March 7 - 12
Monday, March 7 – “No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.” (Deuteronomy 30:14) God is the same yesterday, today and forever. God has always been close to his creation. Yes, in the Old Testament it seemed as if God was far away. Yet, that wasn’t God’s fault. That was our fault. God has always desired to be with his creation. Since we weren’t able to handle God literally being with us, he has given us his word. That’s why the gospel of John opens with the announcement that Jesus is the word. For Jesus is simply God being what God has always been.
Tuesday, March 8 – “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:10) God didn’t wait for us to get it right before he came and made everything right. Good news right? Well, notice that God didn’t stop at simply reconciling us through Jesus. We are also “saved through his life”. Isn’t reconciliation with God salvation? Reconciliation with God is the possibility of salvation. Salvation itself is the day-to-day living into our reconciliation with God. And that is exactly what Jesus’ life and ministry teaches us. God didn’t need to come as Jesus in order to save us. We needed God to come as Jesus in order to be saved!
Wednesday, March 9 – “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33) These are the words of Jesus. Every single human being has been reconciled to God, through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Yet, not every single human being is going to be saved. Being reconciled to God is only half the story. The other half is your response to being reconciled to God. “Acknowledge” or “disown”, the choice is yours. But, buyer beware, there are consequences to your decision.
Thursday, March 10 – “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:21) How can this be? How can “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord” be saved? What about people who have lived really bad lives? Surely someone who has lived a life filled with cheating, stealing and hurting can’t be saved? Jesus must only be talking about people in the church, right? Whatever helps you sleep at night. Yet, the truth is that Jesus is talking about “everyone”, because he said “everyone”. Reconciliation is the possibility of salvation. Speaking (calling on the name of Jesus) is salvation. Regardless of who you are or what you have done.
Friday, March 11 – “For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” (Romans 3:28) Now we have added another churchy term – “justified” – which means “declared or made righteous in the sight of God.” You are reconciled to God because God has declared it and made you righteous. So, how do you live into this justification? “By faith apart from the works of the law.” You can’t be good enough to be “declared or made righteous in the sight of God”. The only way that you can be justified in God’s eyes, is if God does the justifying. God didn’t need to come as Jesus in order to save us. We needed God to come as Jesus in order to be saved.
Saturday, March 12 – “The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10) Quiz time: (1) What is the name of the Lord? (2) Why do you think that name is defined as a “fortified tower”? (3) Who are the “righteous” that “run to it”? (4) What happens to the righteous, who run to the “fortified tower” that is known by the name of the Lord? Answer time: (1) Jesus. (2) Jesus’ death and resurrection has saved us all. (3) Since all humans have been made righteous, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, the answer is, everyone who believes in Jesus. (4) They receive the gift of living as someone who believes in their heart and declares with their mouth, that Jesus is Lord. Aka, they live in peace, joy and safety.