Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

Leading With an Encouraging Heart: Day 1

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JOHN 1:3-5; 8:12

 

Jesus’ vision for His friends and disciples was powerful and inspiring. It was rooted not only in His confidence in them, but His assurance about the ultimate triumph of the Kingdom of God. He invited them to be lights knowing that He was the Light, a light no one could extinguish. He called them to be salt, trusting that someday everyone in every area of human endeavor would bow to his Lordship.  Jesus didn’t blanche at Pilate’s challenge or Satan’s tempting words because He knew that no earthy or demonic power could unseat God or destroy the divine plan.

 

What is the basis of your confidence?

Does it help you to be encouraging?

 

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Leading With a Just Heart: Day 7

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ROMANS 3:21-26
ROMANS 5:6-10

 

Aristotle defined justice as “giving each one their due.” It is a concept based on the idea that justice is a kind of debt owed by each one to everyone else, based on their station, status, and their humanity.

But as Luther famously observed, in the scriptures there is a “strange righteousness,” a new and counter-intuitive kind of justice emerges. For God makes right the ungodly and justifies the undeserving. The debt owed to him by us is unpayable, and yet he pays it himself, in blood and suffering, on the cross. As we think about human justice, we must always remember that it falls short of divine justice, and that God’s righteousness pulls us beyond what we “owe” others, towards acts of love and mercy. The power of this is clearest in the realm of personal relationships, where a ‘strict justice’  approach would be disastrous, if it wasn’t combined with love and mercy. Even in politics—local, national, and international—there are moments when ordinary justice can be infused with sacrifice, love, or mercy.

 

Thank God for his “strange righteousness.”

Move beyond strict justice with someone today.

 

 

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