April 15, 2020 5 min read

Tripping Over Our Goals

People are goal-oriented. Even if you think you’re not, you really are. Maybe you don’t have a burning ambition to work in finance on Wall St., or you aren’t going to be a pro athlete any time soon. But you do want to earn a living for your family. Hey, you even want to get your chores finished before your favorite show comes on TV.

Sometimes, this love of goals can trip us up when it comes to eternal matters. We think we can make our own way. It’s just hardwired in us to set goals and meet them in order to reach our reward.

The Bible says otherwise.

Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

Eternal life with God, being reconciled to Him in spite of our sin, is a gift we cannot win for ourselves. In fact, we can’t do anything to get it other than simply receive. This is what God’s Word says. Salvation through Christ does not depend on our talent or initiative or drive. It depends entirely on the choice of Christ long ago to stand in our place as punishment for sin.

Once you wrap your mind around that, you’ll be ready to receive it with joy and anticipation for a future so good, we can’t even imagine it!

Let’s pray. Lord, thank you so much for your free gift of salvation. Jesus alone is our Savior. Amen.

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A Tale of True Grace

Have you heard the name Sydney Carton? This character in Charles Dickens’s acclaimed novel “A Tale of Two Cities” has everything to do with sacrificial grace.

Carton is a man during the French Revolution who has a chance to stand-in for a condemned man. In this way, the man will be free to go on and live his life. Carton takes the other man’s place, and is executed.

It was common for Charles Dickens to write novels that reflect the Christian faith. Does Carton remind you of anyone?

Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

Jesus is Carton, in a sense. Though the Messiah is infinitely more than a mere man. His sacrifice at the place of execution—the Cross—is an eternal reminder that there is One who loves us perfectly and without end.

Sydney Carton did not have to do what he did. No one forced him. It was a choice. He saved one man.

Jesus saved mankind. If you would like to meet Him, pray that God will give you discernment to accept the free gift of salvation from Jesus.

Let’s pray. Lord, Jesus is our Carton, for all time. And He is real, not fiction. Thank you that you show us true reality. Amen.

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Salvation - This Way

Our world has rich diversity. In nature, we see almost countless stunning animal species. We linger on pictures of beautiful landscapes. Even different cultures give us amazing experiences.

There are also many different religions. Some of them offer a measure of peace. Some have reflections that can help us be better people. Today we’re talking about salvation, and that is one thing only Jesus offers. That is a harsh thing to say to some people, but if we are true to God’s Word, we affirm it.

Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

Founders of other religions can’t save you. God tells us in Scripture that He alone saves, through the sacrifice on the Cross by his Son, Jesus Christ. Maybe you’ve been offended by that seemingly exclusive offer, but what could it hurt to really reflect on it?

Choose to do that today. Privately, tell Jesus that you want to know Him.

He’ll answer.

He has a gift for that.

Let’s pray. Lord, your world is beautiful but flawed. The world to come that you’ve prepared for us will be perfect and without end. Amen.

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Grace for the Thinking Man

Have you ever thought much about grace? We hear the word, but the concept itself might be a little elusive. That might be because it’s hard for humans to understand and embrace.

Grace means simply that someone gives you something with no strings attached. Just for your good.

Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

The Bible tells a simple story, really. Mankind sinned and brought evil into the world. God made everything, so He has the right to set the rules. And in His system, sin cannot be tolerated. So He made a way for us to be reconciled to Him, through His son, Jesus Christ.

Often, we try to do things to help life along. We plan, plot, and come up with programs. Our own ideas seem like the right thing to do.

But God’s way is always the right thing to do. Setting aside our own ego is key to finding peace in Christ. We literally don’t have to do anything for it.

We accept it in faith.

That is the gift of God.

Let’s pray. Lord, in your love for us, you make our path simple. Not always easy, but simple. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. Amen.

How can we pray for you today? Members of Team Kerusso meet on a regular basis to pray, and we would be honored to pray for you. Visit Kerusso.com/pray to submit a request.

Year Round Giving

If you’ve ever been to a trade show, you know that products for the Christmas season are presented and pre-sold in July! Sort of like the Laurel & Hardy film in which they sold Christmas trees in summer!

Hopefully we have better marketing than the comedy duo, but there is one superb gift we can make people aware of year-round.

Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

If you’ve found faith in Jesus Christ, you know how good that feels. How peaceful. You naturally want to share this with everyone you meet. This free gift from Jesus is available to anyone, no matter their circumstances.

Now that you’ve been on the receiving end, you truly will understand that it’s not exactly better to give than receive—this is eternal life, after all—but the joy you’ll feel in sharing Christ is a feeling that cannot be matched.

So get out there and share the Good News year-round, not just during the Christmas season!

Let’s pray. Lord, Jesus gave us His all, and we are eternally thankful for that. Please give us many opportunities to share Him with others. Amen.

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See the t-shirt this devotional was inspired by here