Just as Adam got it all wrong, Jesus got it all right. Just as life continues to hem us in and break us down, the life of Jesus continues to bring us back to grace. It’s not through ANYTHING that we have done that we have the opportunity to lift our praises in any and every circumstance, but it is entirely through the work of the one man of Jesus.
Look, we can all understand a good deed in return for another good deed. But we struggle to comprehend an abundantly great deed in return for nothing at all. Our manufactured mind of outcome doesn’t comprehend that level of nicety. But what Jesus did was far more than just a nicety. It was in fact a reinvention of all scales. All scales that hemmed people in according to what they had done.
- Read Romans 5
In the Message Translation
- Devotional Thought
Whether we know it or not, we are all living in the abundance of the work of Christ on the Cross. Nobody from Adam until the end of time is exempt from the saving work of Christ's life.
But it is through our faith in who He is and what He's done that the cross comes alive. It's like walking around with a piece of fruit and never eating it. Picture being handed the freshest, most exotic and spotless banana. And just holding it. Carrying it around with you wherever you go, but never eating it.
Eventually the habit will grow old. The banana will get bruised and beaten and you'll throw it away. You've wasted time and energy carrying it around all that time when you could've just sat down on the first day and eaten it and enjoyed it. And gone back for another the next day and the next. But you held onto it and never enjoyed it.
It's a silly example but you get the point... most of us are walking around with this gift of salvation that is tangible and valid for right now but not enjoying it. The work on the cross isn't meant to dismay or condemn. It's not meant to shine a light on your faults and problems. It's meant to save you! To bring light and life to dark and cold places. To show you there is something more worth living for and to lead you to greater.
For we were once sinners, living in the fault of ours and those gone before us, but now, although we still sin... are not sinners. We are sons and daughters of a King with an inheritance for a spotless life. Because He has taken us in and exchanged His son's life for our sinful life, we have the gift of a daily adventure into redemption.
We are given the banana each day and we get to eat it. Not hold onto it when it will eventually go old and soft and smelly and the nutrition dissapate. But each morning we get new mercies that will lead us again into His work on the cross.
- Passage to focus on
“By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. Yet the rescuing gift is not exactly parallel to the death-dealing sin. If one man’s sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss of separation from God, just think what God’s gift poured through one man, Jesus Christ, will do! There’s no comparison between that death-dealing sin and this generous, life-giving gift. The verdict on that one sin was the death sentence; the verdict on the many sins that followed was this wonderful life sentence. If death got the upper hand through one man’s wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, absolute life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides?”
Romans 5:1-2, 15-17 MSG
- Image for today
To remind you of the banana analogy!
We can't put into words what it means to have the gift of salvation every day. Although we make mistakes and fall short each day, we know that you have new mercies for us each waking day. We just need to take hold of that mercy and walk in your grace.
We know that it is by faith that we will lean the full abundance of your gift of the fullness of life right now ~ not in the future but right now. And we pray for that faith to rise in us again.
- Active idea
We know it is by faith that we believe and fully accept what Jesus has done for us. What is stopping you from holding onto that faith each day? Is it fear, past mistakes, or uncertainty? Whatever it may be, write to God in a prayer and ask Him to increase the faith in you to believe for His mercy and grace afresh today. You can use the attached colouring sheet to help you meditate on these thoughts if you need.
Thank you for joining me today! Hope to see you again soon!
Have a blessed Lent
~ X ~