Do you know what Jesus did for you? You might know that he died for your sins and that if you follow Him you will go to heaven when you die, but do you know that He gives you power and forgiveness and guidance every day of your life?
My husband and I saw Jerry Bridges speak at our church recently. He is the author of a number of books, only one of which I have read, but that book impressed me and I remember him saying, “Preach the gospel to yourself every day.”
I realized that I pay a little extra attention to someone of his age (85) speak about the Christian life. He’s lived enough of it to have figured out a thing or two.
The Gospel, the good news of what Jesus did for us, is that “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) In other words, Jesus took our sin upon himself and we take his righteousness on ourselves in God’s view. Life is a pass/fail test, and if we are in him we get the benefit of Jesus’ 100% perfect grade. In exchange Jesus took the penalty for our sins, our failing grade, on the cross. He did that voluntarily for you and me, because he loves us. It still blows me away.
Why should I remind myself of that every day? Isn’t it old news? Hardly. Bridges said that most Christians know that they are saved by the gospel, but they live their daily lives trying to work, to perform, to be obedient, to find satisfaction and to earn God’s approval.
It’s exhausting. I really need to remind myself of the gospel every day.
How should I do that? Bridges said he starts each day by acknowledging that he is a practicing sinner, and that God has forgiven him all the wrong that he has done. He uses Scripture to remind him that he is forgiven: Psalm 103:12, Isaiah 1:18, Isaiah 43:25, Romans 4:7-8, Romans 8:1, Colossians 2:13-14, Romans 3:21-23, and Philippians 3:9. There are plenty more.
This means that if I really mess something up I shouldn’t be surprised. Funny, I usually am surprised and ashamed. Thankfully, it also means that I am completely forgiven. It means that I can do nothing that will affect my status with God. He loves me. He forgives me. He blesses me. Period. Amazing.
Bridges closed his talk by pulling out an old watch that needs to be wound every day given to him by his father. He said that the gospel is the main-spring of the Christian life, and like his watch we must wind it every day.
I’ve tried it for the last several days, and it is making a difference.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” Rom. 8:1
Do you keep the gospel in mind every day? If so, how and what difference has it made?