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Category: Devotional (page 18 of 28)

Bear Fruit

The fifth chapter of Galatians presents a major contrast.  Throughout the book Paul has presented the case on how a man is justified.  In the fifth chapter he is laying out a new way of living.  This new way of living requires a choice.

The choice is whether we will continue to live after the works of the flesh, which is characterized by all sorts of sinful activities and attitudes (just read 5:19-21).  The other option is to live by the Spirit.  Living by the Spirit means we will produce the fruit of the Spirit.  Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness are what characterize our new life.

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Following Jesus in Suffering

In Mark 8 the dullness of the disciples is emphasized.  They witness the great miracles of Jesus.  They are privy to both public and private teaching but they still seem to miss the mark.  Toward the end of the chapter you see a glimmer of hope when Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah.  But when Jesus reveals what that means, we again see the disciples just don’t get it.  In fact they miss the mark by so much that Jesus calls Peter Satan.

The disciples failed to see that the Messiahship of Jesus included a cross.  It included suffering and death.  However, Jesus wanted to show them that it was more than just His cross that was important in following Jesus.  As His followers we join Him in suffering.  If we are going to lay claim to Jesus as our Messiah, then we must also deny ourselves and take up our cross.

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God Pleasing Sacrifice

When one reads the book of Leviticus we realize the importance of sacrifice within the Mosaic System.  It was an essential part of this covenant.  The Hebrew writer shows us that animal sacrifices are no longer needed for sin.  Jesus has become our “once for all” sin offering.  He was the “better” sacrifice.

However, just because animal sacrifice is no longer needed, the Hebrew writer does encourage us to offer sacrifices to God.  In fact he gives three at the end of the book:

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Creator is in Control

The Bible begins with God.  It is He who speaks into the nothingness to create all that we see.  It is He that spoke man into existence. If God had not decided to create we would not be here. We owe our existence to God.

This gives God’s certain rights over us.  He being creator allows Him to also be lawgiver and sovereign ruler.  It is God who has the right to declare evil and declare good.  As creatures our job is to recognize this innate authority and submit ourselves to the will of God.  Man can rebel against God, but it only shows our foolishness and lack of thankfulness.

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Creation

“The Heavens Declare the Glory of God”

“Since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes have been seen”

Our world is a fascinating place.  The beauty inherent within creation is denied by none.  From the simplest to the most complex our world is an amazing place.

The creation is massive.  It is ever expanding and we are only scratching the surface of all that God has created. Even the earth which is relatively small in comparison to the vastness of all creation has beauty and awe-inspiring creatures we have not yet seen.

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