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Lent Devotional • Day 5

Day 5: Monday March 7

First Week of Lent: “Be Like Jesus by Uniting with Him”

Today’s Truth that Transforms:

“Jesus FOR you—Trust His SAVING Work”

Scriptures from Romans and Ephesians

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. (Rom. 3)

Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. (Rom.4)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Eph. 2)

How are we “Transformed in Christ” and shaped to be more like Him?

How are we put right with God? How are we saved from the rebellion of our sin? How do transfer from spiritual death (life apart from God) to spiritual life (life with God)? It is by relying on Jesus’ substitution in our place. He lived a perfect life in our place. His death was payment for our sin. His resurrection declared the debt paid in full. Sum it up. It is Jesus FOR us. He did it all. We didn’t do any of it! When we receive it by faith it changes everything for us. Our lives are transformed because we are intimately receiving His immense love for us. We are now “in Christ,” attached to Jesus personally. Remember it each day. Jesus FOR you—trust His SAVING work!

How do you see this “Truth that Transforms” working in your life? 

The following is an application story written by Nathan De Young. After you read it, ask yourself the same question. “How do I see this ‘Truth that Transforms’ working in my life?

And I know this is true in my own personal life. When I first started out in college, I was not going in the direction God desired for me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was definitely going the exact opposite way. I grew up in a Christian home but I really wanted nothing to do with God at this point in my life and was set down a career path that wasn’t ideal. 

In the summer of 2013, God transformed my heart in a really powerful way, the Gospel came alive for me. I realized how much I needed Jesus and he met me and changed everything. So when I went back to that college in the fall, it actually ended up being one of the worst times of my life, no joke. Even though Jesus had saved me, I went through my darkest valley, the lowest of lows. I was in the worst spot I had ever been in in my life and it was in this place that God spoke to me and said, “What about becoming a DCE?” That’s a Director of Christian Education, like a youth pastor, and I said, “Uh…what? Okay God.” I started looking into it and I only knew. about one school at the time teaching people how to be a DCE: Concordia in Austin Texas (Woosh, let’s go Tornadoes!). But the thing about Christian private schools is they’re expensive! It costs so much money and there was no way I was going to be able to afford it. But as I started telling my family about my transformation and new direction I believed God was calling me to, my grandparents (who are technically not blood-related, but basically grandparents) were so FOR me, FOR what God was doing in my life and FOR this new direction, they made a downpayment on my tuition. They set aside a huge chunk of money, an incredibly generous gift, and they made a deposit so I could afford this school. 

The Gospel is no different. That’s exactly how God operates. In Jesus Christ, God has made a deposit. He made a deposit once and for all through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He made a deposit of forgiveness. A deposit of salvation, hope, everlasting joy; God made this deposit FOR us. When he reveals what Jesus did on the cross, when the Gospel comes alive and the Holy Spirit opens our eyes we receive this deposit. God is so FOR us that he sent Jesus as an atoning sacrifice. He’s so FOR us he made this downpayment for you, and for me, so when we believe in Jesus, place our faith, trust and hope in him, we have access to this deposit! Now that inheritance has become ours. We get to enjoy the benefits of what Jesus did for us. This new life he’s purchased for us becomes ours. And that’s what’s so great about our God, he’s FOR us, so much so he was willing to give everything so we could have new life in him, relationship with him, forgiveness in him. 

Prayer:

Father, I pray for the person who’s listening to this devotion who, maybe for the first time, the Gospel is coming alive for them. Maybe they haven’t accessed that deposit and tapped into forgiveness of sins, resurrection from the death, eternal life, eternal hope, eternal salvation; it’s awaiting them right now! Jesus made this happen, the deposit is ready. You are so good and open our eyes to see, and grant us faith; its all a gift from you. Not because of anything we’ve done, but because of how great your love is, how FOR us you are. I pray that person’s eyes would be opened and they would receive your deposit. 

And Father, I pray for anybody else who’s listening that has already received salvation in Jesus Christ. They’ve already tapped into that deposit and they’ve been given this new life in you. I pray you would strengthen them, encourage them through your word, remind them the deposit can never be lost, taken away, removed, rescinded or sent back! It is once and for all because Jesus is FOR us, and we trust in your saving work.

Amen.