August 14-19

Monday, August 14 – “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.” (Romans 3:20) You won’t look for something until you realize that you want it. This reality is also true when it comes to salvation.  Nobody looks for salvation, until they realize that they want salvation.  And, nobody realizes that they want salvation until something happens that makes them realize that they want salvation.  That something is the law.  The law was given, not to save us, but to make us realize how sin-full we are. Thus, the natural trajectory would then be to look for salvation, since we realize that we need it.  That’s where Jesus comes in.


Tuesday, August 15 – “For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.” (John 12:43) Have you ever done something that you knew, deep down, was bad or wrong or hurtful or foolish; simply because you knew that you would receive someone’s praise, admiration or friendship for doing it?  You’re not alone.  For each of us must learn this very valuable and sometimes painful lesson – Don’t do what you do, in order to win the favor of someone else.  For us humans are fickle.  And the praise that you receive today, just might mutate into scorn for the very same act tomorrow.  As a follower of Jesus your task is to please God and let the chips fall where they may with everyone else. 


Wednesday, August 16 – “And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:20) You are included in the “all things” that have been reconciled to God, through the death of Jesus on the cross.  This means that your sins are forgiven.  This means that your life is eternal, in heaven.  And this means that you have the gift of the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.  Now you need to decide.  For a gift never opened, is a blessing never experienced.  Will you open the gift that has come, at a great cost, but is freely given to you?


Thursday, August 17 – “He said to me: ‘It is done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.” (Revelation 21:6) We have lost a little bit of the power and wonder of what it means when Jesus freely gives us something.  In our marketing focused world, where everyone is trying to get more business, we see free as always having a catch or too good to be true.  Yet, when it comes to Jesus, free doesn’t mean cheap or discounted or having a catch.  Free means all from God and nothing from us.


Friday, August 18 – “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mathew 20:28) Why did Jesus only give his life for “many”?  Why didn’t Jesus give his life for all?  Jesus did come to give his life as a ransom for all people.  For everyone has the same opportunity, the same possibility of salvation, through faith in Jesus.  Then why did Jesus say “many” and not all?  For Jesus knew that not all would accept his gift of salvation.  God has saved every single person, through the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Yet, every single person still has the free will to reject this gift.  Thus, it’s true that Jesus gave his life as a ransom for “many”.  For not everyone will actually believe in Jesus’ gift. 



Saturday, August 19 – “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance – now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” (Hebrews 9:15) This is why the Bible has a “New Testament” and an “Old Testament”.  For Jesus came to start a new relationship with humanity.  A new relationship based on grace, not on the law.  A new relationship of personal connection between God and his people.  Not a religious connection between us and the law.  We have come to realize that we can’t be good enough, on our own.  Thus, God has given us Jesus, to be good enough for us.