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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, November 1, 2015
Today’s scripture reading:
“Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms” means that in Christ we have all the benefits of knowing God–being chosen for salvation, being adopted as his children, forgiveness, insight, the gifts of the Spirit, power to do God’s will, the hope of living forever with Christ. Because we have an intimate relationship with Christ, we can enjoy these blessings now. The “heavenly realms” means that these blessings are eternal, not temporal. The blessings come from Christ’s spiritual realm, not the earthly realm of the goddess Artemis.
God showered his kindness on us–this is also called God’s “grace.” This is his voluntary and loving favor given to those he saves. We can’t earn salvation, nor do we deserve it. No religious intellectual, or moral effort can gain it, because it comes only from God’s mercy and love. Without God’s grace, no person can be saved. To receive it, we must acknowledge that we cannot save ourselves, that only God can save us, and that our only way to receive this loving favor is through faith in Christ. (NLT)
Ephesians 1:3-8 – How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ. Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure.
So we praise God for the wonderful kindness he has poured out on us because we belong to his dearly loved Son. He is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of his Son, and our sins are forgiven. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. — Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)
Mathew A. Palakunnath Punalor (Kerala, India) titled his story “A LEGACY OF FAITH;” here is a portion of Mathew’s story:
“. . . After years of rebellion in college, I came to know Christ more deeply through the copies of The Upper Room that my mother would send me from time to time. I began to have a deeper connection with God, starting each day with devotional reading.
“God does not change, but our understanding of God changes and grows. Our daily faith practices help our understanding of God to grow and give us new perspectives on life. These activities become the foundation for a meaningful relationship with God that guides us each day. . .”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God’s grace has no limits or conditions.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the grace you give to us regardless of our merit. Help us to accept your grace with a thankful heart. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
OBEDIENCE, OBEY: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/obedience-obey/
SPIRITUAL GROWTH: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/spiritual-growth/
EXPECTATIONS, EXPECTED, EXPECTS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/expectations-expected-expects/
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