Daily Archives: November 24, 2013

The Gospel Strengthens Our Faith

SRomans 16:25-27

Look carefully with me how “the obedience of faith” (at the end of verse 26) fits in these verses. Paul begins his doxology by saying that one of the reasons glory belongs to God is that he is able to strengthen us. Verse 25: “Now to him who is able to strengthen you . . . be glory forevermore.” Between that opening declaration that God can strengthen your faith and the closing acclamation that God is glorious, Paul unpacks the gospel as the very thing that God uses to strengthen our faith.

Follow the phrases he uses to unpack the gospel and you will see how he begins by saying the gospel strengthens our faith and ends by saying the gospel produces the obedience that comes from faith.

Verse 25 says he strengthens us “according to my gospel.” So he simply strikes the note that this message is “good news.” That is what gospel means. We are made strong by good news. Then he calls the gospel the preaching of Jesus Christ. That means that the heart of the gospel is good news about who Jesus Christ is and what he did when he came and died and rose again. He doesn’t tell us what that is because that is what the first eight chapters were about.

Be Thankful Always

Text: Psalm 50:23

He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me. Psalm 50:23

Has it ever seemed surprising to you that God made the Israelites wander in the wilderness for 40 years just for grumbling and complaining?

One thing is crystal clear from this biblical account: God is obviously not pleased with grumbling, ungrateful hearts. And we should not tolerate grumbling either—in ourselves or in our others.

Being grateful is a choice that we should readily and ritually express daily.

Developing a heart of gratitude is essential to growing a stronger faith. If we do not believe that we are deeply dependent on God for all we have or hope to have, the very spring of gratitude and faith runs dry.”

Make the choice today to take your eyes off yourself and your circumstances, gratefully acknowledging who God is and what He is doing. Deny yourself the right to complain, embracing instead the deep-seated joy of thanksgiving . . . in all things.

A grateful heart pleases God.

Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing

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