We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Nate Hemphill.
“6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”Romans 5:6-11
If you’ve ever had an immediate family member or loved one who found themselves in dire straits, you know the feeling of wanting to do whatever it takes to ease their burden. These feelings are compounded even more if the loved one did nothing to deserve the hardship they found themselves ensnared in. We would stop at nothing, go any distance, expend every resource to bring healing, to relieve the pain, to restore them and make them whole again. When the person you hurt for shares your DNA (by birth or in spirit), they belong to you in good times and bad.
In light of this experience, read once more today’s scripture which outlines exactly what Jesus endured for us. It’s easy to lose the significance of Christ’s sacrifice when we make any assumption of our deservedness. Not only were we undeserving of Christ’s sacrifice, we were actually an enemy to him. It was our sin that left us spiritually bankrupt. We all deserved the public humiliation, the pain, the shame, the abandonment that Crist suffered. Despite all of that, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
This new reality of belonging to Christ is both a great gift and a heavy challenge! The gift of eternal communion with God, both now and into eternity is of greater value than we can ever fathom. God’s love for us is overwhelming! The Good Shepard left the flock of 99 to come for me! How amazing is our Father? The challenge for us is to love others in the same way that Christ loves us. How far are we willing to go – not just for our own family – but for those you don’t even know? How are you reflecting God’s love to an undeserving world? This is the endurance that we must develop. The world is starving for it.
Lord Jesus your willingness to endure the cross for me, while I was lost in sin is a reminder of what you’ve called me to do. Help me to love like you love. Open up my spiritual eyes to serve the under-serving. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
In what ways are you actively and intentionally bearing the burdens of strangers? This is not a guilt trip. Let’s seek to find ways today to serve people you don’t know and have no Earthly connection to. Rather than looking for reasons to be divided, look for an opportunity to relate, connect and give.
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