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Daily Devotionals from Grace in the Workplace
Tuesday, January 31 2012

Verse of the Day

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” [Matthew 1:23]

Immanuel, God with us. We know that Jesus is fully human and fully divine, but why is His human side so important? There are several reasons. First, the obvious one, which is found in Hebrews 2:14-18…

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, our Savior and Redeemer. The only way that this could happen was for Jesus to become flesh and blood just like us. His blood was spilt on the cross and it is His sacrificial blood that shields our sins from God’s view so that we appear white as snow on Judgment Day.

Jesus’ humanity is important for another reason. Although He was one of us, He lived a perfect, sinless life. He provides an example for us to follow and indeed we are commanded to be like Him, to be Christ-like.

We are all familiar with Jesus’ temptation by the devil in the wilderness. Had He faced Satan as a mere man, He would have failed. Only His Godly nature kept Him from succumbing to the devil’s wiles and deceit. Keep in mind that Jesus was a man. He had eyes, ears, a nose, a tongue, and fingers. He had all the same senses that we have. Jesus received the same sensory input from the world around Him that we do, and yet He was not tempted as we are by lust, greed, jealousy, power, and on and on. Jesus also suffered from the same physical pain and distress that we do. He could identify with us because He was one of us. Another interesting thing about Jesus and His humanity is that it makes clear that His physicality has nothing to do with perfection. Stated another way, there is no such thing as physical perfection.

Now this is the cool part. The fact that Jesus was human and lived a perfect life makes being like Him seem attainable. I know we are commanded to be like Jesus, but it often seems downright impossible this side of Heaven. But we can be Christ-like. Jesus says as much. An amount of faith the size of a mustard seed is our goal. So strive to develop Christ’s character and His faith. That is the gift He’s given us. He was one of us. Now that is a truly amazing and inspiring thing, isn’t it? It gives me hope. And I pray it does the same for you.

Posted by: John AT 03:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 27 2012

Verse of the Day

 

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen. [Psalm 41:13 – NIV]

  

Human beings like (and need) milestones. God programmed us that way. We have days, months, years, and we have the seasons. This kind of repetitiousness is intentional. We are slow and dense and need to learn. Anyway, how do you feel about last year and what about the year that lies ahead? As you reflect on the past year, do the good things come to mind or are you burdened by memories of pain, disappointment, and sorrow? What about the future? Are you encouraged about what God has in store for you or are you resigned to a boring, miserable, and unsatisfying life?

 

If you are worried and unsure about what the future holds for you, guess what? We are right back in the midst of the attitude thing! Accentuate the positive! It is not too difficult to see all the wondrous things that God has blessed you with. And never give up on the future. Trust and obey God. The Lord has promised good to you and to me and you can take that to the bank! One last thing, God is omnipresent. He is everywhere at once. He is Alpha and Omega. That means that He existed at the beginning of time, He is here in the present, and He is already out in the future. And since He is in the future right now, He is busy preparing it for you and for me. You can take comfort and great joy in that!

 

Posted by: John AT 01:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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Grace in the Workplace Ministries, L.L.C.
P.O. Box 541
Montgomery, Texas 77356
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