Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 13, 2016
May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love. Jude 1:2, NLT
Christmas day is always an exercise in expectancy: gift giving and gift receiving. I marveled at the joy of our children and grandchildren, as their beautifully wrapped boxes and packages became tangled ribbons and wrinkled wrapping paper, but what gave me the most pause was their genuine gratitude to one another for their gifts. I thanked the Lord for putting in their hearts and minds a spirit of true thankfulness. I also prayed for all of us to grow more and more grateful for God’s blessings. Yes, an abundant Christian life is a life ever growing in God’s graces.
Jude, brother of James and half brother of Jesus experienced first hand the mercy, peace and love of Christ. He probably saw Jesus show mercy to the woman caught in adultery who was forgiven, but instructed to sin no more. Perhaps Jude was one of the disciples post resurrection in the presence of the Lord when He breathed the Spirit on them and said, “Peace be with you.” And oh how like torrential rain Christ poured out His love on those poor in spirit. He fed. He healed. He taught. He suffered. He died. He rose from the dead. All for the sake of His vast love.
”But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life” (Jude 1:20-21).
Does your spiritual balance sheet show an excess in God’s graces? Are your line items of mercy, peace and love under or over budget? Those rich in the true riches of Christ are attractive in showing mercy to the deviant, while careful not to condone the sin. Those who grow more and more in peace are calm, because they have learned to submit to the rule of Christ’s peace over their heart. Their softened face exudes love, their kind words communicate love and their supportive actions express love. Why? Vibrant Christians continue to grow more and more in God’s graces.
As we learn to receive more and more from our heavenly Father—His mercy, peace and love—we are able to give more and more mercy, peace and love. Generosity in God’s grace is the greatest generosity. Unable to be bought with money, generosity expresses itself in aggressive giving. Next time we are offended, we can immediately show mercy and not allow hurt to have its way in our heart. When fear raises its head in our mind’s eye, we can avoid eye contact by looking into the peaceful eyes of Jesus. Best of all: when we are loved well, we can love well.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I receive your mercy, peace and love, so I can abundantly give your mercy, peace and love.
Application: Who needs your mercy and forgiveness? What do you need to trust the Lord with so you can experience His peace? How does God want to love you right now?
Related Readings: Zechariah 3:2-5; Colossians 1:6, 2:7; Ephesians 6:18; Hebrews 9:28
Post/Tweet this today: When fear raises its head, we can avoid eye contact by looking into the peaceful eyes of Jesus. #WisdomHunters #generousGod
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© 2016 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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