An Emoji Devotions for Mon 11th January, 2021 Christian special – cheap grace on sale!? Highlight: At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. (Titus 3, 3 – Jesus Christ calls all those, who are weary and burdened to him and promises them rest. He has mercy on them and wants to give them rest for their souls (Matthew 11, 28 -30). His mercy gives them what they have never deserved as he makes them to his children and heirs with the gift of life eternal. His grace, earned by him himself through his becoming human and through his sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, redeems them with the Father. Jesus has paid the death penalty that is upon all of us and although we have deserved it, he takes it away from us by his grace. Additionally he gives us the Holy Spirit to indwell us to guide us to a holy life. This is the good news, this is the gospel. What we deserve is taken away from us and what we have never deserved is given to us freely. What a change, what a blessing that is! Praise be to our great God for his grace and mercy! In my family it was very clear that the Sunday belonged to God in its entirety. So it was normal that there has not been one Sunday without attending one or two church services. The emphasis was then not on the great deed and gift of God, but rather on the part of exhortation. The preachers used to stress rather the fact that the believer has to be very careful to lead an immaculate life. It was clear to me at that time that I would never qualify as a good Christian. Later the tide has turned and today the emphasis is totally upon the generous gift of God and it gets rarely mentioned that Jesus said: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart”, or Paul writes to Titus: “I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. ” Both parts are important but always in an encouraging way. Yes, there is no cheap grace and we are called to be followers of Christ and as such we are again and again invited to come to him as weary and burdened. There is no room for liberality, but there is grace for each one, who comes back to Jesus. King David often erred from the straight way, but he always turned back to God and this made him to a man after God’s own heart. Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, help me today to learn from you and to do what is good and helpful to spread your kingdom. I humble myself before you, help me to live a worthy life according to your gospel. I need you!