Day 27 Devotional Before United Prayer: (about 2:26 minute reading)
In short, whatever attitudes or behavior the Lord asks us to exhibit, He will manifest in and through us if we choose to let Him and believe He will. This requires us to be aware of the attitudes and behaviors God wants us to exhibit. We find this instruction in the Word of God.
God’s standard is high, so high that it is impossible for us to meet it. This standard will be met only as Christ lives out this standard through us. Paul actually points this out in his letter to the Romans.
For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:3-4; NIV)
In these verses, Paul shared with us that it is impossible for sinful mankind to fulfill the righteous requirements of God’s law. However, because Christ came in the flesh, obeyed the law perfectly, and fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the law, He condemned sin breaking its power. Therefore, through Christ the “righteous requirements of the law” can be “fully met in us” who do not yield to our sinful natures, but allow the Spirit to manifest obedience in us.
This chapter presents how God fulfills the new-covenant promise. In the new covenant, God says He will write His law on our hearts and in our minds (Hebrews 8:8-10). Our part is to choose to allow Him to do it. God foretold through the prophet Ezekiel that He would do this.
Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (Ezekiel 36:25-27)
The New Testament confirms this promise in texts such as the following:
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
Note that it is God who “performs” this work. Paul presents this same truth in his first letter to the Thessalonians.
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
Again, Paul was clear; God does the sanctifying. Our part is to choose to allow Him to perform that work within our spirit, soul, and body.
Day 27 Prayer Focus: Pray for
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Revival for yourself and the church
- God to lead the church to understand and experience complete victory over temptation through faith in Christ’s righteous obedience in your life
- Those on your prayer list
Day 27 Going Deeper Discussion Questions: (based on pages 91 to 93 of “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith [pages 111 to 113 of the PDF version])
- How will be able to exhibit the attitudes and behaviours that the Lord wants from us?
- Why can we not meet God’s standard? How is then possible for us to meet God’s expectations?
- Why does Paul say the Law is powerless in Romans 8:3-4? Who makes the law powerless?
- Why after condemning sin in sinful man is the righteousness of the law met in us?
- What is the crux of what Paul is saying about our ability to keep the law? What is the caveat is provides?
- How does Christ’s LIFE change our situation with regards to having righteousness, that is required before God?
- What changes do you have to ask God to make in your life in order to be able to see Christ’s righteousness reflected in yourself?
- There is a new covenant promise that is given to us – what is this promise? (Heb. 8:8-10)
- What is God’s part in this new covenant? Ezek. 36:25-27
- What is our problem that God has to make a new covenant with regards to our hearts?
- How does having a renewed spirit allow us to keep the law?
- What does having this new heart and new spirit allow for us to be like when Jesus comes? 1 Thess. 5:23-24
- Ultimately the work of Righteousness belongs to who?
- In what area of your life are you still trying to produce your own righteousness? Why is it difficult for you to let the God produce righteousness in you instead of you producing righteousness yourself?
Day 27 Heart preparation/challenge:
- Throughout the day ask God to remind you what He is speaking to you in today’s reading and going deeper discussions and to help you to apply them in your life.
- Read “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith pages 93 to 97 (pages 113 to 117 of the PDF file) in preparation for Day 28.
- Prayerfully answer Day 28 discussion questions in preparation to share on Day 28 Going Deeper segment of united prayer.