Sunday, August 03, 2014

August 3 - Others or Himself?

Today's Reading:
Daniel 11:36-12:13
Matthew 27:32-66
Proverbs 22:17-27
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
Matthew 27:39-42
39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!" 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.

Ironically, those who mocked Jesus on the cross were inadvertently making a profound observation when they said, "He saved others, but he can't save himself." Jesus emptied himself and freely laid down his life in order to save others. If he had saved himself, he could not have saved others.

Christ's death opened the door for “reconciliation to God” (Romans 5:11). By his death he destroys the power of death and frees us from bondage and the fear of death (Hebrews 2:14,15). Instead of saving himself, he saves others.

Response and Action:
Jesus gave himself freely in order to save others. His death on the cross was the means to salvation for all who look to him in faith. I want to take hold of the new life Jesus died to give me. I want to follow Christ's example of faithfulness to God and personal sacrifice for the salvation and life of others.

O Lord, thank you that Jesus saves. Thank you for the great sacrifice he made in order to save me. Help me to be responsive to him, and to love him with all my heart. Teach me to follow his example, to give of myself, and to lay down my life for others. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses:  
1 John 3:16
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

The Jesus Way: A Conversation on the Ways That Jesus Is the Way
by Eugene H. Peterson

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