Read: John 3:17
Her son ran in from school all excited about an upcoming art contest and the chance to win a blue ribbon. She was excited because he rarely showed enthusiasm about anything. He talked about the project for several days. They shopped for supplies, and then … nothing. As the deadline neared, she asked how the project was coming. His answer was, “Well, I got to thinking – I could just make myself a blue ribbon!” Obviously, he had missed the whole point!
So often, people miss the point of Jesus’ death and God’s call on our lives. God is portrayed as the mean guy waiting for us to do something wrong, so that He can zap us! According to the Bible, that viewpoint couldn’t be farther from the truth. Yes, He disciplines us and expects us to live according to His word, but there’s so much more. He came to “seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10) so that “we might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
When we miss the “love” part of His word, we’ve misunderstood the purpose of the Cross. That purpose goes far beyond just condemning our sins; He gave so that “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Adoration: God is holy, mighty, gracious, and merciful. Spend time declaring your love for Him and expressing your thoughts of praise and worship.
Confession: Ask God to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.
Thanksgiving: Express your thankfulness to God for the blessings He has given you. When we consider that we deserve punishment because of our sinfulness, and instead God gives to us His love and mercy, our only response should be one of thankfulness.
Supplication: Petition God for spiritual insight and understanding of His Word. Ask Him to help you know what is His direction and purpose for your life. Intercede for other believers, personal friends, those in ministry and those who are oppressed and in need. Offer prayers for your activities for this day and any special concerns you might have.