Daily Devotionals
Week of
January 20 to January 25, 2020

MEMORY VERSE

1 Peter 2:9

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

MONDAY                                            Psalm 103:1

“Bless the Lord, O my soul.” Break this phrase down, David is training his soul by preaching to it. David told his soul how to feel and how to respond to the Gospel: Soul, bless God, whether you want to or not. He was not just singing a pretty line; he was talking to himself, challenging his soul to step up. Scripture describes this habit, saying, “David strengthened himself in the Lord” (1 Samuel 30:6). It’s truly a lost art of Christianity, a beautiful discipline. Instead of taking cues from your current mood, the fickle culture, the people around you, or, even more tragically, from social media, look your soul in the eyes and tell it to look to the cross, to the resurrection. Command your soul to drink in the kindness of Christ, whose bruised and splintered shoulders carried the weight of your sin.

Prayer: “Jesus, help me not go a single day without thanking You for the cross and remembering the power of Your resurrection. Amen.”

 

TUESDAY                                             1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Scripture teaches us to guard the line of what is and is not the Gospel. Many fights will break out and unnecessarily escalate over issues that are not the Gospel until we know what it is… and what it is not. Thankfully, Scripture teaches us what it is: “I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). This is the core. I deserve death because of my sin. Jesus died instead of me. But death has lost; Jesus is alive.

Prayer: “Jesus, help me to see how Your death and resurrection have changed absolutely everything, both in my life and for all of time. Amen”

 

WEDNESDAY                                     1 Peter 2:24

Hematidrosis is a medical condition where you are under so much stress that your capillaries burst near your sweat glands and you sweat blood. Dr. Alexander Metherell believes Christ experienced hematidrosis the night before He was beaten and crucified. One effect is your skin becomes far more sensitive for the next few days. When Christ was whipped, beaten, and nailed to a splintered cross, His skin would have been vastly more sensitive and the pain much more intense. There are no words to describe this kind of love.

Prayer: “Jesus, there are no words, only gratefulness. Amen”

THURSDAY                                         Isaiah 53:4-5

Scripture teaches us Jesus took evil itself – each of our pasts, and even the wrath of God itself – in His mortal body when He was crucified. The apostle Paul said, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6). This difficult-to-grasp aspect of the Gospel often becomes the sweetest when we finally understand it. The death of Christ is the death of our regrets and sins. This is why centuries of Christian songs have focused on the cross of Christ. Perhaps one of the most famous declares: “When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died… love so amazing so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” Take time to look at the cross. To survey it. Or in other words, to look at it from every angle imaginable. The more we stare at love crucified, the easier it becomes to surrender all of our life.

Prayer: “Jesus, the cross is the center of all time; help it to become the center of my life and the lens through which I see everything. Amen.”

 

FRIDAY                                                 2 Corinthians 5:21

When Jesus took our place, it meant He had to become a self-righteous hypocrite, a thief, a liar, an alcoholic, a porn addict, even a mass murderer. He had to die because He took our place. And Jesus became the very worst of us. Jesus took the punishment, and we got His inheritance. It is the most unjust moment in history. It’s not fair. And yet through one unfair exchange, we are made new and given everything.     

Prayer: “Jesus, please remind me daily of how Your death changes the darkest parts of my story into a beautiful epic of grace. Amen”

 

SATURDAY                                          John 20:6

Peter walked around with an incalculable amount of regret. His best friend Jesus died, and the last thing Peter did before his friend died was betray Him. There was no way to say “sorry.” There was nothing Peter could do to go back to that moment and make things right. He was left in his regret. Peter’s first encounter of the resurrection was not meeting Jesus. Before he saw Him, he saw an empty tomb. We don’t know if anyone else went into the tomb, but we know Peter did. Maybe God let Peter be the first because of all the regret he was carrying. When we preach the Gospel to ourselves, we step back into the empty tomb. I like to picture throwing my regrets in the tomb and waking up the next morning to find it empty.

Prayer: “Jesus, help my heart to believe You when You say I can be free of regrets because You took them all on the cross. Amen”