Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Saturday, October 25
“Not my will, but yours be done.”
Lk 22:42 NIV
If your goal is to be used by God, don’t be surprised when He permits seasons of adversity and brokenness. Jesus experienced it, and He said, “A servant is not greater than his master” (Jn 15:20 NKJV). One Bible teacher points out: “God’s intent isn’t to hurt us, but to expand our capacity to carry His love to a world in need of compassion…Sorrow clarifies our thinking. In the school of Christ, brokenness is a good thing. It’s impossible to become intimate with God unless we’re broken of independence, pride, and our insistence that our way is better than God’s. Brokenness is the last stop before we finally confess, ‘I can’t; God can.’ It’s Paul confessing, ‘What a wretched man I am. Who will rescue me from this body of death?’ (Ro 7:24 NIV). It’s the Prodigal fighting with the pigs over food (Lk 15:11-32). It’s Joseph, still in prison, forgotten by the cupbearer (Ge 40:23). It’s Jonah in the whale’s belly confessing the consequences of running from God (Jnh 2:1-9). It’s Peter weeping bitterly outside Jesus’ trial (Lk 22:62). It’s Jesus abandoning everything to God, praying, ‘Father…not my will but yours be done’ (Lk 22:42 NIV)…God in His ruthless, loving pursuit will break us of pride, sin, folly, and independence (Mt 21:44). Like Jesus serving bread at the Last Supper, God takes us, breaks us, blesses us, and uses us.” Are you going through a season of brokenness? Be encouraged; in God’s kingdom brokenness is the path to blessing. Watchman Nee put it this way: “To have God do His own work through us, even once, is better than a lifetime of human striving.”
Sunday, October 26
“He made us accepted in the Beloved.”
Eph 1:6 NKJV
ACCEPTED BY GOD!
There’s no pain worse than rejection and no pleasure greater than acceptance, which helps explain the length some people go to in order to avoid rejection and earn acceptance. But the good news is, with God you’re already accepted. J. B. Phillips translates Ephesians 1:6 like this: “He…has made us welcome in the everlasting love he bears towards the son.” And that’s not limited to those who appear worthy because of their good deeds and a flawless moral record; it’s for every believing child of God, lock, stock, and barrel! Cromwell once commissioned a self-portrait. The artist, courting Cromwell’s favor, portrayed him without his obvious imperfections. Cromwell was livid. “I said paint me, man —me, warts and all!” You’re accepted by God, “warts and all.” But note: (1) God’s acceptance doesn’t equal His approval. He accepts sinners, but He can never accept our sin. Indeed, His free gift of acceptance is our greatest motivator to renounce our sin and live to please Him (Tit 2:11, 12). (2) God’s acceptance is unconditional. He doesn’t say, “You’re accepted if you clean up your act.” In the words of Jeremiah, “Can a leopard take away its spots? Neither can you start doing good, for you have always done evil” (Jer 13:23 NLT). God’s acceptance has to be unconditional, because it’s impossible for us to merit it. (3) God’s acceptance is because of Jesus. You’re “accepted in the Beloved.” The doomed Mephibosheth was accepted because of David’s relationship to his beloved friend Jonathan (See 2Sa 9). And as long as God accepts Jesus, and you trust in Jesus, you’re accepted as well.