Day By Day By Grace July 30th

July 30
The Gentiles Included as Children of Promise
That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel . . . that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Eph_3:6 and Gal_3:14)
The implications of becoming children of promise through faith in the promises of God are monumental. One of the consequences that holds outstanding significance is highlighted in our present verses. It involves the Gentiles.
It is quite obvious in the Old Testament that God had great plans for the Jews (for Israel, His chosen people). ” ‘And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel” (Exo_19:6). God’s plans ultimately included the Gentiles (the nations of the world). “Oh, praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! . . . The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising” (Psa_117:1 and Isa_60:3). Nevertheless, the Jewish people would have a special place in God’s purposes. “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth” (Deu_14:2).
In light of these Old Testament truths regarding Israel, it was an astounding revelation when the Holy Spirit began to unfold through the Apostle Paul the full participation that the Gentiles would have in the promises of God: “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs.” By believing in the promises of God, the Gentiles would have full partnership shares (“fellow heirs” ) in the inheritance of God for His people. The Gentiles would also be “of the same body.” This body that included Gentiles and Jews was the church of Jesus Christ. “And He is the head of the body, the church” (Col_1:18). Jew and Gentile would comprise one new unit, the church. There is no longer a separation. Also, the Gentiles would be “partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel.” Through the promises of the gospel of grace, Gentiles would share fully in eternal life, daily blessing, and intimate access to the Lord. By faith in the God of Abraham, the Gentiles would also enjoy (along with any Jew who believed in Jesus as Messiah) the promise of the Spirit: “that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Yes, now the Holy Spirit would dwell in the lives of all who would believe – – not only the Jew, but also the Gentile!
Lord God of Israel, I praise You for being the God of believing Gentiles as well. How glorious is Your grace – – how mighty are Your promises! Jews and Gentiles now share in common the realities of God that are freely given to all who believe in Jesus Christ!

Our Daily Walk July 30th

July 30
“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him: Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” — Psa_37:7.
IT IS a mistake to be always turning back to recover the past. The law for christian living is not backward, but forward; not for experiences that lie behind, but for doing the will of God, which is always ahead and beckoning us to follow. Leave the things that are behind, and reach forward to those that are before, for on each new height to which we attain, there are the appropriate joys that befit the new experience. Don’t fret because life’s joys are fled. There are more in front. Look up, press forward, the best is yet to be!
Fret not because your ideals appear to mock you. Every ideal which we cherish is the herald and precursor of a reality which, in a better form than ever we dreamed, shall one day come to our possession. The ancient alchemists spent their lives in the pursuit of the Philosopher’s Stone, which they thought would turn every substance it touched to gold. They never discovered it, but they laid the foundations of modern chemistry, which has been more fruitful in its blessing to our race than the famous magic-stone would have been. Who shall say that those old explorers were deceived? Was not God leading them on, by a way that they knew not, to better things than they dreamed?
Fret not because the future seems dark. After all, the troubles we anticipate may never really befall. It is a long lane without a turning, and the dreariest day has some glint of light. In any case, worrying will not help matters; it can alter neither the future nor the past, though it will materially affect our power in dealing with troubles. It will not rob to-morrow of its difficulties, but it will rob your brain of its clear-sightedness, and your heart of its courage. Let us turn to God with faith and prayer, looking out for the one or two patches of blue which are in every sky. And if you cannot discover any where you are, dare to anticipate the time when God shall make all things work together for good to them that love Him.
Heavenly Father, we have been careful and troubled about many things. Forgive us, and breathe into our hearts a great faith in Thee, that doubts and fears may not be able to break in on our peace. Fence us around to-day as with a wall of fire; let us hear Thy voice saying: Fear not, I am with thee. AMEN.

From e-Sword Study Bible

Devotional Sermons July 30th

July 30
Some Features of Christ’s Working
My Father worketh hitherto, and I work — Joh_5:17
Christ Taught That Work Is Honorable
It is characteristic of the Christian Gospel that its Savior should be a worker. In the old world, it was hardly an honorable thing to work. It was a thing for slaves and serfs and strangers, not for freeborn men. Hence work and greatness rarely went together; and nothing could be more alien to the genius of paganism than a toiling God. Jesus has changed all that. He has made it impossible for us to think of God as indolent. It was a revolution when Jesus taught “God loves.” But it was hardly less revolutionary when He taught “God works.”
And He not only taught it, He lived it too. Men saw in Christ a life of endless toil, and “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” Had Jesus lived and taught in the quiet groves of some academy, it would have made all the difference in the Christian view of work, and all the difference in the Christian view of God. But Jesus was a carpenter. And Jesus stooped to the very humblest tasks till He became the pattern and prince of workers. I want to look, then, at some features of His work, for He has left us an example that we should follow in His steps.
The Magnitude of His Aim
Looking back, then, upon the work of Jesus, what strikes me first is the magnitude of His aim compared with the meanness of His methods.
It is a great thing to command an army. It is a great thing to be a master of a fleet. It is a great thing to be a minister of state and help to guide a people towards their national destiny. But the aims of general and of admiral and of a statesman, great in themselves, seem almost insignificant when we compare them with the purposes of Jesus. He claims a universal sovereignty. He runs that sovereignty out into every sphere. He is to be the test in moral questions. He is to shape our law and mold our literature. He is the Lord of life. He is the King and Conqueror of death. These are the purposes of Jesus, far more stupendous than man had ever dreamed of in his wildest moments. Will He not need stupendous methods if He is ever to achieve an aim like that?
The Meanness of Christ’s Methods
And it is then the apparent meanness of His methods strikes us. Had He a pen of fire? He never wrote a line, save in the sand. Had He a voice of overmastering eloquence? He would not strive, nor cry, nor lift up His voice in the streets. Was there unlimited wealth at His command?—”The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” Were His first followers’ men of influence?—”Simon and Andrew were casting a net into the sea, for they were fishers.” Or would He use the sword like Mohammed?—”Put up again thy sword into his place: for all, they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” It seems impossible that in such ways Christ should achieve His purpose. It is the magnitude of His aim compared with the meanness of His methods that arrests me first.
It should be so with every Christian toiler. It is a simple lesson for every man and woman who seeks to serve in the true Christian spirit. Meanly surrounded, he should be facing heavenwards. Meanly equipped in all things else, he should be mightily equipped in noble hope. If I am Christ’s, I cannot measure possibilities by methods. My heaven is always greater than my grasp. If I am Christ’s, I cherish the loftiest hope and am content to work for it in lowliest ways.
Difference between a Visionary and a Christian
And it is there the difference comes in between a visionary and a Christian. A visionary dreams his dreams and builds his castles in the air, and they are radiant and wonderful and golden, and the light of heaven glitters on every minaret. And then, because he cannot realize them now and cannot draw them in all their beauty down to earth, the visionary folds his hands, does nothing, and the vision goes. But the true Christian, with hopes as glorious as any visionary’s because they are the hopes of Jesus Christ, carries the glory of them into his common duty and into the cross-bearing of the dreary day. And though the generations die, and the purposes of God take a thousand years to ripen, he serves and is content—
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Doth his successive journeys run.
Untiring Labor with Unruffled Calm
Once more, as I look back upon the work of Jesus, I find there untiring llaborjoined with unruffled calm.
There never was a ministry, whether of man or angel, so varied, so intense or so sustained as was the public ministry of Jesus. He preaches in the synagogue at Nazareth. He preaches on the hill and on the sea. With infinite patience and unexhausted tenderness, He trains the twelve. And all that we know of Him is not a thousandth part of what He said and did. Charged with that mighty task and with only three short years to work it out, shall we not find Christ anxious, and will we not light on hours of feverish unrest? There is no trace of that. With all its stir, no life is so restful as the life of Jesus. With all its incident and crowding of event, we are amazed at the supreme tranquillity of Christ. There is time for teaching and there is time for healing. There is time for answering and time for prayer. Each hour is full of work and full of peace. No day hands on its debts to tomorrow. Jesus can cry, “It is finished,” at the close. Here for each worker is the supreme example of untiring labor and unruffled calm.
Let us remember that. It is the very lesson that we need today. There are two dangers that, in these bustling times, beset the busy man. One is that he be so immersed in multifarious business that all the lights of heaven are blotted out. The calm and quietness that are our heritage as Christians are put to flight in the unceasing round. Life lacks its unity, loses its central plan, becomes a race and not a stately progress, slackens its grasp upon eternal things, till we grow fretful in the constant pressure; and men who looked to us, as followers of Jesus, for a lesson, find us as worried and anxious as themselves. That is the one extreme; it is the danger of the practical mind. But then there is the other; it is the mystic’s danger. It is that, realizing the utter need of fellowship with God, a man should neglect the tasks that his time brings him and should do nothing because there is so much to do. All mysticism tends to that. It is a recoil from an exaggerated service. It is the shutting of the ear to the more clamorous calls that we may hear more certainly the still small voice.
But all that is noblest in the mystic’s temper and all that is worthiest in the man of deeds, mingled and met in the service of our Lord. Here is the multitude of tasks. Here is the perfect calm. And that is the very spirit that we need to rebaptize our service of today. God in the life means an eternal purpose. And work achieved on the line of an eternal purpose is work without friction and duty without fret. God in the life means everlasting love. And to realize an everlasting love is to experience unutterable peace.
He Had a Mission with a Message
Again, as I look back upon Christ’s work, there is another feature of it that strikes me. I find in it a mission for all, joined with a message for each.
Times without number we find Jesus surrounded by a multitude. Christ is the center of many crowds. Wherever He is, the crowd is sure to gather. And how He was stirred and moved and filled with compassion for the multitude, ail readers of the Gospel story know. Every chord of His human heart was set vibrating by a vast assembly. The common life of congregated thousands touched Him, true man, to all His heights and depths. He fed them, taught them. This was His parting charge, “Go ye into all the world and preach!” Yet for all this—the wide sweep of His mission—no teacher ever worked on so minute a scale as Jesus Christ. Did any crowd ever get deeper teaching than Nicodemus when he came alone? And was the woman of Samaria despised because she was companionless? How many sheep did the shepherd go to seek when the ninety-and-nine were in the fold? How many pieces of silver had been lost? How many sons came home from the far country before the father brought out his robes and killed the calf? Christ did not work on the scale of a thousand or on the scale of ten, but on the scale of one. Companionless men were born, and companionless they must be born again.
Jesus Insists on Quality, Not Quantity
We cannot afford, in these days, when all the tendency is toward the statistics of the crowd—we cannot afford to despise that great example. It is true, there is a stimulus in numbers. There is an indescribable sympathy that runs like an electric thrill through a great gathering; and heights of eloquence and song and prayer are sometimes reached where the crowd is that never could have been reached in solitude. But for all that, all Christlike work is on the scale of one. Jesus insists on quality, not quantity. And when the books are opened and the strange story of the past is read, some voices that the world never heard, as of a mother or a sister or a friend, shall be found more like Christ’s than others that have thrilled thousands by their eloquence. Pray over that sweet prayer of the Moravian liturgy: “From the desire of being great, good Lord, deliver us.” A word may change a life. It did for the Philippian jailer. A look may soften a hard heart. It did for Peter. To sanctify life’s trifles, to redeem the opportunities for good which the dullest day affords, never to go to rest without some secret effort to bring but a little happiness to some single heart—men who do this, unnoticed through the unnoticed years, grow Christlike; men who do this shall be amazed to waken yonder and find that they are standing nearer God than preacher or than martyr, if preaching and if martyrdom were all.
Seeming Failure and Singular Triumph
Lastly, as I look back upon that life of Christ, I see another feature. I see in it seeming failure joined with signal triumph. If ever there was a life that seemed to have failed, it was the life of Jesus. For a time it had looked as if triumph had been coming. The people had been awakened. The national hope had begun to center round Him. A little encouragement, and they would have risen in enthusiasm for Messiah. But when Jesus went to His death, all that was changed. The people had deserted Him. His very disciples had forsaken Him and fled. His hopes were shattered and His cause was lost. His kingdom had been a splendid dream, and Jesus had been the king of visionaries. Now it was over. The cross and the grave were the last act in the great tragedy. Jesus had bravely tried, and He had failed. Yes! so it seemed. Perhaps even to the nearest and the dearest so it seemed. God’s hand had written failure over the work of Jesus, when lo! on the third day, the gates of the grave are burst, and Jesus rises. And then the Holy Ghost descends on the apostles, and they begin to preach. And the tidings are carried to the isles and pierce the continents. And a dying world begins to breathe again: and hope comes back, and purity and honor, and pardon and a new power to live, and a new sense of God; and it all sprang from the very moment when they wagged their heads and said, “He saved others, himself he cannot save.” Failure? Not failure—triumph! It was a seeming failure in the eyes of man; it was a signal triumph in the plans of God.
Seeming Failure Is Often True Success
O heart so haunted by the sense of failure, remember that. O worker on whose best efforts, both to do and be, failure seems stamped, remember that. If I have learned anything from the sacred story, it is this, that seeming failure is often success. When John the Baptist lay in his gloomy prison, it must have seemed to him that he had failed. Yet even then, a voice that never erred was calling him the greatest born of women. When Paul lay bound in Rome, did no sense of failure visit him? Yet there, chained to the soldier, he penned these letters that run like the chariots of Christ. God is the judge of failure, and not you. Leave it to Him, and go forward. Successes here are often failures yonder, and failures here are sometimes triumphs there.
One of our Scottish ministers and poets has a short piece he names, “A Call to Failure”-
Have I no calls to failure,
Have I no blessings for loss,
Must not the way to the mission
Lie through the path to the Cross?
But one of our English ministers and poets has a short piece that is a call to triumph: “He always wins who sides with God, no chance to him is lost.” And is the one false, and the other true? Nay, both are true.

Rylisms July 30th

July 30
Chosen and Marked by Love
”You are My Son, chosen and marked by My love; pride of My life.” (Mar_1:11, The Message).
It is one of the more familiar scenes from the life of Jesus. Standing in the Jordan River as cousin John prepared to perform of His baptism — the time honored ritual that symbolized death, burial and resurrection. How interesting that Christ’s introduction to the public scene would began in just such a manner. And how appropriate.
Indeed, for everything about Him – his teachings, his miracles, his interaction with the leaders of His day – everything was aimed with unswerving accuracy at one thing — the Cross. And how empowering it must have been for Him to hear at that very moment these tender words from His Father — “You are My Son, chosen and marked by My love; pride of My life.”
I firmly believe that everything Jesus said and did from this moment forward flowed out of this one thing – He was secure in His Father’s love for Him. He had no need to perform in order to be accepted and loved. No, He was already accepted and love – and that freed Him to fully carry out His mission.
Now here is the point of what I’m saying. We have no difficulty in hearing that God said such wonderful words to Jesus. Nor should we. Our difficulty comes when someone suggests that God may be saying the same words to us!
As hard as it may be for you to grasp this, or to believe this — it is true. God loves you…..loves you just as He loves Jesus. He says to you, “You are my son, my daughter — chosen and marked by my love — pride of my life!”
Can you not see the evidence of this truth in your life? God has surely chosen you, that’s why you feel and think the way you do. That’s why you hunger for truth and long for something other than what this world can offer. You are chosen by God!
But there is more! You have also been marked by His love. There is something about you that causes others to take note when you are around. A look in your eye, a grace in your words, a power in your presence. But, none of this is originating from you, as though you possessed these things on your own. No, these are but the evidence of being “marked by God’s love.”
And, as surely as any father beams with joy and pride at the birth of a child, so the Lord does over you! It was a happy day of earth when you were born, but it was a happier day in heaven when you were born again!
It’s true! God loves you as a Father loves his child. He has chosen and marked you by His love. You are the pride of His life.
I dare you to believe this for just one day.
I double dare you.
I double-dog dare you!