I hope you were all encouraged by Pastor Ben’s message this past weekend for Resurrection Sunday! His sermon called, “The Way, the Truth & the Life” on John 14:1-7 was so well put together as we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”John 14:6-7
It was a timely reminder of who Jesus is, and how regardless of what we believe or think, His Word is ultimate Truth: He IS the only Way. He IS the embodiment of Truth. He IS the Life . It is both relieving and humbling to remember that Jesus’ decision to love us, forgive us and give us this gift of grace and life had absolutely nothing to do with my capabilities or doings. His decision to bear my sin and shame and give me the gift of salvation by His grace alone fills me with so much love, hope & joy! I am grateful for the “zoe” life that Jesus has given us–a right relationship with God through Him!
As I continued to reflect on Pastor Ben’s sermon, I was reminded of the importance of knowing Truth on a daily basis. He pointed out how easy it is to believe in our own versions of what “truth” is, and to live lives based on that truth rather than the “capital T” Truth that Jesus speaks to us in the Bible. I was reminded by a quote by one of my favorite authors, Paul David Tripp, as he was interviewed on Desiring God: “No one is more influential in your life than you are. Because no one talks to you more than you do.” (Of course this quote is not including the influence of the Word of God.)
It is easy to get caught up in our own thoughts & feelings over what is right and wrong, or what should be or ought to be, what it looks like to be successful in life, or etc. In many cases, we choose for ourselves the words, quotes, and things we believe in, and take to heart. So as Tripp’s quote says, in our minds, we do indeed influence ourselves the most & “speak to ourselves” quite frequently. However, our sinful nature often causes us to stray away from actual Truth.
I think that’s why other Christian scholars and authors share the sentiment of our need to be reminded of the Gospel daily. Jerry Bridges is another famous author who is known to often use the phrase, “Preach the gospel to yourself every day.”
Reminding ourselves the foundation of our faith each day, helps us bring so much of our life and how we live it into the right perspective.
- That we have been saved by His grace alone. (Ephesians 2:4-10)
- That God’s love for us is not dependent on our lovability or capability (Romans 5:7-9)
- That we have new life with Him (1 Peter 1:3-5)
- That with this new life, God has prepared for us good works to walk in for His glory. (1 Cor. 10:31-33)
- We to become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)
When we are mindful of the Gospel Truth each and every day, we are placing ourselves humbly at the foot of the cross, allowing the love and grace of God to fill our spirit and proactively fighting against the our self-centeredness, that as sinful humans still undergoing perfection & refining, we tend to lean towards. Remembering the Gospel helps us love, trust & follow God, gives us power to love others, show forgiveness, overcome sin, and pursue His righteousness. As we speak Truth to ourselves each day, it also helps us positions ourselves to quickly recall it again when we are faced with situations where we are prone to stumble in sin throughout the day.
I think of Paul’s charge to the church in Rome in Romans 12:1-2. In his call to followers of Christ to give worship to God essentially through our entire being in light of His mercy & grace, he follows it directly with the charge to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. In our human-ness, this in all actuality is truly impossible without Jesus–without that “zoe” life (a right relationship with God) given to us through Christ. When we are reconciled to God, we are made new, and able to renew our minds with the Word of God & the Holy Spirit.
This Tuesday, I encourage you all to try out the spiritual discipline of preaching the Gospel to yourself each day, as Jerry Bridges’ quote says.
Take time this week to find a passage from Scripture that speak Truth on the Gospel, like the ones above I linked above or others that you know & remember. Write it fully out on a post it or piece of paper that you can place somewhere in your home that you frequent often, or first thing when you wake up! Take a moment to read it, speak it aloud and pray through it each morning, or at lunch–anytime, but once a day. I recommend in the morning to help start your day off on the right foot.
Share which Scripture passage you’re meditating on with a fellow brother or sister in Christ! I encourage you to try this out for at least month and observe how it changes & affects your spiritual walk with the Lord!
May the power of the Gospel & the Word of God dwell with you all richly this week after Easter Sunday!
“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
– Psalm 51:10-13
Hungry for more?
We encourage you to feast on the word of God. If you’ve got some resources on your bookshelf, dig in! If you’re looking for more translations, resources, and devotional guides, try any of the following links or search for more online.
Create an atmosphere to encounter God
During this historical time, we’ve been collecting songs along the way. You can find the playlists on SGPC’s Spotify profile (requires a free Spotify account). Listen to old favorites and discover new songs of the season! Spring off into some of the suggestions generated by Spotify or search for your own go-to songs. These also work well as background music for studying scripture (or anything else).