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Daily Reading: 2 Kings 1:1-2:25 ESV, Acts 13:42-14:7 ESV, Psalm 139:1-24 ESV, Proverbs 17:19-21 ESV

Daily Verse: “And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.” (Acts 13:43 ESV)

EPIMENO (1961): “Is a strengthened form of meno (3306) (epi, “intensive”), indicating perseverance in continuing in the grace of God, Acts 13:43.”[i]

Indicating perseverance.

Paul’s sermon captured the attention of “many Jews and devout converts.”  So much so that they followed him from the synagogue, wanting to hear more about Jesus.  The following week, “almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord” (Acts 13:44 ESV)

Urging them to “continue in the grace of God,” Paul and Barnabas encourage them on their journey.  Perseverance requires commitment when we don’t understand.  Following Jesus often means not knowing why.

Circumstances can quickly deter our walk.  Looking around our world today, one can easily ask God, “What the heck?”  Suffering and turmoil hang like a cloud over the earth.

Grace continues.

Learning to respond with grace, despite the pain, takes intentionality.  Choosing to trust God in the chaos of life takes work.  Often, we can’t control what happens in life, but we do control how we respond.  Centering our lives on Jesus helps us respond with Grace.

As a tennis coach, I have the task of teaching independence.  Students must learn how to think for themselves and adjust to a match’s situations.  For success, they must learn to process negative emotions quickly, or else it will impact their game.

We can learn how to respond positively to adverse events.  Recognizing, accepting, investing, and nurturing the painful feelings we have allows us to wash them in God’s grace.  Remind yourself all things work for the good for those who believe and trust in God will help you move forward.

Accepting the truth that in this world, we will have trouble helps us through life’s valleys because we know Jesus overcame the world.  Time and again, Christ’s grace heals our heartaches.  His complete and total love for you has no conditions.  In Jesus, you will find grace to continue, even on the most challenging days.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 98) Thomas Nelson

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