Grace to You Devotionals

Devotionals

February 28

Acknowledging the Ultimate Source of Everything

"Joyously giving thanks to the Father" (Col. 1:11-12).

Joyous thanksgiving acknowledges God as the giver of every good gift.

The inseparable link between joy and thanksgiving was a common theme for Paul. In Philippians 4:4-6 he says, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! . . . Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." He told the Thessalonians to "rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thess. 5:16- 18).

As often as Paul expressed thanks and encouraged others to express theirs, he was careful never to attribute to men the thanks due to God alone. For example in Romans 1:8 he says, "I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world." He thanked God, not the Roman believers, because he knew that faith is a gift from God.

That doesn't mean you can't thank others for the kindnesses they show, but in doing so you must understand that they are instruments of God's grace.

Thanking Him shows humility and acknowledges His rightful place as the Sovereign Lord and the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). Those who reject His lordship and refuse to give Him thanks incur His wrath (Rom. 1:21).

Only those who love Christ can truly give thanks because He is the channel through which thanks is expressed to the Father. As Paul says in Colossians 3:17, "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." Hebrews 13:15 adds, "Through [Christ] then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name."

As one who is privileged to know the God of all grace, be generous in your praise and thanksgiving today. See everything as a gift from His hand for your joy and edification.

Suggestions for Prayer

Recite Psalm 136 as a prayer of praise to God.

For Further Study

From Psalm 136 list the things that prompted the psalmist's thanksgiving. How can that psalm serve as a model for your own praise?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

February 28

God's Glory in Christ

“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Christ displayed God’s glory on earth and will again when He comes back. After seeing His glory in Scripture, we should respond in worship and righteousness.

From eternity past Christ had the glory of God. He “is the radiance of [God’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Heb. 1:3), and He prayed, “And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I ever had with Thee before the world was” (John 17:5).

Christ also displayed God’s glory on earth. Most often He looked like an ordinary man, but one night He appeared in great glory to Peter, James, and John (Luke 9:28-36). “While He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming” (v. 29). Moses and Elijah came and spoke to Him, and the disciples “saw His glory” (v. 32).

When He comes again, He will come “on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory” (Matt. 24:30), to the joy of His people and to the terror of those who reject Him. His glory will fill the whole earth (Num. 14:21), and all creation will worship Him.

What should be our response to God’s glory? Like the angels who sing, “Glory to God in the highest” (Luke 2:14), we should give Him praise. Also, as we see His glory we should change: “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18). As we look at God, the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and helps us grow and live righteous lives. As “children of God,” we “appear as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15).

The purpose of all creation is to glorify God. As a mirror reflects light, we are to reflect His glory to Him and to a sinful world. Seek to live a holy life so this reflection shines as brightly as possible, and make it your desire to glorify Him in everything you do.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for the hope of glory we have as we wait for Christ’s return (Titus 2:13). Ask that your life would brightly reflect God’s glory today.

For Further Study

Read about God’s glory in Heaven in Revelation 21:1—22:5. How is His glory displayed?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

February 28

Reading for Today:

  • Leviticus 25:1–55
  • Psalm 28:6-9
  • Proverbs 10:19-21
  • Mark 6:30-56

Notes:

Leviticus 25:8–55 The Year of Jubilee involved a year of release from indebtedness (vv.23–38) and bondage of all sorts (vv. 39–55). All prisoners and captives were set free, slaves released, and debtors absolved. All property reverted to original owners. This plan curbed inflation and moderated acquisitions. It also gave new opportunity to people who had fallen on hard times.

Psalm 28:9 Your inheritance. God amazingly considers His people a most precious possession (see Deut. 7:6–16; 9:29; 1 Sam 10:1; Pss. 33:12; 94:5; Eph. 1:18).

Mark 6:44 five thousand men. The Greek word for “men” means strictly males, so the numerical estimate did not include women and children (see Matt. 14:21). The women and children were traditionally seated separately from the men for meals. When everyone was added, there could have been at least 20,000.

Mark 6:50 Be of good cheer! This command, always linked in the Gospels to a situation of fear and apprehension (see 10:49; Matt. 9:2, 22; 14:27; Luke 8:48; John 16:33; Acts 23:11), urged the disciples to have a continuing attitude of courage. It is I. Literally, “I AM.” This statement clearly identified the figure as the Lord Jesus, not some phantom. It echoed the Old Testament self-revelation of God (see Ex. 3:14).


DAY 28: List all the Jewish feasts and dates.

Feast of

Month on

Jewish Calendar

Day

Corresponding

Month

References

Passover

Nisan

14

Mar.–Apr.

Exodus 12:1–14

Matthew 26:17–20

*Unleavened Bread

Nisan

15-21

Mar.–Apr.

Exodus 12:15–20

Firstfruits

Nisan

or Sivan

16

6

Mar.–Apr.

May–June

Leviticus 23:9–14

Numbers (28:26)

*Pentecost (Harvest or Weeks)

Sivan

6 (50 days after

barley harvest)

May–June

Deuteronomy 16:9–12; Acts 2:1

Trumpets, Rosh Hashanah

Tishri

1, 2

Sept.–Oct.

Numbers 29:1–6

Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur

Tishri

10

Sept.–Oct.

Leviticus 23:26–32; Hebrews 9:7

*Tabernacles (Booths

or Ingathering)

Tishri

15-22

Sept.–Oct.

Nehemiah 8:13–18; John 7:2

Dedication (Lights), Hanukkah

Chislev

25 (8 days)

Nov.–Dec.

John 10:22

Purim (Lots)

Adar

14, 15

Feb.–Mar.

Esther 9:18–22

*The three major feasts for which all males of Israel were required to travel to the temple in Jerusalem (Ex. 23:14–19).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

February 28 - Satisfying Your Spiritual Hunger

“‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied’” (Matthew 5:6).

The all-important result for any believer hungering and thirsting after righteousness is to “be satisfied.” The verb translated “satisfied” frequently refers to the feeding of animals until they want no more. In a parallel to this, Jesus declares that people who hunger and thirst for righteousness will gain complete satisfaction. This satisfaction comes from God. Our part is to seek; His is to satisfy us.

Paradoxically, Christians continually seek God’s righteousness, always wanting more and never getting their fill in this life. Yet the Lord still satisfies them. Again, we can make the analogy to food. We can eat our fill of our favorite dishes, yet our taste for those foods remains. The satisfaction we derive only makes us want more. Believers who crave God’s righteousness will find it so satisfying that they will always want more.

Psalms speaks repeatedly about God’s satisfying our spiritual hunger. The most well-known psalm opens, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,” and later says, “You prepare a table before me … my cup overflows” (23:1, 5). A later psalm assures us that God “has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good” (Ps. 107:9; cf. 34:10).

Jesus on another occasion told the crowds, many of whom were among the five thousand fed, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst” (John 6:35). Our spiritual hunger will always be satisfied (cf. John 4:14).

Ask Yourself

It may not happen all at once, but Jesus will always reward your hunger for righteousness with the deep satisfaction reserved for the humbly obedient. How has He satisfied you in the past? Think of a time when you and He celebrated what sanctification was accomplishing in you.

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, www.moodypublishers.com.

Del libro La Verdad para Hoy de John MacArthur DERECHOS DE AUTOR © 2001 Utilizado con permiso de Editorial Portavoz, www.portavoz.com
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