Created for Community

January devotion

by Jane Fryar

Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession (Psalm 2:8 ESV).

Nothing takes our Lord by surprise, least of all, the rage and rebellion of an unbelieving world. We may be shocked or even frightened, but God never is. From all eternity, our heavenly Father has put together plans designed to draw every opponent into his arms of grace:

[God] desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4 ESV).

Enacting those plans at precisely the right time in history, God sent a Savior - his own Son! Jesus paid our debt, endured our penalty:

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight (Ephesians 1:7–8 ESV).

This gift belongs to all who believe - to you and to me.

Still, many people on our planet do not yet take refuge in Jesus. Many have never really heard who Jesus is and what he has done for them. Others are so baffled by the message of his unconditional love that they reject it; they continue to wear themselves out, trying to earn his approval. Still others have heard the truth, but in ongoing rebellion want nothing to do with it.

Surprise! Our heavenly Father goes on loving each one of them! He says to his Son, our Savior:

Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession (Psalm 2:8 ESV).

And the Son says to us:

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you (Matthew 28:18–20 ESV).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, how can I thank you for your surprising, amazing, forgiving grace?! Teach all of us in my church to love as you love. Then send us out to make disciples. Amen.

 

Editor’s note: Today’s devotion comes from CTA’s latest resource for pastors and churches, Created for Community. This theme takes a closer look at what it means to revitalize the church through encouraging, worshiping, and serving together in Christian congregations. Order the planner’s pack today and use the resources in your small groups, new member classes, or churchwide Bible studies!


You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2019 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.

 

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