The power of future grace is the power of the living Christ — always there to work for us at every future moment that we enter. So when Paul describes the effect of the grace of God that was with him, he says, “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience — by word and deed” (Romans 15:18).
Therefore since he would not dare to speak of anything but what Christ accomplished through his ministry, and yet he did, in fact, speak of what grace accomplished through his ministry (1 Corinthians 15:10), this must mean that the power of grace is the power of Christ.
Which means that the power we need for tomorrow’s ministry is the future grace of the omnipotent Christ, who will always be there for us — ready to will and ready to work for his good pleasure.Piper (via abrokenheartalwaysneedsremending)
Thursday 31st July
The Virtues Of Faith, Hope, And Love
And now abideth faith, hope, charity (love) these three; but the greatest of these is charity (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Faith, hope and love, are three important principles revealed to us in the Word. All three of them work together, but love is revealed as the greatest of the three. Anyone who comes to Christ immediately learns the value of faith, because faith is imparted to your spirit when you hear the Gospel. With that faith, you receive the Holy Spirit, and begin to walk in newness of life.
As you mature spiritually, you learn something about hope. Hope ministers patience. The more you grow in the things of God, the more you realize that though your faith can do anything, some things have to wait. At this stage, you start learning how to trust God. Trust is the mixture of faith and hope. When the Bible says Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness, he trusted Jehovah with his life.
The reason love is the greatest is that love encapsulates both faith and hope. When you walk in love, you walk in faith and hope. To walk in the greater levels of the anointing of God’s Spirit, you’d have to understand the power of God’s love, and walk in it.
The Lord Jesus explained something beautiful about love in Matthew 22:35-38, when a certain lawyer, wanting to test Him, asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus answered him thus, “…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment” (ASV). If you ask people to list the Ten Commandments, they’ll most certainly not start with this. They’d say, “Thou shall worship no other God before me.” But Jesus brought love before worship. He knows that if you’d love Him, you’d worship Him.
It’s not so much what your faith or hope can do; God is more concerned about what your love can do. Go beyond faith and hope, and function in the arena of love, where your words and actions are motivated only by love.
Dear Father, I thank you for filling my heart with your love by the Holy Spirit. This love overwhelms me today, and many experience the joy and genuineness of your love-power through me, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Further Study: John 4:24; Deuteronomy 6:5
Daily Scriptural Reading
1 Year Reading Pan: Psalms 52-55 Romans 5:12-21
2 Year Reading Plan: Ephesians 4:25-32 Isaiah 51
Our severest trials are God’s most powerful answers to our petition that He conform us to Christ’s image. They are His chisel on our hearts.Paul Washer (via swallowedupbylife)
We Work by Grace
By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
…If we let all the parts of this verse stand, the end result is this: grace is the decisive doer in Paul’s work. Since Paul is also a doer of his work, the way grace becomes the decisive doer is by becoming the enabling power of Paul’s work.
I take this to mean that, as Paul faced each day’s ministry burden, he bowed his head and confessed that unless future grace was given for that day’s work, he would not be able to do it.
He recalled the words of Jesus, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). So he prayed for future grace for the day, and he trusted in the promise that it would come with power. “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Then he acted with all his might.John Piper. (via abrokenheartalwaysneedsremending)
Ministry — More Important Than Life
“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 20:24)
According to the New Testament, “ministry” is what all Christians do. Pastors have the job of equipping the saints for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12). But ordinary Christians are the ones who do the ministry.
What ministry looks like is as varied as Christians are varied. It’s not an office like elder or deacon; it’s a lifestyle devoted to making much of Christ.
It means that we “do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). Whether we are bankers or bricklayers, it means that we aim at advancing other people’s faith and holiness.
Fulfilling your ministry is more important than staying alive. This conviction is what makes the lives of radically devoted people so inspiring to watch. Most of them speak the way Paul did about his ministry here in Acts 20. Doing the ministry that God gives us to do is more important than life.
You may think you need to save your life in order to do your ministry. On the contrary, how you lose your life may be the capstone of your ministry. It certainly was for Jesus, only in his thirties.
We need not fret about keeping ourselves alive in order to finish our ministry. God alone knows the appointed time of our service.
Henry Martyn was right when he said, “If [God] has work for me to do, I cannot die.” In other words, I am immortal until my work is done. Therefore, ministry is more important than life.Piper (via abrokenheartalwaysneedsremending)