[popup url=”http://blb.org/devotionals/me/view.cfm?Date=05/21&body”]» Today’s reading at Blue Letter Bible[/popup]
If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.—1 Peter 2:3
Spurgeon’s exhortation in this morning’s devotion calls believers to know their assurance for salvation, in Christ. Not in their works, but by tasting that the Lord is gracious. In knowing that it is by grace that we are saved.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.—Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV
But the Apostle Peter takes this even a step further in his second epistle, where he writes,
…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.—2 Peter 3:18 NKJV
Peter wrote this to believers. He is exhorting us to grow in God’s grace. God’s grace is more than the initial pardon of sin, otherwise this statement would make no sense, since the readers are already believers. God’s grace is immeasureable. Contextually, this statement is linked with growing in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus. It is also right after telling the readers to consider Paul’s letter to them, as Peter categorizes Paul’s letters as Scripture. So from this I think we can safely deduce that one method of growing in the grace of God is through the reading and application of the Holy Scriptures to our daily lives.
So let us both be assured of our relationship with Christ through His grace, and continue to grow in that grace each day to live as He would have us do.
There is corn in Egypt.—Genesis 42:2
The story of Joseph has been on of my favorite stories since I first started reading the Bible. I first read it before I was saved, and I was 17 or 18 years old. What struck me then was the love of God for Joseph. Over the years as I re-read the story many times, I have come far more to appreciate the sovereignty of God in this entire story. From start to finish, God is in control of the situation.
Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.” Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.—Gen 50:18-21 NKJV
Joseph here is speaking directly about the context of Spurgeon’s evening devotional. God sovereignly arranged all the events in Joseph’s life from his brothers’ betrayal to their bowing before him, in part to provide food for their family in the great famine. His brothers’ motives were evil, but God’s motives were of course pure and good. I wish I could look into Joseph’s heart in those intervening years. Did he doubt God, as I do when I am going through hard times. Was he angry with God, as many people are when things don’t go right. Did the words “Why me!” ever come from his mouth (in Hebrew of course)!
We don’t know for sure, but we do know that the Holy Spirit has recounted to us these events in Joseph’s life as an exhortation to trust in God, even in the most dire circumstances. Knowing that whatever we face, it is ultimately in His hands.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.—Romans 8:28 NKJV