But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
What a mind-boggling statement. How precious it is to be loved this much, to know that our debt was paid in full on the cross. Thank you, Jesus!
…long before we ever had the slightest interest in God, he had a very great interest in us…his interest and action toward us always preceded ours toward him.
What this means is that we didn’t and can’t earn his favor or blessing or our salvation. It was bought and paid for in full on the cross where Jesus absorbed into himself all the penalty of our wrongdoing, bad decisions, rebellion, foolishness, and alienation from God. He didn’t do it because we suddenly got so smart or came to our senses and decided to straighten out. No, he did it while we were happily skipping on our way toward destruction, oblivious to the cliff ahead and the rocks below. He blocked our way and rescued us. He then gave us a real life in both this world and the next just because he loves us so much and hates wasted human life.
This means salvation rests in God’s hands, not ours. He started the whole thing in the first place and will bring it to completion. We don’t know exactly why or how, only that it is in his heart to do it. So when we’re tempted to think that we’ll never make it on our own or that we’ll never be holy enough or good enough to get there…we’re right. We never will. We never can.
But we don’t have to. That’s the good news! Jesus outfits us for the journey. He finds us where we are (in our distrust, confusion, and wondering), equips us to get through this life (through our pain, losses, grief), then ushers us into God’s kingdom at the end, fully prepared to meet our Creator. That’s the gospel. There is nothing in this world better than that” (Jude 1:24-25).
TODAY’S PRAYER: Never give in to the voice that whispers over your shoulder while you’re praying, “Give up: you’re wasting your time. God doesn’t listen to sinners like you.” Instead, be even bolder in setting your need before God and thanking him for his great love.
Photo by cimddwc via Flickr