Grace to You Devotionals

Devotionals

February 25

Living in a Worthy Manner

"So that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects" (Col. 1:10).

Your manner of life should be consistent with Christ’s.

In Colossians 1:9 Paul speaks of being controlled by the knowledge of God's will. In verse 10 he speaks of walking in a manner worthy of the Lord. There is a direct cause-and-effect relationship between those verses. When you are controlled by the knowledge of God's will, you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.

The Greek word translated "walk" means "to order one's behavior." It's a common New Testament metaphor for one's lifestyle. Paul made a similar plea to the Thessalonians: "Walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory" (1 Thess. 2:12).

The thought of being worthy of the Lord might raise some eyebrows because we usually relate worthiness to merit or something deserved. But that isn't Paul's point at all. The Greek word translated "worthy" in Colossians 1:10 speaks of something that weighs as much or carries the same value as something else. He isn't saying we deserve Christ, but that our conduct should be consistent with His.

That is Peter's point in 1 Peter 2:21: "You have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps." John said, "The one who says he abides in [Christ] ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked" (1 John 2:6). He added in 2 John 6, "Walk according to His commandments." That's how you demonstrate your love for Christ (John 14:15) and please Him in every respect.

As a word of encouragement, a worthy walk is not a walk of sinless perfection. That won't happen until you are fully glorified. But each day you are growing in godliness as a result of the Spirit's transforming work in you (2 Cor. 3:18). Be faithful to that process. Set your affections on Christ, look to His Word, and rejoice in the privilege of becoming more like Him today.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God for the power and guidance of His Spirit in your life.
  • Be diligent to confess your sin when you stray from a worthy walk.

For Further Study

Read Ephesians 4:1-3 and Philippians 1:27-30.

  • What specific attitudes are involved in a worthy walk?
  • Does a worthy walk eliminate the possibility of suffering or persecution? Explain.
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 25

God Is Faithful to Care for Us

“God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9).

God is completely faithful to do what He has promised.

We live in a day of unfaithfulness, don’t we? Some husbands and wives are unfaithful to their marriage vows. Children are often unfaithful to the principles taught by their parents. Parents are often unfaithful to meet the needs of their children. And all too frequently we are unfaithful to God.

Only God is always faithful, a fact often celebrated in Scripture: “Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God” (Deut. 7:9). “Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens, Thy faithfulness reaches to the skies” (Ps. 36:5). “Great is Thy faithfulness” (Lam. 3:23).

Let’s look at several areas in which God is faithful to us. First, He’s faithful in taking care of us. Peter says, “Let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right” (1 Peter 4:19). The word translated “entrust” is a banking term that speaks of a deposit for safekeeping. We’re to give our lives to our “faithful Creator,” who is best able to care for us because He created us. “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

God is also faithful in helping us resist temptation: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13). No believer can legitimately claim that he was overwhelmed by temptation or that “the Devil made me do it.” When our faithfulness is tested, we have God’s own faithfulness as our resource. “The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thess. 3:3).

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for His faithfulness in taking care of you and protecting you from temptation.

For Further Study

  • God had promised Abraham a son, and He finally gave him Isaac. But God made a strange request. Read Genesis 22:1-18 and Hebrews 11:17-19. How did Abraham demonstrate his trust?
  • In what areas do you have trouble trusting God?
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 25

Reading for Today:

  • Leviticus 19:1–20:27
  • Psalm 27:4-10
  • Proverbs 10:10-12
  • Mark 5:1-20

Notes:

Leviticus 19:2 I the LORD your God am holy. This basic statement, which gives the reason for holy living among God’s people, is the central theme in Leviticus (see 20:26). See 1 Peter 1:16. Israel had been called to be a holy nation, and the perfectly holy character of God (see Is. 6:3) was the model after which the Israelites were to live (see 10:3; 20:26; 21:6–8).

Leviticus 19:26 divination…soothsaying. Attempting to tell the future with the help of snakes and clouds was a common ancient way of foretelling good or bad future. These were forbidden forms of witchcraft which involved demonic activity.

Psalm 27:8, 9 “Seek My face,”…“Your face,”…Your face. God’s “face” indicates His personal presence or simply His being (Pss. 24:6; 105:4); and seeking His face is a primary characteristic of true believers who desire fellowship with God (see Deut. 4:29; 2 Chr. 11:16; 20:4; Ps. 40:16; Jer. 50:4; Hos. 3:5; Zech. 8:22).

Mark 5:5 crying out and cutting himself with stones. “Crying out” describes a continual unearthly scream uttered with intense emotion. The “stones” likely were rocks made of flint with sharp, jagged edges.

Mark 5:9 “What is your name?” Most likely, Jesus asked this in view of the demon’s appeal not to be tormented. However, He did not need to know the demon’s name in order to expel him. Rather, Jesus posed the question to bring the reality and complexity of this case into the open. Legion. A Latin term, by then common to Jews and Greeks, that defined a Roman military unit of 6,000 infantrymen. Such a name denotes that the man was controlled by an extremely large number of militant evil spirits, a truth reiterated by the expression “for we are many.”


DAY 25: What does the term “type of Christ” mean when used to describe someone in the Old Testament?

Certain persons and practices recorded in the Old Testament serve as hints, clues, and preillustrations of what Jesus Christ would accomplish by His life, death, and resurrection. In most cases, the similarities or parallels are pointed out in the New Testament. The following people are some of those mentioned as representing, in a narrow way, what Christ accomplished perfectly: (1) Adam (Rom.5:14; 1 Cor. 15:45); (2) Abel (Gen. 4:8,10; Heb. 12:24); (3) Aaron (Ex. 28:1; Heb. 5:4, 5; 9:7, 24); (4) David (2 Sam. 8:15; Phil. 2:9); (5) Jonah (Jon. 1:17;Matt. 12:40); (6) Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18–20;Heb. 7:1–17); (7) Moses (Num. 12:7; Heb. 3:2); (8) Noah (Gen. 5:29; 2 Cor. 1:5); (9) Samson (Judg. 16:30; Col. 2:14–15); (10) Solomon (2 Sam. 7:12, 13; 1 Pet. 2:5).

The following events and practices also prefigure Christ: (1) Ark (Gen. 7:16; 1 Pet. 3:20, 21); (2) Atonement sacrifices (Lev. 16:15, 16; Heb. 9:12, 24); (3) Bronze serpent (Num. 21:9; John 3:14, 15); (4) Mercy seat (Ex. 25:17–22; Rom. 3:25; Heb. 4:16); (5) Passover lamb (Ex. 12:3–6, 46; John 19:36; 1 Cor. 5:7); (6) Red heifer (Lev. 3:1; Eph. 2:14, 16); (7) Rock of Horeb (Ex.17:6; 1 Cor.10:4); (8) Scapegoat (Lev.16:20–22); (9) Tabernacle (Ex. 40:2; Heb. 9:11; Col. 2:9); (10) Veil of the tabernacle (Ex. 40:21; Heb. 10:20).

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 25 - The Meaning and Necessity of Spiritual Hunger

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

The “hunger and thirst” Jesus speaks of here are far more intense than even strong physical pangs for food and drink, which come when we miss several meals. All true followers of Christ have a continuing hunger and thirst for righteousness—they will regularly long for holiness. Jesus’ analogy shows us that righteousness is necessary for spiritual life just as food and water are necessary for physical life.

But sadly, most people are by nature starved for spiritual life. The tendency of such unbelievers is to turn toward their physical appetites and the world’s ways rather than toward spiritual life (cf. Prov. 26:11; 2 Peter 2:22). Apart from divine revelation and the Spirit’s promptings, these people don’t recognize their spiritual needs or know what will truly satisfy them.

Seeking satisfaction for our spiritual hunger only in God and His gracious provision identifies us as members of His kingdom. Such people sincerely want their sin to be replaced with virtue and their disobedience with obedience.

The first three beatitudes are essentially negative and require costly and painful personal sacrifice to accomplish, even with the help of God’s Spirit. This fourth one, however, is more positive, coming about when we possess the other three. When we have put aside self and our enslavement to sin and turned to the Lord, we will have a genuine, growing desire for righteousness. The true Christian desires to obey God, even though he or she still struggles with unredeemed humanness (cf. Rom. 8:23).

Ask Yourself

What spiritual hungers are growling the loudest in your heart right now? When you have sought to satisfy them in disobedience or in any way other than God intends, what has always been the result? How do you intend to see them fed now?

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.
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