What Matters Most

Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:6-8

I just saw something in this verse that I hadn’t thought about before. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. So a good person is given more value in the world than a moral and virtuous one? This makes me consider the definitions of both words good and righteous. Something to think about today.

What matters most is what God did. He died for all. The good and the bad were covered by Jesus’ blood. There was no measuring up if we were worthy of his love and salvation. He just did it. There is no greater love.

Prayer: Jesus, I thank you for your sacrifice in love for me. I pray that I can demonstrate your love to others today. Amen

Faith Tip: Receive God’s unconditional love for you today. Share the peace and joy with others put in your path.


The Gift That Keeps on Giving


Image by pastorbuhro via Flickr

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; – Romans 3:23-24

Tearing the piece of bread from the loaf, I heard the familiar words, “This is Christ’s body, broken for you.” And as I dunked the piece into the cup, the reminder given to me was, “The blood of Christ spilled for you.”

The act of communion is so important to Jesus, because he does not want us to forget. We are not to forget the great sacrifice made, but also that the price was paid for our freedom in Christ. We tend to remember the sacrifice, but sometimes forget that we are free to live holy lives, and we still act like we are under Satan’s reign.

This Advent season, reopen the gift of your freedom in Christ and enjoy the riches that are meant for you. This is the best deal of the season for you and someone you love.

Prayer: Jesus, I thank you for the wonderful gift of freedom you have given me though the price was great to you. Your love for me is the perfect fit for each day of my life, and I pray that I can focus on you rather than what the world has to offer. Amen

Faith Tip: Each day during Advent, starting with today, find a new freedom you have in Christ and enjoy it to the glory of God.


You Were Chosen

Team Spirit, December 2006

Image by Jiheffe via Flickr

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. – Romans 15:7

Please pick me! I don’t want to be last again, the young girl thought as the students were being chosen by their classmates. Some of us know the anxiety and pain this young girl felt. We were the last to be chosen leaving a deep scar in the heart with the message that we weren’t really wanted.

If we chose teams like this in church, what would our team look like? Would we choose the most beautiful and popular people so our side would really look good, or would we really want everyone on our team? Who would Jesus choose?

He already has. The ones who surround you in worship have been chosen to be a part of that church. To experience the full benefit of bring praise and worship to God, we must accept one another wholeheartedly – just like Jesus.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for accepting me to be part of your family. I pray that I fully accept those around me as we gather to worship you with shared hearts. Amen

Faith Tip: Do you feel accepted? You must feel accepted before you can fully accept others. Jesus has accepted you. Live out that truth.


Holy Week Discovery

Jesus Praying Gethsemane Mormon

Image by More Good Foundation via Flickr

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” – Romans 10:9-10

This Holy Week allows us to discover what we believe in our heart about God. What we believe forms the words of our mouth to speak. We do this not only in direct statements of our belief but also in our interactions with one another. Do we speak with the joy of the Lord in our heart, or do we speak as a nonbeliever?

This week, find opportunities to engage in the last days of Jesus through reading his word, praying, going to a Maundy Thursday or a Good Friday service. Walking through the Stations of the Cross may also allow you to ponder Jesus’ last week. You could also watch a movie like The Passion. Discover anew what it is that you truly believe and live that out all the days of your life.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for Jesus. I pray that Easter will not come and go without a change in me. Thank you for the victory of your son. Amen

Faith Tip: As you search and discover this week, begin in prayer.

Receiving the gift

An American judge talking to a lawyer.

Image via Wikipedia

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

The judge looked at the boy who was trying to put on a tough act, but could see the fear in his eyes. Stealing the car was a first offense for him. Could it have been initiation into a gang? The boy’s mother looked disinterested and there appeared to be no father figure in the home. Gangs can look pretty inviting to someone who doesn’t feel like they belong.

Michael, please stand,” the judge ordered.

Michael and his lawyer stood.

“This court finds you guilty as charged, and incarceration is what is due.”

The boy trembled.

“However, since this is a first offense, I want to offer you another opportunity to turn this around. Would you like to have another opportunity to walk the straight path?”

“Yes, your honor.”

“Good. Then you will be on probation for two years meeting with a probation officer once a week. Plus, you will be doing community service for one year and joining in the youth group at Daylight Community Church for two years. Is that understood and agreed to?”

The boy pondered only a moment and responded with visible relief. “Yes, your honor. Thank you for this opportunity.”

When choices we make are wrong, there is a price to pay. The wages paid for sin is death. We deserve eternal separation from God. But we are offered a gift—Jesus. Jesus made a way so that we didn’t have to suffer. Our choice for Jesus means our choice to eternal life with God. It is our choice though.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your great gift of grace. I pray that I can display grace to others each day so that they may be drawn closer to you. Amen

Faith Tip: Think of the areas you need grace today. Accept it with open arms.

Conforming or Transforming?

School of fundamentalist fish

Image by Colin Purrington via Flickr

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God‘s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

I remember as a teenager that it was so important to me to fit in by wearing the right kind of jeans, having my hair a certain way and other things that teens would prioritize as most important. I was conforming to the standard of my peers. What was considered cool at that time was communicated through the magazines I read and advertisements I saw on TV.

I am really glad to have grown past all that—one benefit of growing older. There is true freedom experienced in being myself and maturing into the person God meant me to be. My mind has the opportunity of being renewed each day. It is a choice I must make. Do I want to strive after the things of this world, or do I want to experience true peace and joy in just being who I am? I believe God’s will is experienced in being true to who I am and allowing him to transform me from the inside out.

Prayer: I praise you, Lord, for making me unique. Your plan for my life is meant only for me and I pray that I can follow your plan daily. Amen

Faith Tip: Consider your own uniqueness today. What makes you who you are? Praise God for that. Is there something in your life that is of that pattern of this world? Discard it. You will love the “new you” being created each day in the loving hands of the potter.