Day by Day by Grace
Daily devotional by Bob Hoekstra.
Jan 1 Entry
The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)
God wants us to know His grace. He wants us to learn about it, and then to experience it at work in our lives. Grace has rightly been described as “unmerited favor.” The acrostic, “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense,” catches more of its majesty. Grace is God freely providing for us (as we trust in the work of His Son) all that we will ever need, all that we will ever yearn for, all that He has commanded us to walk in and become, realities that we could never produce on our own, could never earn, and could never deserve. Grace offers what every human desperately needs, but what God alone can provide.
This grace is found only in a person, the Lord Jesus. It is the “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Thus, it is accessible only through an ongoing personal relationship with Him.
Grace was made available to us by Jesus’ willingness to take our spiritual bankruptcy upon Himself, that we might be able to partake of His spiritual richness. Before coming to earth below, Jesus enjoyed heavenly riches above (“that though He was rich”). He knew the infinitely rich fellowship of the Father and the Spirit. He received the rich worship of angelic beings. He enjoyed the limitless prerogatives of deity.
Then, for our benefit, Jesus voluntarily became poor (“for your sakes He became poor”). He humbled Himself to walk as a man among sinful humanity. He who was adored above became despised below. He who shined forth in glorious divinity in heaven was clothed in humble humanity on earth. He who created all things was slain by those He created. He who always existed in eternity past died in time. He who was holy took our sin upon Himself.
Through these workings of His grace, all who believed in Him would become spiritually rich (“that you through His poverty might become rich”). Now, we whose “righteousness were as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) have become “the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We “who once were not a people…are now the people of God” (1 Peter 2:10). Now, we have been “blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
Dear Lord, I thank You and praise You for Your great grace toward me. May I increasingly know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, through a growing relationship with Him. May I become an instrument of Your grace in the lives of others, all for Your glory and honor, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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April 23 Entry
Triumphant Living Even in Difficult Situations
When I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia. Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:12-14)
Triumphant living is one of the characteristics that God wants to develop in us by the work of His grace. Even when we are in difficult situations, the Lord wants us to learn to walk in the victory that is available to us in Christ.
The Apostle Paul encountered a very difficult situation in Troas, as he traveled on one of his missionary journeys: “When I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit.” As Paul arrived in Troas, it was apparent that the Lord had granted an open door to preach the gospel. Nevertheless, Paul was distressed within his heart. The reason for the turmoil within was the absence of a key ministry partner. “I did not find Titus my brother.” In some situations, ministry cannot be conducted properly, if all of the strategic parts of the body of Christ are not fully engaged. So, Paul left that city, leaving Troas for another time. “Taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.”
Circumstantially, this looked like a defeat. Yet, Paul had a more profound perspective than what the eyes of man could see or what the mind of man could conceive. “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.” Paul gave thanks to the Lord for a truth that was greater than the obviously difficult situation that he had just experienced. Whenever we allow the Lord to be the one leading our lives, He “always leads us in triumph in Christ.” Paul was rejoicing in the fact that he was yielded to Christ as His Lord, his leader. Thus, he knew that the Lord was leading Him in triumph, because when Jesus is counted upon to lead us, He “always leads” us triumphantly.
Christ leads us in triumph; we do not win it for ourselves. This triumph is a spiritual victory that belongs to us by being in Christ. “Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.” Jesus won the victory at His death, burial, and resurrection. Now, He wants us to look to Him to lead us in that victory day by day.
Dear Jesus, my victorious Lord, how often I attempt to be the one who directs my life. I confess that when I lead, victory is not the result. Lord, help me to count on You to lead me in Your triumph, even in the difficult situations that I frequently encounter. In Your triumphant name, I pray, Amen.
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Biography of Bob Hoekstra
Pastor Bob Hoekstra had been in ministry since 1967 and was the Founder and Director of Living in Christ Ministries (LICM) since the early 1970’s. Pastor Bob was also the Director of The International Prison Ministry (IPM) which his father, Chaplain Ray Hoekstra, founded in 1972. IPM continues the extensive distribution of Bibles and Christian literature to inmates all across the United States, as well as providing support to prison ministry in the Ukraine and India. Living in Christ Ministries is the teaching and discipling outreach of The International Prison Ministry.
Bob Hoekstra began his ministry as Pastor of Calvary Bible Church in Dallas, TX, in the early 1970’s where he was the Pastor for fourteen years. He was also Pastor of Calvary Chapel Irvine in California for eleven years. Since 1993, Pastor Bob began teaching abroad at various Calvary Chapels and other church fellowships across the country and overseas (including Seminars, Pastor’s Conferences, Church Services, Leadership Conferences, Retreats, and Schools of Ministry). He taught numerous classes at Calvary Chapel Bible College (at Twin Peaks, CA, and in Murrieta, CA), as well as at the extension campuses of Costa Mesa, Vista, San Diego, and others. Bob’s teachings include such subjects as: Growing in the Grace of God, Counseling God’s Way, Family God’s Way, The Church: How Jesus Builds It, Contending for the Faith, Promise Believers, The Sufficiency of Christ and His Word, The Psychologizing of the Faith, and related themes. Pastor Bob can be heard all across the country on the Living in Christ Radio Program that features these studies and more (Please visit our website at www.livinginchrist.org for a list of Radio Stations and Program Schedule).
Day by Day by Grace is a daily devotional by Pastor Bob Hoekstra Founder and Director of Living in Christ Ministries. He was part of Calvary Chapel Movement.
|Date:||March 17, 2015|