Devotional Thoughts for This Morning
“God’s Grace: Don’t Abuse It”
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. 4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
Churches are filled with many young impressionable believers that can make discipleship exciting. However, at times, it’s unfortunate when someone in the church twists God’s grace into a license to sin. It is true that no person is required to observe the OT Law as a means for salvation; the gospel of Jesus Christ stipulates that eternal life is absolutely a free gift, meaning no church attendance or offering money is at all required for salvation.
This is because when Jesus died on the cross, He fulfilled the OT Law (Rom. 10:4; Gal. 3:23-25). However, the unbiblical conclusion is that there’s nothing that God expects of Christians in terms of a disciplined life in God’s Spirit; alarmedly, from that, some have said, “If I’m saved by grace and all of my sins, past, present, and future, are forgiven, why not sin all I want?”
Do you at times hold to that line of thinking? After many failed attempts to live a holy life, we develop a calloused “so-what” attitude towards sin. However, that thinking is not the fruit of a genuine relationship with God. God’s desire is that we become increasingly more like His Son. Though we can’t do it on our own, God’s grace and His Spirit helps us in our weaknesses as we strive towards holiness. Since God has given us His precious gift of salvation through Jesus, our response is to obey Him out of love and gratitude for what He has done for us (Rom. 12:1-2).
Are there areas in your life where you are twisting the idea of God’s grace? If so, I advise you to stop going down that road—believe me, nothing good will come out of it—nothing! Instead, turn to the Lord and begin living a life that is different from the ways of the world.
Prayer: God, your grace is truly precious. Thank You that You required nothing from me in receiving Your salvation in Christ. But now that I’ve been saved, teach me daily to give You everything in living for your purposes. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: John 13
Lunch Break Study
Read Matt. 13:24-30; 36-43: Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” 36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
Questions to Consider
- At the end of the age, all of the weeds will be pulled up and burned in the fire. However, at ………………. this present age, what does Jesus say about the weeds?
- Why does owner allow the weeds to remain along with the wheat?
- This parable does not teach toleration of illegitimate doctrines in the church. However, at the present age, the church will be faced with ungodly people who attempt to pervert God’s grace. How can you keep yourself from being deceived by ungodly thinking?
- Jesus explains that God tolerates the wicked in the present for the sake of his elect, but will publicly distinguish between the two in the day when the secrets of the kingdom are revealed. God endures the wicked in the present to provide all those who will receive him time to become his followers (Rom. 9:22-24; 2 Pet. 3:9, 15).
- Jesus’ primary point is the coexistence of kingdom people with the world’s people in this age. The point here is NOT that we should abandon our efforts to keep the church pure (18:7-14, 21-35); rather, the kingdom remains obscure in the present world and only the final day will bring God’s true children into their vindicated glory and banish the wicked from among them.
- Personal response
Reflect on this prayer before turning in for the night:
“Lord, I confess that in my sinfulness, I can be great at selective hearing when it comes to the Word of God. Help me to humble myself before the entire counsel of Scripture. Empower me with Your Spirit to agree with Your Word in the areas that are difficult for me to obey. Amen.”