This is the Gospel: Day 8

The Saving Work of Christ

by

Today's Text: John 19:17-18, John 19:28-30, John 20:1-2, John 20:15-16, John 20:19-21, 1 Corinthians 15:12-22, 1 Corinthians 15:50-58, Romans 5:6-21, 1 John 2:1-2, 1 John 4:10

The gospel story begins with our original glory and quickly proceeds to mankind’s original sin. But sin is not the whole story. When God created man, He was also creating the form He Himself would one day take on as Jesus. You see, God had a plan to make us new againa plan that spanned life to death to eternal life.

That’s a pretty big concept, I know. Let’s unpack it together:

Man was dead in his sin. He sacrificed animals on altars and sought priests in temples, all in an effort to get to God. But the curse was too strong and the debt too great. A Greater Sacrifice would need to be made in order for God to reconcile us to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:17-19). Yet in His vast goodness and mercy, our God was seeking after us and had been at work all along.

God, the Creator of all things, became man: a God-Man. He walked and breathed and hungered and wept, and lived a humble, servant’s life—a sinless life.  Mankind was in a debt so deep the only payment was death—His or ours. And when the God-appointed time came, He was betrayed by His own friend, put on trial, and crucified on a cross for a crime that was not His. It was mine. And it was yours.

Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, the spotless Lamb. The blood He shed eliminated the need for the blood of sheep and goats. Man no longer needed altars or priests to approach the Almighty, but could now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence (Ephesians 3:12).

His death on the Cross paid for Adam’s sin and every single sin that was or ever will be. While we were still slaves to our sin, Christ died our death sentence (Romans 5:8). He paid the debt we owed but could never pay, and bought us life, hope, and direct access to the Father. His agonizing death was our ransom.

Christ’s life and death ransomed us from the curse, but that’s not all! In order for any of this to matterif any of this can truly save usthen what happens next is absolutely paramount.

Here is the cornerstone of the Gospel: Christ did not stay dead.

After three days in the grave, Christ rose from the dead, left the tomb and grave clothes behind, and appeared to many before ascending into Heaven whereeven nowHe sits at the right hand of God the Father (Mark 16:19).

Death has lost its power, swallowed up in the resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:55-56).

Sisters, wherever you are right now, whatever is distracting you or worrying you, whoever or whatever is vying for your attention, whether you feel needed or hurt or loved todayput it all aside for a moment and hear this loud and clear: Christ. Did. Not. Stay. Dead. He is alive!

This Gospel story may feel like a lot to wrap your mind around. Scripture gives us a word to describe it: propitiation, which means “to substitute or appease.” Jesus’ perfect life, death, and resurrection are a substitute for our sin. His sacrifice on the Cross is the only thing that makes us righteous before the Father. He is the “propitiation” for our sins (1 John 4:10).

Our sins were charged to Him. His righteousness was credited to us.

He takes our dirty sins and, in exchange, He credits us with His clean and perfect righteousness. (I know—it’s an incredible gift!) So, when God looks at me, my sins are covered by the pure white righteousness of Christ (Jude 1:24).

The God who created us came down and lived the sinless life you and I never could. Then  He laid His spotless life down in place of yours and mine. And when Christ rose from the dead, He lifted the unbearable burden of our sin.

Because of this, you can stand blameless before Him, no longer His enemy but His beloved child.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- Romans 6:23

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  • I always stress that maybe I need to ask Jesus into my heart again. I worry that I haven’t believed hard enough sometimes. It sounds silly, but I worry about it. This has truly helped soften my worries. I’m blameless before Jesus. I know in my heart he rose from the dead and died for my sins and while I am a terrible wretch, his amazing grace has saved me and I am so thankful and in awe of what an amazing God I have that loves me and watches over me and holds me, no matter what I do.

    • Kassie

      Me too, girl! The thing I have had to cling to is a deep knowing that Jesus can keep me way better than I can keep Him. It’s not about how well we believe- it’s pure grace. If my belief can earn me a spot in heaven, it’s on me to work myself into a foamy frenzy trying to believe perfectly. But how is that any different than trying to earn salvation by behaving perfectly? Christ both behaved AND believed perfectly on my behalf, and now there’s nothing for me to do but inhale freedom and exhale joy. “It is finished” was a cry of triumph for my need to get it right. Now the real fun starts.

  • What. A. Gift.

  • Cillavalerie

    Christ did not stay dead… HE IS ALIVE!!

  • Jesus’ resurrection is truly a victory – one that shows us that we too, undeserving sinners, can have new life in Him. What a beautiful thing!

  • Summer Didier

    I have a friend and he’s in the process of getting to know Jesus. He believes in God, it’s just that he challenges and questions the Bible itself and recently he’s come to me question the concept of hell. And the way he sees it is that if God loves EVERYONE unconditionally, how/why would he send someone to hell for all eternity. And I guess I’m having trouble trying to explain that hell is just separation from God(lack of God makes it a terrible place) and why there has to be a hell bc Jesus came to save us from it. And he also questions how he could send someone who’s never even been introduced to the gospel to hell. Just looking for help and other perspectives bc I really want to be able to give him the best explanation that I can.

    • Bella

      I guess one way to look at it is if there was no consequence, no hell, no death, then the reality of the Gospel and what God did to send his Son wouldn’t be as sweet. It’s like if someone gave you an umbrella but it wasn’t raining outside. The umbrella is a nice thought, but it isn’t necessary if it isn’t raining. We need the rain to appreciate the umbrella, just like we need hell and death to appreciate the love and sacrifice of Jesus.

    • Emily

      Romans 2 talks about God judging people fairly based on what they know. If someone has never heard the gospel, God won’t judge them by the gospel. He loves every single person so unfathomably much, I don’t believe he wouldn’t save every person that he possibly can. Some people, though, don’t want God. They actually say no to God. And those people, I think, are the only ones who would go to hell.

      What scares me the most about living in such a privileged country [US] is that pretty much everyone has heard the gospel in one way or another. We will all be judged according to what we know… where’s the line between “know” and “have heard of”? I guess I have to trust that God will judge fairly.

      • Ashlyn

        Emily, I love this. I agree that He wants to save every person that he possibly can. We are His children! Surely He wants as many of us in His Kingdom as He can have!

      • Tessa

        This is something I’ve always struggled with. So do you all really believe that God only sends people to Hell that outright deny Christ? That’s what I want to believe, but I often have extreme anxiety about it. Thoughts creep in, “I am not godly enough.” “I live in sin way too much.” “You won’t go to heaven.” And I have to try to believe that I love Jesus and he loves me therefore I am saved. Do you agree?

        • Anna

          Yes Tessa, I agree. Jesus did the work for us on the cross, no amount of “godliness,” or lack of it, on our part can change that. The only thing we have to do is accept his gift because that’s the only job he gives to us, and everything else will follow because it is a transformative gift that makes us new. Although we have ups and downs and still need to deal with worldly struggles while we are here, our comfort in eternity comes from Jesus’ gift on the cross, and that is certain and forever.

  • Amen!!!!!❤️️❤️️

  • Cherrie

    Thank you for sharing

  • Heather

    by far my favorite day out of this study so far. thank you Jesus for your never ending love and for paying the price for my sins. this love story compares to no other.

  • Julie Park

    Amen amen amen.

  • The depth of God’s grace is so amazing. We will never even begin to understand the kind of love he has for us <3

  • Wow! I have truly never thought of the gospel in this way. Thank you for this beautiful truth!

  • Thank you Lord for paying the ultimate price for me! Your incredible love I do not deserve yet you bless me with it daily even when I mess up! Amen

  • Thank you Jesus for your love

  • CarrieAnne

    Gods love is amazing! Jesus died for me, but He didn’t stay dead He is alive! AMEN!!

  • McKinley

    He loves us so

  • Rebecca L

    This devotion does such a beautiful job of making the gospel personal, which of course, it is. He died for you. <3

  • Katie Elder

    is never grow tired of the sweetest of stories

  • BlessedandFavored

    God’s love is so great even when I’m undeserving

  • Amen!

  • Tessa Marie

    I love our Lord. What a sacrifice and offering of love to those still dead in their trespasses.

  • Amen! Praise God indeed that He loved me first not because of anything I have done or can ever do. But I am now His child through Jesus Christ my Lord. Very humbled by today’s reading.

  • Rebeckah

    We are no longer slaves to sin nor the byproducts of it. We are children of God, who sent His son to overcome sin. Thank you, Jesus!

  • Angela Jo

    Before the Christmas season starts, it is such a good reminder to look at what is all about. It’s all about Jesus! He came to this world to die on a cross and make us all alive in him.

  • This was a great message today. I know God is in control of my life. I can’t solve any of life’s curveballs without Him. It’s hard to imagine that He loves us so much that He gave up his own life for each of us. No matter our sins, God is there to forgive us. Thank you!

  • I worry a lot and wonder how things will come together to fix other things or make a future for my family and I and I forget a lot to take a step back and look at the big picture and see that God has everything covered he’s got it all under control! Today’s reading reminded me of that she read truth is such a blessing to me!! Thanks so much!!!!

  • Powerful, wonderful love of Jesus!

  • Olivia Allen

    I needed this today! Jesus’s free gift seems to good to be true, but it is not, hallelujah!!!! We get life, hope, peace and joy!

  • Diane Hill

    Oh feeling again, love and grateful deliverance!

  • Danielle

    This is such a wonderful truth, though sometimes it is hard to read. It is hard to read when you’ve been with your best friend who lost her precious 4 month old baby girl to SIDS. It can be hard to read when you’ve held her as she cried out to God, begging to do anything in order to get her back. The taking of this sweet girl is a mystery, yet I have to believe that God knew what he was doing. He knew what he was doing when he allowed his own son to go to the cross, and he knew what he was doing when he allowed Lucy to be on this earth for a short time. Our hearts are shattered, but God understands. I have to believe that God sent his son to die so that Lucy can live eternally. I pray and pray that someday, her mom and dad will know that. But right now, it’s enough to hold them and mourn with them.

  • So thankful for this truth! Jesus thank you so much

  • In tears as I finish this! Oh Jesus, thank you just isn’t enough!

  • Lilly Christianson

    Jesus! I come to you today with thankfulness in my heart. YOU rescued me from my sins. YOU gave me a clean heart. YOU made me blameless. YOU call me your daughter. I did not deserve any of this. But because of YOUR love, I can live with you eternally. Thank you so much for your faithfulness.

    Amen

  • Wow God is so near and loving! He showed me so much today!!

  • Thank you Jesus, Praise Jesus.. You are so good! We are eternally forgiven…

  • Ashley Withrow

    I am a new believer, baptized this June at the age of 29. This series has been so moving for me as it has challenged me to dig deeper into God’s word and learn more about His truths. Each day has made a huge impact in my life, this one especially. What an amazing gift that my sins are forgiven and I may live an eternal life. What grace! Thank you for this series

    • Tols

      Congratulations and welcome sister! I know that as you continue to seek God, He will continue to reveal Himself to you in the most amazing & unprecedented ways. God bless you! X

    • Brigitte Huffman

      Congratulations and welcome to the body! May you feel God’s love and presence every day of your life and may you walk closely with Him. Thank you, Jesus.

  • Natalie DeVorak

    So thankful for Jesus washing my sins away! Thank You Lord!!

  • It’s SO easy for me to get caught up in the guilt of my sin when I should be resting in the peace and love of Jesus. He paid for my sins and I’m so thankful!

  • Alie Redmond

    I know I’m late to this, but I am so thankful for the perfect love of Jesus! And today, like so many days, it is on my heart to take this knowledge, that the grace of God is sufficient for us, that our sins are ALREADY covered, and to live out each day in community knowing that the same is true for all of our brothers and sisters in the world, no matter who they are or where they come from! What a beautiful thing to know so that we can love one another in the way that Jesus does!

  • To think that I, who was once Gods enemy (and deservedly so), become not just forgiven and “ok” with God, I have become his child and an heir. His mercy and grace is overwhelming.

  • Carly Grace

    This devo really spoke to me today. It was my sins that Jesus died for, but his righteousness is credited to me. Such an incredible gift and I am so undeserving. Thank you God for this gift!

  • Andie Walton

    Hearing the story of Christ death and resurrection and wow. I can’t say anything because God is the master planner. I am so thankful for what he did to save me.

  • This was such a good reminder. Sometimes we just need to hear the story over and over again until it clicks!

  • Thank you God for saving me

  • Ms. Davona

    Amen! God’s resurrection saved us

  • Katie Wheeler

    The ground began to shake
    The stone was rolled away
    His PERFECT love could not be overcome
    Now death where is your sting?
    Our resurrected King, has rendered you defeated!

    Forever, He is glorified
    Forever, He is lifted high
    Forever, He is risen
    He is alive
    He is alive

    I love this song “Forever” by Kari Jobe that captures the gospel so well!

  • I am always so amazed and thankful for the many little things that I am given each day. I wouldn’t be here if not for my salvation. It is a gratitude that can never be repaid. There is not enough thank you’s in the universe that could be enough.

  • Lizzieb85

    “His death on the cross paid for Adam’s sin & every single sin that ever was or ever will be.”

    I had to chew on this for a few minutes. I’ve always thought of the Gospel like your debt wasn’t paid until you accepted Jesus’ sacrifice. No. This is wrong. It’s already been paid, you just have to accept the receipt. Like say you are millions of dollars in debt (everyone is). And some guy comes in & pays off everyone’s debt. He is offering you the receipt that says “paid”. You must accept the receipt to benefit the freedom from debt, but regardless of whether you accept it or not, it is already paid. It. Is. Already. Paid. You might as well take the receipt!! There are no conditions to accepting the receipt except that you truly do believe that your debt is paid! But without the receipt, you cannot show evidence that your debt was paid.

    This example doesn’t encompass the Gospel’s whole truth, but helped me understand this part. I am thankful that even after 20+ years of salvation, I am still learning truths about the Gospel.

    • kb

      I love this analogy. I’ve heard the story of the gospel so many times and have often attached it with debt, but the way you wrote this just made something click in my head. Thanks for sharing your perspective! :)

    • Carly Grace

      God is so good. The fact that paid our debt for us knowing we may never accept “the receipt” is mind blowing and I am so thankful

  • Death has lost its power, swallowed up in the resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:55-56).
    Amen!

  • Imagine: you are in prison for the worst crimes imaginable, and sentenced to death because of it. But before you see your fate they inform you that someone volunteered to take your place. And this person is perfect and has a spotless reputation, a reputation that will cover your past and future mistakes you will make. All because of his love for you.

    Mind blowing. Have a great day ladies!

  • Anna Tidmore

    Our sins were charged to Him. His righteousness was credited to us. Amen. Hallelujah!!

  • The fact that Mary thought that Jesus was the gardener when he first spoke really stood out to me. So often God is speaking to us in ways we don’t expect and subsequently mislabel (to me, in ways I don’t expect and mislabel!). That’s just giving God less credit than he deserves and something I don’t want to do. My prayer today is that I pay attention to where He is speaking to me.

  • Sisters, wherever you are right now, whatever is distracting you or worrying you, whoever or whatever is vying for your attention, whether you feel needed or hurt or loved today—put it all aside for a moment and hear this loud and clear: Christ. Did. Not. Stay. Dead. He is alive!

    AMEN! He is ALIVE! And all else is minuscule in comparison to that amazing truth!

  • A quick note Raechel and Amanda, love so much from you two in this study. I know there are many that make up SRT but you two, Diana and Haley brought me to this journey, thank you!

  • Praying that I might better understand my own sin so I can be overwhelmed by the love of Christ. It is through His sacrifice that I know God today! Amen.

  • Kasey Summers

    Love love love todays!! We have the victory IN CHRIST! We can walk victorious each day bc we are resting in what Christ has done on our behalf! Free! Free to live to serve and love others because we have all we need in Christ!

  • I have never seen the gospel message laid out in such detail but also so brief for an easy summary. Ah, isn’t God just so good?! This message sure is good news and one we tend to complicate but it’s as easy as we are not good and He is and He took our not good to make us good and that is only through the act of Jesus and believing in that act for yourself. Uh! Praise God he gave us a way out!!!

  • He saved me!

  • To be freely loved and forgiven. Still something I struggle with so much. Still feel like I have to do things in order to get right with God and have Him love me. I still feel so tainted and dirty. As if how could He love me? ME?! Baffling.

    • Georgia

      Psalm 103 really helps me when I’m stuck in that mindset! He loves you dearly, He has freely forgiven you, and this is the truth! Bless you sister!

    • Laura

      I feel the same way… Very legalistic thinking I need to do things to get in right standing…. Then I mess up and I get so down on myself. Then I am reminded nothing in me is good enough to be in right standing… That’s why there is grace! I like to think of myself as a good person, but that’s a load of crap honestly!! I cannot compare to the perfect righteousness that comes with forgiveness by Jesus!

  • 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.
    This one verse gets me in my studies! Does this mean that before the law the ones dying were not in sin, I.E before Moses?

  • What a beautiful love story.This day in age, all the striving we women do to appease men, appease bosses, appease friends, appease God, etc. I can just imagine people sacrificing animals, pleading with priests in effort to please God….people today striving with good works trying to please God. BUT all the while God was chasing after us in the quiet! Formulating a the perfect plan to get us back, OH HOW BEAUTIFUL! HOW BEAUTIFUL THE GOSPEL! Thanks God, thanks with all I am!

  • I struggle with this concept of freely forgiven and loved. I feel so unworthy of it all.

    • Amy

      I often feel this way, too. We live in such a “give and take” society and it can be so hard to give up our self in order to see that we are freely forgiven and loved. Rest in this- it is finished. I’ll be praying for you, friend!

  • I just read this devotional in my car on my lunch break with my radio turned down. When I finished reading the scriptures and the devotional, I turned my radio back on, and “My Story” by Big Daddy Weave was playing. Perfect for today’s reading! http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/bigdaddyweave/mystory.html

  • Eve Stipes

    I’ve been wrestling with guilt over past sin and this is such a sweet reminder – when God sees me He sees Chridt’s righteousness! My sin has been confessed & forgiven – I have been redeemed! And there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1).

  • “May I never lose the wonder, oh the wonder of your mercy. May I sing your hallelujah, hallelujah amen”

    I’ve been a Christian for a long time too, but sometimes when I do something stupid or ignore wisdom I begin to beat myself up about it. Yes we will reap the consequences of the choices we make outside of God’s wisdom, BUT he is still there when we call on him. He is faithful and his grace is free. Thanks be to God. I don’t have to beat myself up. He paid the price for my sin already. My goal is to stop looking behind finish the the race he’s called me to.

  • I am so thankful for what the Lord did for me!! "While we were yet sinners Christ died for us." I'm praying that I will never forget that truth and that it will resonate through my soul. God is faithful even when were not. Praise God for our victory through Jesus our Lord!!

  • Growing up in a Christian home, I feel like I sometimes gloss over the Scriptures because I am so familiar with the words. The miraculous, glorious truth of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus should floor me every time! My heart’s cry is that what I know as head knowledge would be translated to heart knowledge. That God would open my eyes and my heart to be awed anew by His salvation plan. That my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ would grow more precious and more beautiful to me each and every day. Thank you Jesus for loving me first! Amen.

    • Alexis C.

      Trisha, I LOVE your statement “head knowledge would be translated to heart knowledge” . A dying church congregation was recently audited by consultants and this is exactly what they were told. They had “intellectualized” their faith and lost their heart. Knowledge pride had taken over. Thank you for reminding us that our heart is the one that speaks love, acceptance and kindness. That with it we humble ourselves to shephard others through example. In the Hebrew language the word “heart” is so much more than the organ we attribute to it. Hannah pointed that out in this or another study recently and I did some research–so beautiful is the heart Our Father created! Again, thank you.

    • CJ

      Yes, yes, yes. This is me too. I’ve heard this story all my life. I have a lot of head knowledge, but I’m desperate for it to be heart knowledge. That the Truth would seep down into the very depths of my being, and that I would live like I know believe it and know it with all my heart.

  • Wow! So thankful for the love of Christ!

  • scootermae

    One of the simplest definitions of sin is anything we think, say or do that does not honor God. It was an old archaic archery term. When the arrow was shot and you missed the bulls eye it was considered sin, whether you missed it by a millimeter or a yard. Sin is missing God's perfect mark. Yes, a very crucial part of the gospel story. If we don't understand sin and it's gravity, the grace and mercy of the cross can not be fully appreciated -something I am only coming to really grasp after being a Christian for over 30 years. How more rich my life has become as I have learned this.

  • Christ paid it ALL for ALL on the cross. End of story… We are all going to heaven because of his great sacrifice. Love covers all… Let striving cease.

    • Amanda

      Hayley do you have scripture to support this?

      • Hayley

        1 Corinthians 15:22-23
        22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order.

        All who die in Adam is exactly the same ALL that shall be made alive in Christ, which means that each and every human being will be made alive in Christ, meaning saved. It does not say that only some of all of the people in Adam shall be made alive in Christ.

        • Amanda

          So what about all the doctrines of hell and judgement? Do these cease to exist? We can’t take one verse out of context, rather we need to look at the Bible as a whole picture. It is clear throughout scripture that not everyone will be made alive in Christ. This scripture is referring to those who have repented of their sins and put their trust in Christ!

    • Devon

      I do agree that Christ paid it all for all but the crucial part is that a person must believe and receive that- that we needed a savior and that Jesus is that savior. Jesus said “This is the work of God- that you believe in the One He has sent.” John 6:29. Also see John 3:16-18.

  • Okay dang, that was good!

  • I’ve read the plan up til now but am unclear on a big part of this message. What is sin? How have I sinned? I believe this necessary part of the gospel message is missing from this plan. It mentions we are all sinners and we were born into sin but what are my sins? This is so often missed in gospel presentations and that’s why for so many years I thought I was saved but continued in my sins because I didn’t know what they were! Romans 7:7-25 states if it had not been for the law I would not have known sin. Just simply reading the 10 commandments shows us how we’ve sinned and how it is impossible for me to keep the law and that is exactly why I need a Savior, he kept the law for me, he fills the gap in my separation from the Holy God! And maybe we think “well I haven’t murdered” but Jesus said in the gospels that anyone who has hatred for a man has murdered him in his heart. I would encourage you to add this vital portion of the gospel into your plan. So many people nowadays think they’ll go to heaven because they’re “good people”. They need to hear the bad news about their sinfulness which separates them from God before the good news of Christ’s sacrifice will be of desire for them. Thank you for listening.

    • Rebecca

      I absolutely agree. I was just going to comment along these lines myself.

    • Lydia

      I see where you’re coming from, but I think it is difficult in a devotional to address all examples for sin. I think the 2nd or 3rd devo in this plan, “Sin’s False Promise”, they address how we’re all broken and thus separated from God. And the balloon example shows how our greed (sin) and cruelty (sin) can take over. So, though maybe it’s not as explicit as you would like, I think we can give the writers a little credit. I think it was pretty clear that we are not “good people” and cannot be. Again, I think I get where you’re coming from. When I’m having a personal convo with someone about the Gospel, I’ll typically even ask them “Have you sinned before?” to try to help them to see they have. I liked your input though, and it reminded me of why it’s so important to not just hand our friends (that are questioning their faith) a devo, but to also continue a dialogue with them about the Gospel!

    • lynne

      Thanks Amanda. That was good to hear. I have a child who is starting to seek works and other things to earn God's favor. I needed to hear that. Our sin separates us from God and we need to know what sin is. I think sin is even us trying to earn God's favor by our good deeds. It's like spitting in Christ's face. Our righteousness our like filthy rags in God's eyes. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Completely undeserving. That’s me….

  • I feel like shouting it out from the rooftops – Jesus is alive! And so, I can live too!!!!! Woo hoo!!!! What a great boost to the start of my Monday morning :-)

  • More often than not, I am more consumed by how I am falling short than the saving grace of Christ. And although it pains me to write these words, I am also discovering that honesty from my heart leads to freedom. Today, as I think of Christ's life, death and resurrection – wondering how this truly changes my day-to-day, eating, breathing life – I, unfortunately, mostly feel the weight of the things that are holding me back from the life He gives. For me, these dead places are rooted in un-forgiveness and refusing grace.
    (un)forgiveness: I am learning that hurts I feel from others are less about how I was hurt, and more about my response to those hurts. I have allowed these areas to pile up believing the lies they speak. But I also have contributed with my own unrealistic personal expectations and assumptions. I am harboring un-forgiveness toward myself. This un-forgiveness has been crafty. I continually verbalize my forgiveness of others, yet rarely forgive myself.
    grace(less): Grace. A beautiful gift from God, I know, but a hard idea for my heart to truly accept. My striving, performance-driven heart gets stuck when it comes to accepting grace for myself. I have shown others grace, but when it comes to myself my standards are way too high. Oie, my pride in disguise.
    This morning, as I sit with God, I am choosing to bring before Him my ridiculously high expectations. Today I choose forgiveness and grace. Today I choose to rest in the saving work of Christ. Because 'it is finished" there is nothing I can add to or take away from His work. So, why am I toiling? Lord, please continue to humble me to you. Please give me courage to embrace your life-giving grace and truly believe that my sins are as far as the east is from the west. Please help me to cultivate a true perspective of who I am as your beloved daughter. And please give me the wisdom to seek You and to know what pleases You most. And to do these things, loving You and loving others because I am fully loved.
    Ladies, praying we seek His favor above all else today. That we can be filled with gratitude and joy as we meditate on His glorious saving work for each of us – where we are, as we are. He is still working. Changing us and growing us to Him, to His heart of love. Thank you, Lord!

    • MaryPat

      Beverly,

      Thank you for putting beautiful words to my own struggles and desires as I try to wrap my head around the Gospel. I’m using your prayer as my prayer today- trying to SAVOR over STRIVE for his love.

      Praying the same for you!

    • churchmouse

      An amen from here!

    • Alexis C.

      Amen! And congratulation! You have arrived! I am so happy for you and this new “you” filling with love and acceptance of the beautiful daughter God created. My prayers remain with you as you continue through the hills and valleys–this time with a grace filled step. :-)

    • cabaker

      Thank you for this perspective, Beverly! I hope I am able to stop toiling for achievements and the approval of others and find peace in Christ alone.

  • Caroline @ In due time

    Hallelujah! He is risen!!!

    http://Www.in-due-time.com

  • katherine

    On a morning that feels hopeless and heavy you remind me that its not about me. Its all about christ and I can live to glorify His name. Thank you for a great word this morning. I pray you all have a blessed day today!

    • churchmouse

      Praying the burden you are carrying is lifted today and that HOPE replaces hopelessness. He is alive. We therefore always have hope in Him, with us through His Spirit. Hold firm!

    • Alexis C.

      Thank you for your blessing, Katherine. I pray that your day is blessed as well.

  • Hallelujah! What a Saviour :D

  • Sometimes it is easy to skim over these passages because I've read them so many times and they are so familiar. But realizing that Jesus died for me – and I was completely undeserving, but He did it anyway … it stops me in my tracks. Today I'm praying for fresh eyes to see what Jesus did for me… to realize the enormity of it and be thankful for Him choosing to die for me.

    Another thought that is making this personal for me… My "distraction" I had to set aside to hear the word this morning is thinking (ok, obsessing) over someone that hurt & wronged me. I think, "if someone asked me to sacrifice something significant for that person right now…no way! She doesn't deserve it." BUT GOD. I've done more wrong against Him than any person has ever done to me, and He sacrificed His very life for me. I don't deserve it! But He did it anyway!

    • Elspeth

      That is a really good point, Jess. We’re just as bad as the unforgiving servant, deserving nothing and being forgiven so much and yet holding grudges. He gave us the Ultimate sacrifice, and we don’t deserve Him!

    • churchmouse

      Oh your words are convicting me of the same. Thank you for sharing and thus calling me on the carpet for my own rebellion.

    • Alexis C.

      Forgiving DEEP DEEP hurt is hard. Mine came from 2 women at church. But prayer does help. I pray for all three of us. My prayers are with you and her so that reconciliation can happen–at least to the point that you do not dread crossing paths. Like you, I cannot imagine God giving us His son, or the intensity of the pain Jesus felt physically and emotionally –for us!

  • Amen!

  • Oh how He loves you and me! For ME!

  • I have a young son. He is five and in a couple of weeks he will enter kindergarten. This sweet boy of mine is a tender-hearted little love. I'm struggling. I never struggled with the girls. When they started school, timing was just so and they were excited about it, my son…it's just different. As the day draws near that first full day away from me, my heart really hurts. I long for more time at home with him. I look at the past five years and wonder where it went. I look at the last day I had him alone at home before Summer and wish for one more and realize that season is over. Yet my heart isn't ready for it. I just want to sit with him and love on him in a way that he remembers these last days at home with me. I am coping with trusting other folks with his heart; students and teachers…this boy I have prayed so fervently over. I struggle with relying on strangers to educate him, discipline him and guide him. I know that some of this comes from an experience with our middle daughter and it reflects on my concerns with our son, but to say that I war over this is a trite term for it and yet I KNOW this is nothing. This is about my son and I, about my love over him and I hurt for it. I think to it, as the day draws near, so incredibly often. I fell asleep to it last night and wake to it this morning and it draws tears from the well of my eyes without even an effort and yet, this WILL pass. This is a simple, life moment. I struggle because my son is *growing*, what pain did God struggle with knowing Jesus' fate? Where there moments, He was so consumed with the pain of it that He wanted to renege on the whole thing? God gave up His son to an underserving people. He let Him go into the hands of people He knew would hurt, betray and murder Him. And he LOVED us! I can't begin to conceive that, I'm struggling with giving my son up for a day at a time, for a good thing and God gave His son up to the cross. I love this boy more than words can convey and yet God loves me more, He loves my son more. The pain I feel over these simple milestones, doesn't even tip the scale to what God did. He loves us so greatly that He gave up precious treasure, immeasurable love to win us over, to un-snare us, to ensure our journey home. I am prayerful that as I move into these two weeks I remember who is the source of my life and the source of my son's, that I remember who is in control and who I CAN trust, that I point my concerns, my worries, my heart back to Christ. Prayerful that I remember the great love God has over me, over my family, over my son. Prayerful that I show my thanks to God for overcoming death so that I may have life, so that I may know Him, so that all may know Him. I can't begin to express my gratitude! ~ B

    • CBear

      Keeping you in my thoughts this morning! I also have two boys – one who is approaching preschool age and I know that I already find myself having feelings similar to yours. You will get through this!! God will keep you strong:) So wonderful to hear the connections you’re making to God and His son! I can’t even imagine what God felt throughout it all.

      Perhaps it would help you to also feel better by praying for those individuals who will be soon entering your son’s life and shaping his education!

      • ~ B ~

        Thank you CBear! It is so good to recognize these feelings, I believe it helps us to fully appreciate the time we have with these sweet kiddos. My last year at home with him didn't look as I had planned, but I have to give it up to God and remember that this is the end, it's a beginning and find the beauty in that. My heart hurts a bit for the speed of childhood as my bookends include a senior and kindergartner, the reality of that speed is great, but you are so correct, I just need to continue to be prayerful over all aspects of this chaining season. Thank you for your kind words, enjoy those sweet years with your boys! ~ B

    • My mama heart understands right where you are this morning, B. Loving the kids God has given me is the closest my finite mind can come to understanding the amazing love of our Savior. It's unfathomable.

      Saying a prayer for you this morning!

      • ~ B ~

        Thank you, Katie for your prayers. I know my burden is being lifted and the many prayers offered yesterday were a big part of that. ~ B

    • churchmouse

      I’m praying your son has a Godly teacher who will recognize his tender heart and will appreciate, guard and protect it. My daughter is a teacher and she is drawn to this type of child. She prays fervently for them (and all her students but especially these softer souls). She so often has said our world needs more of these types of children and so she feels especially called to encourage and equip them to remain as God has created them. She gives me the first names of her homeroom children and I pray with her daily for each one. She gives me no details beyond their names. Perhaps you can get ahold of your son’s class list and pray for all the children. It makes a difference.

      • ~ B ~

        That is a beautiful connection you and your daughter share, praying over her class. What a blessing upon those families that they don't even know you're committing. I am so prayerful that my son receive a teacher like your daughter, one that sees his hearts for all that it is and encourages him daily in a Godly way. Great suggestion. I should be receiving a class list soon, I will definitely be praying over each member of that classroom and school. Thank you so much! ~ B

    • Bridget

      Praying for you, your son, teachers and his fellow classmates. Look to the Lord for peace.

      • ~ B ~

        Bridget, thank you very much for your prayers yesterday. I know that with continued prayer this weight will be lifted. I will definitely keep my eyes on Christ and be very prayerful of my ability to trust Him in this aspect. ~ B

    • Alexis C.

      You are in my prayers. Keep your last paragraph with you for renewed strength. I absolutely relate!

      • ~ B ~

        Thank you Alexis! I am so thankful for all God has done in my life and I know I will look back on this and feel the same. I've already seen his hand in the school selection. I will continue to be prayerful over it all! Thank you again for your prayers, I need many. :) ~ B

  • Kelly_Smith

    Thank you, Jesus, for laying down your life for me, for taking on my sins. It would be a rare thing for someone to die for a righteous man, impossible to find someone to die for the unrighteous. That is exactly what you did. "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death where is your sting?" But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

  • If only I could get my head and heart around all the beautiful words in the blog, scripture, and comments for today! But the beauty is I don't have to understand completely, even though I wish I could. All HE said is "Come, follow me." He doesn't scold for not keeping up with HIM. HE doesn't want us to go ahead of HIM. Just "Come, follow me." HE never goes too fast for me to "follow HIM'. With eyes of love and a heart full of patience, HE is constantly checking on me. Yes! I am following YOU. Thank you, Jesus, for loving me.

  • It is so humbling that God looks at me and sees me as a white as snow, sinless daughter instead of my sin stained natural self. How should this make me act in my day to day activities and interactions? Father, show me this and help me!

  • Kate Bee

    How humbling that God doesn’t just benevolently forgive us, He elevates us to the same level as Jesus. He puts us on the same level as the beloved Son who has never once failed or disappointed Him.

    • mce

      Yes, so undeserved and so great! Another verse in the song Mercy by Bethel… “So i will wake and spend my days loving the one who has raised me up from death to life, wrong to right, you’re making all things beautiful…”

  • Jordana Calori

    There’s this little thing that worries me and keeps buzzing in my head. But then when you called out and told us to put worries all aside for a moment I realized that not just for a moment, but for the rest of the day, or for the week, that I can put not aside, but I can put all my worries in His hands. Everything will be so bright so soon, because HE IS ALIVE! Thank you.

    • Alexis C.

      It is an amazing relief to put our fears, frustrations and concerns in His hands! Our Father will manage them for us, in His timing and in His way. Always to our benefit and spiritual growth. Enjoy the new feeling you have! He is truly ALIVE!

  • I love this full description of the gospel-something I haven’t heard for so many years is finally becoming living and important in my life! I was reminded even more as I read this of God’s powerful love. He gives me freedom to be weak. I don’t need to be strong for others, for myself, to survive. I need to cling to God. He loves me, he fought for me, and he wants to watch me grow in dependence on him

    • Judy

      Praying for you and your son! Just remember God loves your precious son and watches over him. It’s hard for us Mothers to let go. I have 2 girls. One is going to HS this year. I have to remind myself Gods got them!! Xoxo

  • I will call soon your name. And keep my eyes above the waves. When oceans rise, my soul will rest in your embrace.
    For I am yours, and you are mine.

    • Kelsi

      Love that song!

    • Racquel

      Lyrics to this exact song were my sketch today on the canvas section! so beautiful how the same song came to mind after this study! :)

    • Tols

      Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me.

      Words of life. Love this song too ❤️

  • Alexis C.

    John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”——–I also thirst, for the living water Jesus spoke of to the Samaritan woman at the well. ( John 4:10) Father, please help me to secure quiet time with you each day.

  • Kylene Bak

    Thank you so much for this series. What a beautiful thing to be reminded of what a great salvation we have and just how beautiful our Jesus is!

  • How blessed I am that Christ has died for me – for us! – and that My sins are forgiven through his death and resurrection! For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

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