At least once a week, a frownie faced toddler looks me in the eye and declares, “You’re not my best friend.” Little man does not like it when he does not get his way, and he communicates his displeasure loudly. I always lean down and plant a big, sloppy kiss on his forehead and let him know, “You will always be my best friend.” Grandma’s love for Mr. Crabby Pants does not waver. Whether he is obedient or stubbornly rebellious, I persevere in protecting him and ensuring he is provided for in every way.
As I read the gospels and see Jesus standing before Pilate, I know His entire being was focused on the joy set out for Him (Heb 12:2). My Savior disregarded the shame and answered not His accusers to rescue a sinner like me.
Jesus loved me when I was stubbornly stuck in sin.
A suffering servant, He bore stripes to set me free.
He humbly bore the cross to buy me back from hell itself.
Jesus persevered in pursuing me as His very own.
I once was a stranger and enemy of God bound for hell, but the blood of Christ broke down all the barriers of sin and shame and brought me back into harmony. My best friend died in my place on a cruel cross.
Oh, what manner of love!
Salvation is full and free for anyone who would receive Jesus and be reconciled. Sadly, Judas never repented. Yes, he regretted the outcome, but he never fully surrendered his will to the Savior as his all in all.
When we insist on wandering our way, we always end up holding nothing in our greedy hands. Christ longs to strip away our shame and cover us with His grace. He wants to crown us with His compassion and cover us with His righteousness (Ps 103:4; 2 Cor 5:21)
Sister, you are no longer estranged. You have been embraced by the unconditional love of a Friend and Savior that will never let you go.
Today, remind yourself of this truth: “Because of Jesus, I have been brought near and presented as holy, without blemish, and blameless.”
Stop and read that last sentence again slowly and out loud. You are not the woman you once were. Your Redeemer has fully reconciled and restored you.
What should be our response to His lavish love? Colossians 1 provides us a roadmap:
- We can dedicate our hearts wholeheartedly to Him. Paul encouraged us to “remain in the faith, established and firm.”
- We can conform our minds to His will and obey His Word. Rather than seeking to please our flesh, we must resolve to not “shift” from the hope of the gospel we have heard.
- We can selflessly serve as ambassadors of His reconciliation in this sin-saturated world. Every day we rub shoulders with people ho are still sadly estranged from God, and our job is to share the hope of the gospel with them as God’s humble servants.
Jesus is your very best friend. Persevere in sharing the Good News that He is the Savior who came to invite us in and rescue us from sin. He alone provides what we need and protects us from the enemy seeking to destroy us. He will always embrace those who turn from sin and say, “Jesus, I believe.”
Who needs you to lean in and say, “Jesus loves you” this week? Look them in the eye, smile, and let them know His unconditional love will never leave them estranged and empty handed.
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