SUSTENANCE IN THE WORD: FOURTH QUARTER, 2022

Before you read the Word: Put away all distractions; find a quiet place; pray for The Holy Spirit to take control of all your being; ask for a seat at the foot of the throne of God for this fellowship; plead for spiritual understanding and your cleansing by His Holy Word.

Read the Word as prayer and as a two-way communication between you and The Lord. You read as you evoke His Character and ask what you seek according to His Truth. Allow His Word to correct, comfort, convict, and restore you.

This week’s challenge:
16 How much better to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver (Proverbs 16).

WEEK 1

2 Chronicles 15

Genesis 7

1 Corinthians 1

Isaiah 53

Psalm 37

Acts 20: 7-38

Amos 2

Practice: 20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days (Proverbs 19).

WEEK 2

Genesis 13

Judges 3

John 6

Amos 6

Deuteronomy 20

Matthew 5

Psalm chapter 41 and 115

Practice: 17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul (Proverbs 29).

WEEK 3

Psalm 76

Jeremiah 21

3 John 1-11

Isaiah 54

2 Timothy 3

Job 38

Zephaniah 2

Practice: In mercy and truth, atonement is provided for iniquity. And by the fear of The Lord one departs from evil (Proverbs 6).

WEEK 4

Exodus 14

Ephesians 4

Hosea 8

1 Timothy 2

Isaiah 55

Matthew 7

Zechariah 2

Practice: 17 Do not be overly wicked, nor be foolish; Why should you die before your time? (Ecclesiastes 7)

WEEK 5

Luke 13

Psalm 33

Revelations 17

Acts 24

Gen 11: 1-9

Matthew 13

Job 31

Practice: 12 He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his peace (Proverbs 11).

WEEK 6

Numbers 9

1 Timothy 6

Jeremiah 15

Hebrews 3

Deuteronomy 17

Matthew 18

Psalm chapter 92 and 112

Practice: A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1).

WEEK 7

Jeremiah 24

I Corinthians 5

Isaiah 65

Ezra 8: 17-34

Psalm 34

Ezekiel 16

2 Thessalonians 1

Practice: 23 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles (Proverbs 21).

WEEK 8

Psalm 76

Exodus 20

Romans 15

2 Samuel 7

Job 36

John 14

2 Corinthians 13

Practice: 23 The fear of The Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction. He will not be visited with evil (Proverbs 19).

WEEK 9

Matthew 27

Exodus 34

Colossians 2

Psalm 50

2 Kings 7

Ephesians 5

Genesis 32

Practice: Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him (Proverbs 26).

WEEK 10

Isaiah 29

Amos 8

John 8

Job 21

Psalm 94

Deuteronomy 33

1 Peter 3

Practice: 12 “If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you will bear it alone (Proverbs 9).”

WEEK 11

Isaiah 2

Revelations 18

Ezekiel 7

Romans 3

Hosea 13

1 Corinthians 14

Genesis 43

Practice: 18 Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored (Proverbs 13).

WEEK 12

2 John

Isaiah 60

Numbers 21

Psalm chapter 22 and 107

2 Corinthians 11

Habakkuk 1

Deuteronomy 24

Practice: He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends (Proverbs 17).

Repent

Make a clean breast of things.

13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy (Proverbs 28).

The true son and daughter of God loves their Father and Lord, and will be troubled by their rebellion against Him. Sin is rebellion against God. He is not just God, but He is our Everlasting Father, Savior, and Lord. A father’s relationship with their child is founded on love. Any rebellion threatens that relationship because it creates a rift. The guilt we feel about sin is innately purposed to restore a broken relationship; it is not meant to destroy our relationship with our Loving Father. Love admits the truth that engenders reconciliation.

“The one who rejects Christ will not make repentance a necessity.” 

18 But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the Presence of The Lord. 20 And that He may send Jesus Christ, Who was preached to you before, 21 Who Heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3). 

Is there a remedy for our sin? What is the price we can pay to be reconciled to God? He is Holy and He created us for a relationship with Him. But we can never be holy at all times. He has saddled all our sins on His Beloved Son so that we don’t have to incur the consequence of our sins: which is eternal separation from Him. Christ suffered for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to. So the recourse is Christ. Repentance acknowledges our sin before God, and our need for Christ to live through us. Repent and be converted into the likeness of The Savior, by living in Him, and not on fleshly lusts. Begin by ardently listening and learning about Who He is and who you are. Repentance must be accompanied by a conversion or transformation, that becomes a new, daily lifestyle.

To be converted, we must be trained in righteousness by abiding in the Presence of The Lord—in a perpetual fellowship with Him. Times of refreshing are times when we can bask in the ambience of the Presence of our Father and Lord, in communion with Him, without shame or guilt. When we are reconciled to our Lord, His Mercy, Grace and Love comfort us with peace. Peace with God gives us peace within. We repent so that we are converted in Christ. We come boldly to receive Mercy because we believe that we will be forgiven in Christ. We confess and turn away from our sins so that we can spend all our days in the joy of His Presence. 

“Sin is rebellion against God.”

1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your Lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender Mercies, blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight—that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge (Psalm 51).

Repentance is humbly imploring God to forgive us, while we come clean about our sin. We plead for His Mercy even as we admit that He is well within His right to judge us according to the sin. We repent so that we will not repeat the offense. We must first be forthright about what we have done or failed to do. Forgiveness is granted when we are truthful. Against God and He only have we sinned because we don’t live by anyone else’s standards. God forgives us according to the multitude of His Mercies and not according to the multitude of our sins. He will wash us thoroughly with His Grace and will not remind us of our sins. When He sets us free, we are free indeed. 

“Forgiveness is granted when we are truthful.”

40 Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to The Lord. 41 Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in Heaven (Lamentations 3).

We sin by doing what is evil in His sight. We might think our sin is just a “small sin” but sin is abominable in the sight of The Holy One. He is Merciful to those who understand Who He is. He must judge sin because He is God; whether we like to admit it or not, God does not brook or wink at our sin. Everyone will come before the judgment seat of God and will give account of their ways; whether they do it now or later, they will bow before Him and confess. We should repent daily because we want to be righteous, and continue in an unbroken relationship with God our Father. 

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. 18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the Name of God’s One and Only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed (John 3). 

Whoever does not believe that Christ came to die on their behalf will not accept God’s Love and Mercy. The one who rejects Christ will not make repentance a necessity. Christ died so that He could save us through Himself. The penalty for sin is death. In order to receive Grace, we must come to the light so that our deeds are exposed. We must allow God to show us our sin, and be earnest to be saved through Christ. 

Those who are condemned are not the ones who repent, but the ones who have rebuffed God’s One and Only Son, Who takes away their sins. They have denied the truth about their sin: by not coming to the light, they embrace their rebellious ways. But God loved the world so much that He wanted to offer all of us, sinners, a new life in Christ—eternal life. There’s hell and there’s eternal life in Christ. You must make your choice. Eternal life is life that begins here on Earth by exchanging our sinful nature for Christ’s Nature.

1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God…10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to Salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death (2 Corinthians 7). 

Godly sorrow is brought on by the heaviness of guilt and shame because of our sin. It gravitates us to The Mercy Seat for forgiveness. Godly sorrow causes us to grieve over our sin, and even be repulsed by it. We find hope in God’s promises that reassure us of His Love and Mercy, when we repent. 

Worldly sorrow leads to guilt and shame, with no hope of forgiveness and reconciliation. It enshrouds us with darkness, hopelessness, and loneliness. Beloved, as one loved by God, be cleansed from all filthiness of flesh and inner passions by learning to fear God. Holiness is nurtured by fearing God. Fear of God should cause us to steer away from the unclean, and want to be cleansed of it. Fear of God should not cause us to hide from Him. Godly sorrow should lead us to repentance that restores and renews us by His Grace.

“We repent so that we are converted in Christ.”

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, Who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5).

When we repent and ask The Lord to forgive us, He gives us a new nature; we become a new creation in Him. This is only if we are willing to turn away from sin and be saved through Him. We become completely new. The old nature is done away with because we now abide in Christ. His Spirit becomes our new nature. His Spirit becomes our guide, and access to God. Now all things are of God; our identity, roles, responsibilities, and passions become patterned after God’s Ways. 

Repentance reconciles us to God, Who was already reconciling us to Himself. He initiated it all through Christ. God’s intention was not to consume us with wrath because of His displeasure for our sins. No, He was reconciling the world to Himself. He was willing to completely wipe the slate clean and start over our relationship with Him. So why is it that so many have turned their backs on Him, and spurned His Kindness and Love? Because rather than see His Love, they focus on their iniquities; yet He is calling them to be reconciled and not imputing all their sin to them. He has not meted to us what we deserve. He is still reaching out with Grace. But when the clock runs out, He will be justified to deal with sinners who have opted out of His Son’s offer. 

16 “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.” 17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4).

Blessed are those who were in the darkness of sin and saw the light that drew them to repentance. Blessed are those, who, in the heaviness of their guilt, came to the light, saw their sin for what it was, and understood the Power of God’s Grace to make them new and whole. They were enlightened and the light was the hope of their Salvation. So repent and don’t wallow in the shadow of death, but see The Great Light, The Lord Jesus, who drives out the darkness. 

12 Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. 13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. 14  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer (Psalm 19).

We don’t know how much we have offended God and how. So we repent by asking Him to cleanse us of all sin, whether we know of it or not. We should not be so enslaved to sin that we can never break free. When we desire to be righteous and blameless before God, we submit to Him to show us the error of our ways. Sin is not just what we do; it is what we feel, desire and meditate on. It is also what we say. So we confess our words, thoughts and actions so that we remain in God’s good graces. He is our strength to motivate us and our Redeemer, Who continually forgives us.

For any relationship to last there must be love, honesty, loyalty and honor. We learn about God and we begin to do what pleases Him. Our Heavenly Father and Lord created us for a relationship with Him. If we love Him, we will allow Him to reveal to us our sin. We will be truthful and sorrowful about what we have failed to do, and repent. God wants us to be reconciled to Him. In Christ, we are forgiven and converted. He makes us a new creation in Him. We resolve and commit to be acceptable before God through daily repentance and obedience. His Spirit becomes our new nature. He will continue to teach us and bring us into The Presence of The Holy One, Our Savior and Redeemer. Fellowship with God is a companionship that should never be broken. Our relationship with Him guarantees us eternal life in Christ. 

“We repent so that we will not repeat the offense.”

5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us ((1 John 1).

Justice

Don’t neglect justice.

Everyone should be treated fairly, with respect and dignity, regardless of their race, age, gender, appearance or socioeconomic status. God created us all in His Image, and He wants us to coexist with each other. He wants us to be considerate, without putting our own ambitions or desires ahead of others. Being just ensures that no one is exploited, mistreated, or disenfranchised even by those in power or authority. Justice protects and defends the vulnerable. God commands us all to be just because He is Just.

“Justice gives others what is acceptable to God.”

11 Therefore, because you tread down the poor and take grain taxes from him, though you have built houses of hewn stone, yet you shall not dwell in them. You have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink wine from them. 12 For I know your manifold transgression, and your mighty sins: afflicting the just and taking bribes; diverting the poor from justice at the gate (Amos 5).

There’s nothing hidden from God; He sees all that is done in secret. He knows of all the riches that have been gained by extortion and fraud. It is sinful for leaders to lavish on themselves what is not theirs. Those entrusted to hold and manage the purse strings should not use taxes for personal gain. They collect what is needed to meet the needs of the people, and the community includes the poor and less fortunate, whom they take from. God abhors all who despise justice, who take bribes while depriving the poor of what is just. Though they may glory in their stolen riches they will not escape God’s Judgment. Their great sins have been recorded by God. 

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. 4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of The Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on the Earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned, you have murdered the just; yet he does not resist you (James 5).

The rich who have kept back the fair wages of their laborers will succeed to live in pleasure and luxury, but for a time. They will continue to increase, while those who work for them struggle to make ends meet. They fatten themselves and amass all sorts of wealth, while they oppress those who depend on them for a living. Venal leaders will do anything to hold on to their power and wealth, even kill those who get in their way. God hears the cry of the afflicted. The Lord of hosts will prevail against the corrupt and greedy. Their wealth will not sustain their health. The money and possessions will not deliver them on the day of their calamity; it will be a witness against them to testify of their wickedness. In the end, misery will become their portion. They are God’s enemies. He will do what is just for those who can’t defend themselves.

“Being just is motivated by the fear of God to do the right thing.”

Now these are the last words of David. Thus says David the son of Jesse; thus says the man raised up on high, the anointed of The God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel: 2 “The Spirit of The Lord spoke by me, and His Word was on my tongue. 3 The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, like the tender grass springing out of the Earth, by clear shining after rain’ (2 Samuel 23).

The God of Israel spoke by His Spirit to David, by putting His Word on David’s tongue. The God, and Rock, of Israel gave David his parting shot as the king was being succeeded by his son, Solomon. The most consequential words are those of The Spirit, when we are beginning or are ending our journey. David spoke of the qualifications that God wanted of all leaders. Those who take the responsibility to rule and lead others must be just, and must do so out of the fear of God. Their rule should not be driven by fear of losing their grip on power or the support of the masses. They must rule in the fear of God so that they can do what is just. Those who rule with justice, by keeping God’s Ways, will have a far-reaching impact on the lives of others. They will be unimpeded in executing the duties that benefit others; they will be like the light shining in the morning with no clouds to obscure it. 

“Righteousness and justice put us in right standing with God.”

22 “Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. 23 Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments. 24 But let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream” (Amos 5).

Those who are unjust are apathetic about the needs of others. They are callous because they are full of their own importance. They think that they can worship God with false humility by appeasing Him with their offerings. God will have none of it.

Thus says The Lord: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for My Salvation is about to come, and My Righteousness to be revealed. 2 Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it. Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil” (Isaiah 56).

Blessed is the one who executes justice and does what is righteous. The Lord will reward them with His Salvation and clothe them with His Righteousness. The one who practices justice and righteousness worships God with a heart that is undefiled. Justice gives others what is acceptable to God. Justice is doing what God would do for others. God wants justice to abound to others like water. Being just is being motivated by the fear of God to do the right thing. Righteousness and justice put us in right standing with God.

My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Lord of Glory, with partiality. 2 For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, 3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” 4 have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2)

Are you unjust in your thoughts about others? How often do you form an opinion of others based on their appearance? As those who have faith in The Lord of Glory, we must remember He loves all people, from all walks of life. We should not approach or treat others with disdain merely because of their appearance or status. God knows our thoughts before we act upon them. Evil thoughts are hatched by a misconceived perception of others. We should be kind and helpful to everyone as best as we know how. Our faith in The Lord is put to practice by how we relate to others.

“Justice protects and defends the vulnerable.” 

6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out. When you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you. The Glory of The Lord shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and The Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I Am’”(Isaiah 58).

The fast that God desires is not just one that deprives us of our pleasure, but deprives us so that someone else can have what they need. God also wants us to let go of the wickedness that holds others under a weight that is too heavy to bear. What might this wickedness be? Bitterness, pride, resentment, and begrudging the good that we know we should do. Relieve the oppressed and the afflicted of their troubles. Give to the poor and provide for the less fortunate. This is true fasting: doing what is just and right, that mitigates the suffering of others, and lightens their heavy burdens. 

When we do what is just, it becomes our righteousness. God will give our life direction and purpose. He will heal our diseases so that we can continue to be effective and productive. His Glory will be our protection to guard us at every turn. Most Christians fast so that God can hear their prayers for a pressing issue. When we give sacrificially for the needs of others, we will call and God will answer. We will cry out to The Lord and He will say, “Here I Am”. Why? Because we have not just been concerned about our needs, but those of others. 

6 With what shall I come before The Lord, and bow myself before The High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will The Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you: But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6)

What fasting, offerings, songs, and prayers are most pleasing to God? What does God require of us? What is good and acceptable as a token of honor in His Presence? He has shown us Who He is: The Lord, The Most High God. So we must not just approach Him or live before Him so flippantly. He has also shown us what He requires of us: to do what is just, love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him all the days of our lives. What else is there to do? but to be humble, just, merciful and compassionate, and spend all our days with God? 

“When we do what is just, it becomes our righteousness.”

39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. 40 Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But rather give alms of such things as you have; then indeed all things are clean to you.m42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone” (Luke 11).

God is the Supreme Ruler of the Heavens and Earth. He expects rulers of people to be just and righteous in reverence to Him. Leaders who are corrupt and unjust are imperious, and apathetic to the needs of the people. They impoverish their people, while they amass wealth by fraud and violence. Their days are numbered, as God has recorded all their deeds. We must show compassion and mercy by not putting heavy burdens on others. We should be just in our thoughts about others, and be faithful to Christ, by offering others what is acceptable to God. True worship is not just defined by our church offerings, songs or fasting; it is also honoring God daily, by fearing Him, being just and righteous. When we lay this to heart, we prevail upon God to hear us when we call upon Him, and to answer, “Here I Am”. 

23 Thus says The Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; 24  But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I Am The Lord, exercising loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the Earth. For in these I delight,” says The Lord (Jeremiah 9).

SUSTENANCE IN THE WORD: THIRD QUARTER, 2022

Before you read the Word: Put away all distractions; find a quiet place; pray for The Holy Spirit to take control of all your being; ask for a seat at the foot of the throne of God for this fellowship; plead for spiritual understanding and your cleansing by His Holy Word.

Read the Word as prayer and as a two-way communication between you and The Lord. You read as you evoke His Character and ask what you seek according to His Truth. Allow His Word to correct, comfort, convict, and restore you.

This week’s challenge: 20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days (Proverbs 19:20).

WEEK 1

Jeremiah 2

1 Thessalonians 5

Mark 3

Psalm 16 and chapter 115

2 Kings 19

1 Peter 1

Job 14

Practice: By humility and the fear of The Lord are riches and honor, and life (Proverbs 22).

WEEK 2

Matthew 4

Deuteronomy 32

Jonah 2

Galatians 6

Exodus 12

Ezra 9

Job 39

Practice: 29 He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly (Proverbs 14).

WEEK 3

Ezekiel 3

2 Kings 25

Romans 9

Psalm 22

Isaiah 8

Jeremiah 12

1 Timothy 6

Practice: 3Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly.32 At the last, it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper (Proverbs 23).

WEEK 4

Hebrews 13

1 Chronicles 29

Micah 5

Deuteronomy 4

1 Corinthians 13

Isaiah 13

Malachi 4

Practice: Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil, and chasing after the wind (Ecclesiastes 4).

WEEK 5

Job 1

Acts 14

Psalm 144

Genesis 33

1 Kings 13

Isaiah 11

Mark 12

Practice: 17 He who has pity on the poor lends to The Lord, and He will pay back what he has given (Proverbs 19).

WEEK 6

Deuteronomy 5

Psalm 107

Joel 2

Exodus 16

John 12

Ezekiel 12

Hebrews 6

Practice: 16 A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead (Proverbs 21).

WEEK 7

Isaiah 1

Luke 4

Daniel 2

Jeremiah 18

Mark 15

Genesis 17

Psalm 72

Practice: 13 Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. 14 You shall beat him with a rod,
and deliver his soul from hell (Proverbs 23).

WEEK 8

Ezekiel 5

Matthew 5

Daniel 3

Jeremiah 24

1 Corinthians 9

Nehemiah 4

2 Chronicles 30

Practice: 13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy (Proverbs 28).

WEEK 9

Luke 16

Deuteronomy 10

2 Samuel 10

1 Peter 4

Isaiah 35

Leviticus 26

Psalm 10 and chapter 124

Practice: Do not strive with a man without cause, if he has done you no harm(Proverbs 3).

WEEK 10

Daniel 7

Philippians 2

Jeremiah 14

James 1

Genesis 12

Exodus 18

Luke 24

Practice: 31 The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise (Proverbs 15).

WEEK 11

Psalm 12 and chapter 128

Matthew 9

Micah 7

1 Corinthians 15

Job 27

Ezekiel 22

2 Samuel 22

Practice: A man’s heart plans his way, but The Lord directs his steps (Proverbs 16).

WEEK 12

Deuteronomy 9

Zephaniah 3

Mark 11

Genesis 18

Daniel 9

2 Chronicles 7

Job 21

Practice: 20 Do not mix with winebibbers, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; 21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags (Proverbs 23).

Justified

Set free

17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one (Adam), much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense (Adam’s sin) judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous (Romans 5).

God is Holy. He is The Only Holy One, Who is justified to mete out His Judgment on sinners like you and me. He is the One Who is equitable to reward or condemn everyone according to what they have done because He knows all the truth, at all times. He is The True Judge. He will have mercy on whomever He desires, and will punish as He deems fit. We have sinned and fallen short of God’s Holy Standard. But thanks be to God, because of His Great Mercy, He has not dealt us what we deserve—wrath, judgment and eternal death.

“It was His desire to wipe the slate clean.”

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

4 But God, Who is rich in Mercy, because of His Great Love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by Grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His Grace in His Kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2).

We all walked and sometimes continue to walk in the lusts of our sinful nature, our flesh, to do what is against God’s Will. Our passions for sin make us vulnerable subjects to the prince of the air, Satan. Everyone is controlled by someone or some impulse. Disobedience to God is the hallmark of one who is not subservient to Him. We were all by our nature children deserving God’s Wrath because no one is innately righteous. Look at your children from the time they learn how to walk and talk, and you will see that they need to be taught righteousness, and to be disciplined often. 

But God, Who is so rich in Mercy, saw our irremediable state and did what no one else could do for us. He took our sins and laid them on His Son, and gave Him the punishment of death that we deserved. He was crucified so that we would die in Him. God’s Grace made us whole and forgiven in the resurrection of The Lord Jesus. We are justified for sins we could not be pardoned for. It was His desire to wipe the slate clean. The Love of God compelled Him to lavish us with His Grace. While we were yet in our sin, He demonstrated His Love. By His Grace we have been saved from eternal judgement.

The Lord Jesus Christ took our place of death so that we would not have to die spiritually. Our souls would have been condemned to eternal death. When a person dies, their soul departs their body. Christ came as a human, born of The Holy Spirit. He was fully God and Man, yet He never sinned; He is Holy. He crucified our sinful flesh with His and raised our spirit with His. The spirit is the life of the soul. He has raised us up with Him to sit in the heavenly places. Our souls and spirit have been resurrected to eternal life in Heaven, and are hidden in Christ our Savior. Therefore, no sin should have dominion over you. You should no longer satiate the desires of your flesh and mind. Resist the lusts of sin. You have been ransomed to a life that is above the things of this world, in The Kingdom of God. Your life and identity is in The Lord Jesus. 

“He justified many of us by bearing our sins.”

10 Yet it pleased The Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His Soul an offering for sin, He shall see His Seed, He shall prolong His days. And the pleasure of The Lord shall prosper in His Hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His Soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My Righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities (Isaiah 53).

He, Christ The Lamb of God, offered His Soul as an offering. In the ancient days, the Jews offered an animal for their sins. They would place a hand on the head of an animal, placing their sins on it, and then killing it. The animal took the place of the Jewish people as a propitiation for the sins committed against God. But Christ offered His Soul for yours and mine. His offering was pleasing and acceptable to God because it was one out of obedience and love. The Father saw the labor of Christ’s Soul and was satisfied. The sacrifice of The Lamb, without blemish, was the only acceptable sacrifice made by The High Priest Himself, The Son of God. The priests would offer sacrifices for themselves and the people. They were sinners just as everyone else. But This High Priest is Holy, and offered a perfect sacrifice—The Perfect Lamb—sinless and without a spot. He was The Righteous Servant Who would justify many, not like the ordained priests. He justified many of us by bearing our sins. God gloried in His Purpose and it fully pleased Him. He was content to bruise Him and subject Him to grief, so that we would not have to suffer under His Hand. Never forget the price that was paid for your redemption.

“Those who believe in His Name are born of God.”

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His Name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1).

The Lord Jesus, came to the World and those He created. But they did not know Him nor did they accept Him. He came to Israel, the chosen nation of God, but they denied His Deity and crucified Him for claiming to be The Son of God, equal with The Father. But to those who believed and received Him, regardless of their nationality, He gave the right to become children of God. Those who worship and give their lives to The Son of God become sons and daughters of God. Those who come to know Christ and worship Him as Lord obtain a divine nature as children of God. Those who believe in His Name are born of God. You don’t have to be an Israelite to be a child of God. Know The Lord Jesus, trust in Him by worshiping Him with your life, and forsake a life of sin. Commit your life to the One Who gave you life, and you will dwell in the House of God, as His child, all the days of your life. 

“Justification is for those who are truly repentant.”

9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18)

Are you more justified than another before God? Righteousness is not something we impute on ourselves. We stand as individuals, on our own, before God. God doesn’t see us juxtaposed to others; He only sees us in our humility and in Christ. The Pharisee was arrogant before God, claiming his right to God’s approval for giving tithes of all that he possessed, and not sinning like those around him. The tax collector on the other hand, would not even raise his head; he felt unworthy to be in the Presence of God. He was consumed by grief for his sin. He wanted God’s Mercy more than anything else. He acknowledged he was a sinner. He left the temple justified. God exalts those who humble themselves. We are not justified by the good things we do. We are justified when we are contrite and honest about our sins. Justification is for those who are truly repentant. Good works are evidence of our faith and a demonstration of our love for The Lord. But repentance reconciles us to God, by admitting that no good works can ever make up for where we fall short of His Righteousness. 

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His Purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the Image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified (Romans 8).

Those who love God are those who know God and delight in Him. Those who honor God are those who are called according to His Purpose. God created them to worship, obey, love and serve Him. They were known by God before they were born, and were created to be conformed to the Image of His Son, The Lord Jesus. This was God’s intention: He created mankind, in the beginning, in His Image and Likeness, for a covenant relationship and unbroken fellowship with God. Christ is the Image and Likeness that God intended in the Book of Genesis. He is the firstborn among many—those who were foreknown, predestined, called and chosen. Those God called responded by repenting and submitting their lives to Christ; they became one with Him in His death and resurrection. They are now living by His Spirit—in His Likeness. These have been justified and been glorified by God. Those He justified, He has conformed to be in the Likeness of His Son, in righteousness, by His Spirit. They were created for His Glory and called according to His Purpose. He will work out everything for their good, because they are children of The Most High God. 

“Those who abide in Christ, by faith, are justified apart from the deeds of the Law.”

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the Law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then make void the Law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the Law (Romans 3).

We are justified by faith, that is there are no works that can make us right with God, but the work of Christ on The Cross. The Jews received the Law of God, yet they could not keep it. The Gentiles did not have the Law given to them, yet they still fell short of God’s Standards. All have sinned before The Holy God, except One, The Lord Jesus. Those who abide in Christ, by faith, are justified apart from the deeds of the Law. They now live by The Spirit of Christ and no longer satisfy the deeds of sinful lusts. They establish that the Law is righteous and holy because it reveals God’s Righteous requirements. By acknowledging the Law, they accept culpability for not keeping it, by repentance. They allow Christ, the only sinless One, to live through them. Faith in Christ justifies us to live in obedience to His Spirit and Word. Living by The Spirit is living by the law of faith. 

3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the Love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His Mercy He saved us; through the washing of regeneration and renewing of The Holy Spirit, 6 Whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His Grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3).

Do you think that your good nature could win you brownie points with God? We don’t need to keep a tally of the good things we do, when there’s sin to confess. We also don’t need to keep record of the sins we commit, when there’s no debt left to pay. Christ’s death is all the good works and sins forgiven, all rolled into one. God’s Grace is the only justification we need to live for His Glory. Today you may feel righteous, tomorrow you may offend or hurt someone, and sin against God. What then? He has already poured out His Spirit to renew and regenerate you, as you acknowledge your sin and turn away from it. Grace is the justification we need to go forward and keep the past in its place. Being justified by His Grace, renewed each day by His Spirit, we have eternal life in Christ. Make it your routine to repent each day and to be transformed in your thinking, evaluate your desires and actions, and be in conformity with The Spirit. 

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through Whom also we have access by faith into this Grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the Glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the Love of God has been poured out in our hearts by The Holy Spirit Who was given to us (Romans 5).

We stand in the Grace of God so that our identity is no longer in the sins we have repented of. We have access to this Grace by faith alone, not by our good works. God only sees us in Christ or apart from Him. What could be more meaningful in life than having peace with God? Let nothing snuff out your joy, when you are at peace with God. Rejoice in tribulations that limber you up to persevere. Perseverance will build your inner stamina and bolster your character, as you keep your faith in God. Cling to Him and remember you have made peace with Him. He works out everything for your good, as you are called to His Purpose because you have set your love on Him. God has poured His Love into our hearts, evidenced by The Presence of His Holy Spirit Who dwells in us. We are never alone. Peace with God gives us peace of mind, even in the trials of life. 

8 But God demonstrates His Own Love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His Blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His Life (Romans 8).

While we rejected God, disobeyed Him and lived in sin, He loved us. By Christ’s shed blood, we were given a new lease on life. Blood gives life. Think of blood donors who save lives. His Blood was the evidence of the life given for a new creation; now justified by His Life in us. And by His Life through us, we are saved from the wrath of God. Only through Christ are we saved from wrath. While we were sinners, we were reconciled by His death, and now, as those reconciled, we will be saved from the coming Judgment of God, by the very Life of Christ in us. God sees the Blood of Christ, The Life of His Son, in us. It is no longer our life but Christ in us. We are justified so that we will be saved through Him. 

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed (John 8).

Just as the Law of God revealed the truth about what is right and acceptable before God, Christ’s Words reveal the truth about righteousness and sin. If we abide in His Word, we will know the truth about sin and how to please God. The truth causes us to admit we are in need of The Savior. We can not be set free from our sins until Christ sets us free. When we practice sin consistently, we become slaves to sin. We can not fellowship with God, when we are enslaved to sin. Do you want to abide in God’s Presence forever? Then you must be set free from the shackles of sin. Only The Son of God can grant you access to The Father, as only The Son can set you free. When you are free, you are absolutely free from your sins. Sin will never define you nor will it have dominion over you because you are under a new Master. You will be His child and disciple if you abide in His Word. 

Thanks be to God who by His Great Mercy and Grace has heard our confession and accepted our repentance. He has loved us while we were sinners and reconciled us to Himself by the death and resurrection of The Lord Jesus. We will not see God’s Wrath, because we are one with Christ. The law of faith has justified us from all that we could not be justified, in the Law of God. The Blood Christ shed has given us new life in Him. His Spirit is teaching us to do what is acceptable before God. We have been given the right to become God’s children. We are justified to be conformed in the Image and Likeness of The Son of God. Grace abounds to us each day. We are renewed by His Spirit through our obedience, to love, worship, serve and honor God in an unbroken fellowship with Him. Sin no longer defines us and it will have no power over us. We have been forgiven, justified and set free from all the penalty of sin. 

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom The Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit (Psalm 32).

Pin It on Pinterest