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The Deeper Life: The Gift of God's Approval


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#1 Candice

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 11:15 AM

This is lengthy.  I'm sorry for that.  But, I didn't want to edit another's writing so.....  Hope this is a blessing.  If you had a Roman Catholic upbringing as I did, this can be a great reminder and sometimes needful daily.

 

Ray Stedman Devotional

February 20

 

Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do.  Ecclesiastes 9:7

 

Verse 7 is a most remarkable verse, because there is a statement in it of what we call in the New Testament the New Covenant, God's new provision for living. It is clear from the New Testament that God has given us a gift of approval, of righteousness. Because we already have that by faith, we are freed, and no longer do we have to struggle vainly to try to please God; we live in a way that does please Him because we have already been accepted and approved by Him.

 

Notice how clearly that is stated here in verse 7: Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. This is recognition, even in the Old Testament, of a relationship of righteousness that has already been established. It is true that basis was laid in our Lord's coming into this world and in His subsequent death and resurrection. Yet it is applied to all the people in the Old Testament, as well as in the New, who had faith in what God declared, who believed His Word and thus were given the gift of righteousness just as we are. Here the Searcher faces that as the real basis for life. If you want to find significance in your life, if you want to find deep meaning, peace, and contentment, this is the basis of it: Believe what God has given you already, and then, on that basis, live your life to the full. Fill it with all that is of value, reason, and worth.

 

White garments are a symbol in Scripture of practical righteousness, of good deeds being done that flow out of this new relationship that is already true. Oil is always the symbol of the Holy Spirit at work, so don't let oil be lacking on your head. Thus, here is a life filled with the Spirit, full of good works, flowing out of the realization that God already accepts us. That is the new basis for living. That is what Paul is talking about in Romans: For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law [with its demand that you measure up before God will accept you], but under grace [with its marvelous provision of righteousness as a gift] (Romans 6:14). It is yours for the taking though you do not deserve it, and by it you are rendered fully accepted and loved by God.
So right living follows that, and Solomon encourages us to live a normal life. Enjoy life with the wife whom you love all your days. God ordained marriage for that reason, and it is right to enjoy the fullness of marriage. And then enjoy your God-given work. Work is not something we are forced to do in order to keep alive. Work is a blessing. Do it with all your might. Do not just get through it the best you can so you can get home and start enjoying yourself. Many of us live that way, but that is not the biblical way. The biblical approach is that work is given to you as a gift of God, so enjoy it.

 

Do we live like this? We who are Christians, we who know the reality of the gift of righteousness and have discovered the secret of contentment, of being able to handle even difficult conditions because of the joy that God imparts to us by His presence within, have we begun to live this way?
Teach me to live this way, Lord, allowing You to fill all the empty places of my life and enjoying the many gifts that you give.

 

Life Application
God's approval is always received and not earned. How many of us struggle to please God? Why is this always a vain attempt on our part?


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#2 reader

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 07:03 AM

Allow me to add a couple of verses, which I feel go right along with Stedman's Devotional concerning living like Christians.

 

Galatians 5:13 . . . ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh (human nature of fallen mankind), but by love serve one another.

 

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
                   23 Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.
 
My prayer is that we find what Paul is writing about and live in such a manner. We would hurt less and hurt each other seldom if we will.

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#3 Tony Davison

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 05:47 AM

Todays devotional seems to fit so good today so is worthwhile quoting

TOZER DEVOTIONAL

Wed, February 26, 2020

Geared Into Things Eternal

The coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was a gracious experience of fulfillment and blessing and direction for the Christian church. It was the continuing emphasis for believers that we must live to gear ourselves into things eternal and to live the life of heaven here on earth. We must yield our first obedience and loyalty to Jesus Christ, at any cost! Anything we try to offer God that is less than that really is a degradation of the Christian Church. Frankly, I would rather be a member of a group that meets in a little room on a side street than to be part of a great activity that is not New Testament in its doctrine, in its spirit, in its living, in its holiness, in all of its texture and tenor. The Spirit-filled and Spirit-led congregation will be a joyful people. Beyond that, it will be useful and caring and compassionate! I do believe that the Christian Church ought to be a helpful influence to the whole community!


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#4 Candice

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 01:14 PM

That's a very good Word from Tozer. Thanks for sharing Tony. Be well and blessed