the right way of looking at You and the world that I may be Your Father’s child in word and deed.

Lord Jesus, You are the Savior of the world and apart from You there is nothing good that can be done.  Guide me, O Lord, in the way of truth that I may now and always be led by You, my Savior, in the way You have established by grace.  Keep me from slipping back into the letter of the law knowing they cannot and will not help me.  Instead, teach me Your willing obedience and way of truth.  Amen.

Devotion for Wednesday, December 2, 2020

“My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you –  but I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you” Galatians 4:19-20).

We sometimes think that we have done all that needs to be done and we who have received the testimony of the Gospel are good to go.  And then minds are changed.  Do not be one who perplexes others by your hypocrisy, but be consistent in your practice of faith and the life you live as you become like Christ.  Labor steadily in the truth of the Gospel and live into the life to which You have been called for your sake and for the sake of Christ who called you.

Lord, let me not be one who is all over the place, hard to figure out and uncertain about this life of faith which You have given. Guide me O Lord in the way of truth that I may now and always humbly abide in You.  May others see me as consistent and may that be who I truly am in and through all circumstances.  Lead me, O Lord, and I will be led.  Show me, Lord, where You know I need to be.

Lord Jesus, You have given Your Spirit that we who abide in You would be consistent in witness of Your word.  Lead me, O Lord, in the way You know I need to go.  Guide me according to the will of the Father to be one who in season and out of season lives this life of faith which You have given me. Guide me, O Lord, and help me always to follow.  Teach me to love as You love and live as You intend.  Amen.

Devotion for Tuesday, December 1, 2020

“But it is good always to be eagerly sought in a commendable manner, and not only when I am present with you” (Galatians 4:18).

Is your eagerness for the Lord only in public, or all the time?  Do not live as those who pretend and do not live consistently.  Live instead as one who loves the Lord and is learning to love as He loves.  Be consistent in your faith and live into the life which is yours by grace.  Come and seek the better portion, which is to abide in the Lord as He abides in you and live the life He gives.

Lord, help me to see through the inconsistencies in my own life.  Help me to act the same in public and private, amongst friends and strangers.  Lead me into the life of faith at all times and in all places.  Guide me in Your goodness to see through those games which I am tempted to play that I may now and always look to You, the author and finisher of my faith, for guidance in consistency.

Lord Jesus, You have come that I might have life and have it abundantly.  Guide me, O Lord, in the way of truth that I may now and always humbly and willingly abide in You in private and in public.  Give me a consistent witness that I would live the life You have given me always.  Help me to become like You, doing what is pleasing always in the Father’s sight.  Amen.