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Thursday, March 30:  “Obviously Adopted - by God”

Romans 8: 15b-16a: “You have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba Father!’  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”  This passage continues the point we were discussing yesterday.  What visible sign can confirm to you that you are a child of God?  But the witness of the Holy Spirit produces faith in us, that we may walk in what we know but do not yet see (2 Corinthians 5: 7). 

Wednesday, March 29: “Show Me a Sign!”

John 6: 29, 30: “’This is the work of God, that you believe in Him Whom He has sent.’  They said therefore to Him, ‘What then do you do for a sign, that we may see, and believe you?’”  Jesus had already told them (v. 26) that they were not looking for signs, but blessings.  One does not need to see to believe, as the people were assuming here.  One can believe from an inner witness, a work of the Holy Spirit, whether they see or not.  Signs can be faked; an inner witness cannot.  Jesus Himself said (John 20: 29) that belief stemming from within, rather than visible signs, is more blessed.

Monday, March 27: “A Special Kind of Stubborn”

Jeremiah 16: 12:  “You too have done evil, even more than your forefathers; for behold, you are each one walking according to the stubbornness of his own evil heart, without listening to me.”  It’s a great thing to be stubborn - once you have listened to God, know His will, and steadfastly follow it without change.  But when you are stubborn in pursuing your own desires, ideas, and plans it leads to trouble.  With Israel, it led to exile.  God calls one perseverance, He calls the other evil.  Which kind of stubborn do you wish to be?

Saturday, March 25: “Anniversary of Incarnation”

John 1: 14:  “And the word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  Today is exactly three months since last Christmas, which means it is exactly nine months until next Christmas, which means it is the day the Church celebrates the Incarnation, when the Holy Spirit overshadowed the virgin Mary and she conceived the Christ.  Little-known fact: In the early days of the Church Roman society still followed the Julian calendar, in which March 25 was New Year’s Day.  (January and February were added later) Some think that as the Church first set up its Liturgical Calendar it placed this celebration of the beginning of the earthly life of Jesus (life begins at conception, you know) here on this first day of the year.  They then pegged the celebration of His birth on the day nine months after His conception, rather than the other way around.

Friday, March 24: “Cause and Effect”

Romans 6: 11:  “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”  Do you ever find yourself wondering why you seem to be more dead to God and alive to sin?  First, you can’t skip verse 3: a genuine baptism is necessary before we can die to sin.  Then, we must walk in the grace of our baptism, and this is a walk with no rest stops.  While re-baptism is necessary only if we have renounced our faith, repentance and renewal are sometimes needed to keep sin in its place - dead and buried!

Thursday, March 23:  “All In”

Psalm 86: 11b-12a: “Unite my heart to fear Your Name.  I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart.”  In some cultures religion takes a shotgun approach: try a little of this, and some of that, and see which works for you.  But God calls this mixture, and there is no place for it in His Kingdom.  All of our hearts - our whole hearts - must be united in the fear of the Lord God alone.  Only then do we find His lovingkindness and deliverance.

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