Daily Devotion: “Now this is Eternal Life”

“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” – John 17:3-4

The work of Jesus was to bring glory to God by making a way for us to be reconciled to God. His perfect life, death, and resurrection completed the work needed for us to have eternal life.

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Daily Devotion: Two Criminals

“Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him.They said, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.’

The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’

But the other criminal rebuked him. ‘Don’t you fear God,’ he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.’

Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’

Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23:32-43

The two criminals that were crucified alongside Jesus can be seen as representative of all of humanity. They illustrate the position we all find ourselves in and also demonstrate the two different decisions that can be made.

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Daily Devotion: Marriage and the Gospel

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” – Ephesians 5:21-33

Marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church. It is an illustration of the gospel and the relationship that the gospel creates. While this will be focused on marriage, many of the truths will be applicable to everyone regardless of marital state.

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Daily Devotion: Which is easier?

“A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’

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Daily Devotion: The beginning of the Good News

“The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way’—
‘a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
“Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.”

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: ‘After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” – Mark 1:1-8

John the Baptist’s message that the Messiah was coming was the beginning of the good news about Jesus. The good news starts with the promise of salvation. The fact that Jesus was coming to rescue His people. God’s promise of salvation is first seen in Genesis 3:14-15 immediately after the fall and is contained throughout the Old Testament in prophecies and stories.

John prepares the people for Jesus by making them aware of their need for repentance and forgiveness. John’s ministry was to “prepare the way for the Lord”. His message opens the eyes of the people to their situation, that they are stained by sin and far from being righteous before God. They are baptized in the waters of the Jordan River, symbolizing repentance from their sin, but the reality is that they need far more than just an acknowledgement of their sin. They need a savior who not only makes them aware of their sin, but deals with it permanently and is able to make them righteous before God. They need to be baptized by the Holy Spirit, not just physical water.

The good news now is that He has come. He has dealt with sin permanently through His death and resurrection and He has made a way for us to be perfectly righteous before God. This is the story that the gospels tell, this is the good news that they bring. What has been hoped for and longed for through the centuries has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

After Paul is arrested, he gives a defense of his faith before King Agrippa, Bernice, Festus and many other high-ranking officials and prominent citizens (Acts 25:23). During his defense he makes these statements in regards to Jesus fulfilling the Old Testament.

“And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our ancestors that I am on trial today. This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night.” – Acts 26:6-7a

“But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen—that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.” – Acts – 26:22-23

The hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ develops throughout the Bible. It begins with the good news that the Messiah is coming. Then it tells the story of how He came and what He did to work our salvation. Now we tell the good news of both the hope that is fulfilled in Jesus and the truth that He is coming again.

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” – John 14:3

He is coming. He is here. He will come again.

Daily Devotion: Gospel Verses

Below are a number of verses dealing with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether you are searching for truth, looking for verses to use to explain the gospel, or just looking to be reminded and refreshed, these are some of my favorite verses to work through.

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I am often reminded of the need to “preach the gospel to myself”. The gospel is both an event that happened at a certain time in history as well as an ongoing truth. In our own personal lives the acceptance of the gospel–or surrender to the gospel–is an event that happens in a particular moment, but it is also an ongoing process. Reading through and preaching the gospel to ourselves again reminds us of who were once were, who we now are, and who we will be. We were condemned, we are justified, we will be glorified. We were dead in our sins, we are made alive, and we will be free of sin and death.

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