I was exhausted to my core, so of course the bedtime routine was the longest ever in the history of parenting.
We snuggled – scratching backs and rubbing lotion on dry hands and feet, noting bruised knees and elbows from recent falls along the way.
We sang worship songs – once through in praise, and a second time upon request to practice tuning up our chorus of broken notes.
We shared our highs and lows of the day – some moments of great encouragement; others filled with great challenges and opportunities for growth.
We prayed – with grateful hearts to a God who has given so much, but also for so much brokenness that is directly touching our lives and the lives of those we love.
Joy mingled with sorrow… this is life in the here and now.
And then the long list of God-questions straight from my eight year old’s heart began to surface… way past her bedtime and right smack in the middle of the sorrow and joy that is Holy Week.
I mean, how do I know that He really loves me?
I believe in God, but why can’t I always see Him working?
If He’s so powerful, why doesn’t everyone believe in Him?
And though I have decades of faith on her, I too need reminders of His perfect love and sovereignty when doubt creeps in and the darkness of this world threatens to cloud the Truth.
And so we preach the gospel to ourselves all day and late into the night.
There is no greater love. Through His death, my sin is paid for. Through His resurrection, death is swallowed up in victory! And so today I don’t have to live buried by the darkness of this world. In the words of Chuck Swindoll, “The devil, darkness, and death may swagger and boast, the pangs of life will sting for a while longer, but don’t worry; the forces of evil are breathing their last. Not to worry… He’s risen!”
“Now when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will happen, “Death has been swallowed up in victory. ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” – 1 Corinthians 15:54-57
Who in your life needs the hope of the gospel today? Pray, and then don’t let this weekend go by without taking the opportunity to share with them the greatest gift they could ever receive.
Don’t know where to start? Begin with what Jesus has done for you, backed by these truths from God’s Word…
God loves you.
Even when you’re feeling unworthy and like the world is stacked against you, God loves you – yes, you – and He has created you for great purpose.
God’s Word says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, Jesus, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Our sin separates us from God.
We are all sinners by nature and by choice, and because of this we are separated from God, who is holy.
God’s Word says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Jesus died so that you might have life.
The consequence of sin is death, but your story doesn’t have to end there! God’s free gift of salvation is available to us because Jesus took the penalty for our sin when He died on the cross.
God’s Word says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23); “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Death could not hold Him, and three days after His body was placed in the tomb Jesus rose again, defeating sin and death forever! He lives today in heaven and is preparing a place in eternity for all who believe in Him.
God’s Word says, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:2-3).
Accept Jesus as the only way to salvation…
Accepting Jesus as your Savior is not about what you can do, but rather about having faith in what Jesus has already done. It takes recognizing that you are a sinner, believing that Jesus died for your sins, and asking for forgiveness by placing your full trust in Jesus’s work on the cross on your behalf.
God’s Word says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10).
Practically, what does that look like? With a sincere heart, you can pray a simple prayer something like this:
I know that I am a sinner.
I don’t want to live another day without embracing
the love and forgiveness that You have for me.
I ask for Your forgiveness.
I believe that You died for my sins and rose from the dead.
I surrender all that I am and ask You to be Lord of my life.
Help me to turn from my sin and follow You.
Teach me what it means to walk in freedom as I live under Your grace,
and help me to grow in Your ways as I seek to know You more.
This Good Friday preach the gospel to yourself, but don’t stop there. Who will you share the Good News of Jesus with this Easter?
At His feet,
*Let’s talk: Do you have a testimony from our Broken & Redeemed study? We’d love to hear how God’s Word has impacted you these last six weeks!
RUTH – One Woman’s Journey from Loss to Legacy – begins May 1!!
If you’ve ever experienced loss, loneliness, or seasons of great change or difficulty, then you can immediately identify with the events and people in the book of Ruth. While Ruth begins as a story of heartache, it doesn’t stop there. Mourning turns to dancing as themes of loyalty, kindness, boldness, acceptance, love, and redemption are uncovered. But ultimately, Ruth is a book about the providence of God. We should never underestimate the seemingly small events in our lives. Whether it is caring for family, getting married, working, showing kindness to our neighbors, or raising children… all of it is being used by God for the good of those who love Him, for His glory, and for the salvation of others. The book of Ruth reminds us that no event or person is insignificant in the plan of God.