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Grace for Grace

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Grace for grace:  this phrase emphasizes the superabundance of grace that has been displayed by God toward mankind, especially believers (Ephesians 1:5-8; 2:7).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for John 1:16.

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Can You hear me now?

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Apart from John 9:31, also see:  Job 27:9 and 35:12; Psalm 18:41; Proverbs 1:28, 15:29, and 28:9; Isaiah 1:15; Jeremiah 11:11 and 14:12; Ezekiel 8:18; Micah 3:4; Zechariah 7:13; and James 5:16.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, references for John 9:31.

Selfless

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“…[E]steem others better than himself” (verse 3), is the basic definition of true humility (Romans 12:10; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 5:21; 1 peter 5:5).  Christ is the ultimate example of selfless humility (Matthew 11:29; John 13:12-17).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Philippians 2:3,5.

Obedience to the Truth

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Scripture should permeate every aspect of the believer’s life and control every thought, word, and deed (Psalm 119:11; Matthew 13:9; Philippians 2:16; 2 Timothy 2:15).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Colossians 3:16.

Be Content

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Believers can be content in every situation because of this promise.  Five negatives are utilized in this statement to emphasize the impossibility of Christ deserting believers.  It is like saying “there is absolutely no way whatsoever that I will ever, ever leave you.”

Commentary from the John MacArthur study Bible, notes for Hebrews 13:5.

Receiving Answers to Our Prayers

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In response to our prayers, the Lord uses His power to penetrate closed minds and hard hearts.  In that way, He brings people to salvation and transforms unrighteous lives.

We all want our petitions fulfilled, so it is important to understand God’s conditions for answered prayer.  Besides having a relationship with Him (John 3:3) and confessing all known sin, we must have faith that His Word is true and His promises reliable.  The Bible, which was divinely written by God through man, is without error.  In this amazing book, the Lord reveals His nature – holy, sovereign, and perfect – and presents His plan of salvation (Romans 10:9).  Because God’s promises are based on His perfect character, we can be certain He will do what He says; otherwise He would not be God.  And Jesus’ promises can be trusted because He always spoke the Father’s words (John 12:49).

Another condition is that we ask according to the Lord’s purposes.  We’re to pray for things that are in keeping with His divine plan and character.  God wants us to discern His will, to pray for it to be carried out, and to do whatever our part might be in its fulfillment (Matthew 6:9-10).  The Holy Spirit will help us know what to pray.  And as we consider which petitions to make, we should ask ourselves, Is my request based on God’s Word?  How will an answer to this prayer bring me or someone else closer to Him?

It takes an investment of time to meet God’s requirements for prayer.  But in response, He will provide answers beyond anything we could ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, December 15, 2017.