Monday – Romans 7:4–6 When we come to Christ, we share in the cross of Christ. Our desires, our wants, even our values begin to change. We are so grateful for the cross that Jesus endured for us, that we begin to identify with the cross ourselves. As we study the Word and absorb it into our lives, we have “died to what held us, so that we may serve in the new way…” Just as Jesus was victorious through the Cross, we are victorious because, spiritually we have been put to death and raised to walk in new life. This was done so that we may “belong to one another”. So that we may be the church, to “bear fruit for God.” Just as Jesus was crucified to His own purposes, we are crucified to our purposes. Pray with me…. Lord, have your will in my life. We share in the cross of Christ. You were crucified for us, and we are crucified with you. Our lives are not our own. Our will is not our own. As we have died to our own purposes, live in us. Lord, live in us. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.
Tuesday – 1 Corinthians 1:21–25 The New Testament is written to two people groups. The Jews are acknowledged as God’s chosen people. Everyone else is included in the group called the Gentiles. Here Paul characterizes the Jews as seeking signs. Specifically, the Jews are looking for a Messiah to miraculously save them from Roman rule. The Greeks (Gentiles) seek wisdom. They like to discuss ideas and principles. To both groups, a Messiah who died on a cross, is foolishness. “A stumbling block to the Jews, and foolishness to the Gentiles”. But for those who are willing to hear the call of a suffering Savior, immediately Christ becomes God’s power and wisdom. The power to save completely and the wisdom to live with overwhelming joy. We who have believed through the foolishness of the preached message, come to understand the saving power of God’s eternal plan. We come to understand “God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.” What a mighty God we serve!
Wednesday – 1 Corinthians 2:1–4, 6–8 Can you imagine how Paul felt when he saw Corinth for the first time? As he gazed at it’s walls and buildings, and the thousands of people there who had never heard of Jesus before. Here in 1 Cor. 2 Paul remembers that day, “When I came to you brothers, announcing the testimony of God.” Paul remembers the testimony of Jesus he gave to the Corinthians. Notice he says that the message to the Corinthians was simple…”Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Just the same as it is today. Nothing really matters except our Savior and His atoning blood, shed for our sins. God had decided long ago that the only permanent solution for man’s sin was Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. If we keep the cross of Christ first and foremost in our hearts, and if we stay humble, we too can be a powerful demonstration of the Spirit’s power. Pray with me… Lord, be exalted in me. Be exalted in our family and home. We know nothing except You, Lord. You are our salvation. You are our hope. We humbly come to you and ask you to use us to be a demonstration of your Holy Spirit. Let others see You in us. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.
Thursday – Galatians 2:19–20 The Old Testament law was given to us so that we might know that we have sinned. The Book of Romans is largely about how God gave the Old Testament Law so that man could see his need for a Savior. So here in Galatians when Paul says, “For through the law I have died to the law, so that I might live for God,” Paul is speaking as a Jew who loved the law. But now, he has learned to love Jesus more than the law. Paul is so in love with Jesus, he sees himself as dead to self. He considers his life now to be completely dependent on faith in the Son of God. Paul says that he has died to the law, but now he lives for God. Of course, if Paul who was trained to someday be a Pharisee and a ruler of the Law, values Jesus so much more than the Law, it inspires us as well. Read Matthew 22:34-40. Jesus perfectly fulfilled the Law, while also abolishing certain aspects of it. Take a moment to pray over everything you have learned in these passages.
Friday – Galatians 5:22–24 “Those who belong to Jesus Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” This is talking about a series of life decisions. It is talking about purposefully thinking in a brand new way and continuing in it. While we were without Jesus we valued other things. We lived in the pride of life and being prideful was what helped us to survive. Every man lives in pride and arrogance before we belong to Jesus. But when we crucify the flesh we begin to value the things that God values. The fruit of the Spirit is what God wants to cultivate in us. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control are the main characteristics of God. They are His values. So consequently, as we crucify our flesh, He grows our Christ-like qualities. And the more we become like Him, the more we feel fulfilled. Read Phil. 3:7. What do you think Paul means and how can you apply it in your life?
Saturday – Galatians 6:14 We love to talk about our children. When we are proud of them, it is only natural we might boast a bit about who they are. And each of us has been around a boastful parent or grandparent who turns every conversation around so that they can talk about a child they are proud of. Paul evidently understood our human nature. Our desire to feel good about what is ours. Paul teaches us much about that nature when he says, “I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” He would rather talk about Jesus than anything else. He would rather boast about the cross of Christ than anything else in his life. So his conversation revolves around Jesus. So complete is the change in his life that he actually says the “world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world.” All the temptations, all the pride, all the boasting, all the arrogance so common in the world is crucified. Nailed to the cross. Pray with me… Lord I am crucified to the world. You died on a cruel cross so that I might see all the things that could destroy me and destroy my family, as powerless. Through You I see the world as powerless. Through You I see the world and it’s temptation to sin, as powerless. You, Lord are victorious over the world. You, Lord were perfect and without sin when you lived in this world. And I follow you with all of my heart. I seek you with all of my mind. I love you with all of my strength. Be exalted in my life, In Jesus Name, Amen.