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Devotionals :: Day by Day by Grace :: Today's Reading

Hoekstra's Day by Day by Grace (December 29th)

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Walking with Jesus the Way We Received Him

As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him…Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? (Colossians 2:6 and Galatians 3:3)

In this vital matter of relating rightly to the Lord, one common mistake is attempting to develop our Christian walk in a different manner than we began it. Our present verses point us to the proper outlook. We are to build our life with the Lord upon the very same terms that we began that life. "As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him." We are to walk with Jesus the way we received Him.

We received the Lord and His great salvation as gifts of grace. "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!…For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God" (2 Corinthians 9:15 and Ephesians 2:8). We must, therefore, walk in Him with a "grace-receiving" mentality. "And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for [upon] grace" (John 1:16). We must never attempt to treat the Christian life as something we can manufacture or earn. Sinful, earthly fathers were created with a desire to give beneficial gifts to their children. Even more so, our holy, heavenly Father has a heart to give all that is needed to those who are willing to ask and receive. "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:11).

Galatians 3:3 reinforces the need to have the same pattern for beginning and developing a walk with God. "Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?" These rhetorical questions warn of the deadly danger of having our approach to Christian growth differ from how we found spiritual birth. The Holy Spirit alone was able to bring us spiritual birth. The flesh of man could avail nothing. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). The Holy Spirit must bring us spiritual progress. The flesh can contribute nothing. "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing" (John 6:63). Any change in approach from birth to growth is foolishness. It is doomed to failure.

We began by grace, so we must continue by grace. We began by the Spirit, so we must continue by the Spirit. Yes, we are to walk with Jesus the way we received Him. Any changes in approach are unacceptable, ineffective, impossible.

Heavenly Father, You are such a generous giver. You gave me Your Son and His salvation as a gift of grace. You gave me new life by a work of Your Holy Spirit. Now, I want to walk in Christ these same ways, in His gracious name, Amen.

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