Saturday, November 20, 2010
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 HCSB
There is no victory at bargain basement prices. Dwight D. Eisenhower*
My wife is always looking for a bargain. In fact, if what she’s looking for isn’t on sale, she’s most likely not going to buy it. We live across the street from a mall and she walks through it all the time, but she purchases most of her clothes from discount department stores, at thrift stores, and even garage sales. She has one pair of shoes that she purchased for $2.50 at a discount shoe outlet. When I asked her how much the shoes were, she answered, “They were only $1.25 each.”
Fortunately, when God saw that we needed redemption, He didn’t go looking for a bargain. He offered the most valuable thing that exists, Himself, to purchase our salvation. He lowered Himself to become a man. Then, substituting Himself for us, He died an excruciating death on a cross, after being beaten mercilessly. The cost was greater than that of anything ever purchased.
Lord, thank You for paying the full cost of the penalty for my sin.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24 HCSB
Once, when I was leading worship, I made a very embarrassing mistake. I was doing a spoken transition from one praise song to the next while the piano played softly behind me. What I meant to say was that “Jesus was the only person who ever lived who was able to live a totally sinless life.” However, when the moment came to speak those words, I accidentally said, “Jesus was the only person who ever lived who was able to live a totally sinful life.” Fortunately, my pastor informed me of my error during the offering and I was able to reaffirm my theological stance to the congregation later in the service.
Jesus did live a sinless life. No one else who has ever lived can make that claim to fame, not the Apostle Paul, not John Calvin, not Mother Theresa, not Billy Graham, no one. When I reflect on this, I remember that it’s only by the grace and mercy of God that we are saved.
Lord, thank You for Your grace and mercy.
Monday, November 15, 2010
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 HCSB
And now let me address all of you, high and low, rich and poor, one with another, to accept the mercy and grace while it is offered to you; Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. George Whitefield*
I was sixteen when I made the best decision of my life. I had been studying the Bible and came to the realization that there was a God who loved me. In fact, He loved me so much that He left Heaven and lowered Himself to live as a man so that He could live a perfectly sinless life and then die a horrible death on a cross to pay the price for the bad things that I had done. Once I came to the realization that I could know this God personally, I jumped at the chance. I asked Him to forgive me of my sins and to become the Lord of my life.
Lord, thank You for dying on a cross for me. I love You.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 HCSB
We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive. Albert Einstein*
I like to see new places. I like to experience new things. I like to try different types of foods. However, I’ve noticed that when I travel, I most often look for familiar restaurant chains when choosing a place to eat instead of embracing one of a kind local cuisine.
Why do I do that? Doesn’t it make sense that trying new restaurants would enhance the adventure and excitement of my journey? However, most often, I’m simply not willing to risk it. It seems that even when I am seeking adventure, there’s a part of me that wants security. I suppose that’s something that’s built into all of us.
Fortunately, when we come to Christ and become a new creation, we not only get to experience the new that comes with knowing Him, but we gain the greatest security that has ever been and ever will be.
Lord, help me to embrace the adventure and security that comes with being a new creation through You.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
For by grace are you saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift-not from works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 HCSB
Grace is what God gives us what we don’t deserve and mercy is when God doesn’t give us what we do deserve. Anonymous*
I don’t know about you, but I often forget about the extreme grace that the Lord has bestowed upon me. I mean, I’ve received the salvation that He has to offer, but in my day-to-day life I often don’t reflect on His mercy towards me. Instead, I get caught up in all of the things that I have to do, things that I tend to believe make me more spiritual or holy or righteous. Those are all good things, but they all pale in comparison to the righteousness that comes upon me because of the grace and mercy of Jesus. He loves us so much even though we don’t deserve His love. His grace truly is amazing.
Lord, thank You for Your grace and thank You for Your mercy. Help us to always remember what You have done for us and how much that you love us.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 HCSB
The greatest enemy to human souls is the self-righteous spirit which makes men look to themselves for salvation. Charles Spurgeon*
Whenever Walter was naughty in school, his teacher punished him by making him miss recess. As the other children played, Walter would have to stand in time out with his arms folded, watching the other children have fun. One day, when Walter was being especially stubborn, he started mumbling, “I hate time out, I don’t want to be in time out, I’m not in time out…” However, after a few minutes, Walter stopped mumbling. He finally came to the realization that his situation wasn’t going to change simply because of his words and beliefs.
Many people are just as stubborn as Walter. They believe that as long as they are sincere in their beliefs that they will still be able to live in Heaven with God when they die. However, Jesus said that no one comes to the Father except through Him.
Jesus, help us to accept the fact that You are the only way of salvation.