I have spent the day writing my New Testament exegesis paper. I think it is complete, but I am putting it to bed for the night and will look at it again tomorrow before sending to my beloved editor. I have learned many things as I have written this paper, but the most important think I have discovered consistently is that forgiveness comes by faith in God through belief in Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, I am what I am by Your grace. I am saved because of Your grace and can live for Your glory because of Your grace. I shudder to think where I would be apart from Your grace. Today I need Your grace to strengthen and to guard me. Let my speech be seasoned with grace, my attitude motivated by grace, and my actions directed by grace alone. I pray that I would extend Your grace to others, as You have been so gracious to me. Amen.
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
James 4: 6
I have always thought of the Book of James as where the rubber meets the road kind of writing. It seems like a book of rules to live by with not a lot of gray area. Our salvation is by grace alone. My meditation tonight says that “no one in heaven is boasting about how they got there.” I love that line.
There are no bragging rights in heaven—only humble, grateful praises directed to God and the Lamb of God. You know that phrase in the Lord’s prayer that says, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”? That means that God’s will is the last word in heaven and needs to be done on earth. God saves us and fits us for heaven by grace and then requires us to live by that grace here on earth.
I learn more each day about my need for God in every situation in which I find myself. I pray as I write these papers. I pray that they are not only academically accurate, but that they also identify where I stand in my faith. As I continue on in this journey of seminary learning and path to ordination I find myself growing weaker in my outer self and God is strengthening me inwardly. I pray for inward holiness and an outward witness by God’s grace. I know these things cannot be accomplished in me without God for without God I can do nothing.
Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. God has our back tonight so only one of us needs to remain awake. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.
I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.