Blasting Our Hearts with the Gospel Today

     I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Rom. 1:15-17 (NIV)

Lord Jesus, we share Paul’s eagerness for the preaching of the gospel, yet our target audience isn’t Rome, but our own hearts. For we suffer from doxological dementia and gospel amnesia. We need to hear the gospel every day because we forget it every day.

Thank you for convincing us that there’s nothing more than the gospel, just more of it. Our comprehensive need of grace is met by your inexhaustible supply and glad generosity. Out of your fullness we continue to receive grace upon grace (John 1:16). Hallelujah!

Jesus, we could sooner sneeze an elephant into existence than we could save ourselves. You are our righteousness, holiness, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). We trust you as our substitute before we own you as our example. You fulfilled the demands of the law for us (Rom. 10:14), and now you’re fulfilling the beauty of the law in us (Rom. 8:4).

Because God has hidden our lives in yours, he cannot love us more than he does today, and he’ll never love us less (Col. 3:1-5). Your life for us is our guarantee of redemption, and …

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The Once-and-for-All-ness of Jesus’ Work on Our Behalf

     Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, once and for all. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.Heb. 10:11-14 (NLT)

Dear Lord Jesus, we cannot hear it too much, believe it too deeply, or rejoice in it too fully. By your death on the cross, you have taken away our sins, once and for all. Nothing is left undone. Nothing more needs to happen. Nothing else could have met our need.

Hallelujah, we’ve been made righteous in Christ forever! Blessed be the name of our God and Savior, Jesus–the Lamb of God who has taken away our sin; the Lord of all, who is making all things new; the Lamp of the New Jerusalem, whose glory will shine eternally!

And now, having completely justified us by your finished work, you are perfecting us by your glorious gospel. It’s all of grace, from beginning to end. We who’ve been declared perfectly righteous will be made perfectly holy, O blessed and happy hope. One Day we will be as lovely and as loving as you, Lord Jesus. There is no greater longing, joy, or future. Surely, this good …

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A Prayer for Rejoicing in God’s Commitment to Change Us

     Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thess. 5:23

     Dear heavenly Father, this one verse is a source of major encouragement to me. I’m grateful to know that you are tenaciously at work in changing us—in making us more and more like Jesus (Rm. 8:28-30). You began and you will complete the good work you began in us, your children (Phil. 1:6). Indeed, “salvation is of the Lord.” There’s no other way it could happen.

     Father, I’d despair if this wasn’t the case, for the disparity between Jesus’ beauty and my brokenness is often quite distinct. The thoughts I think, the things I feel, and the choices I make can be so unlike Jesus at times. I could never be my own savior, and only a great Savior like Jesus is sufficient for someone like me.

     But as the “God of peace,” you are making us wholly holy—you’re changing us through and through. You’re healing and liberating every part of our being, from the effects and affects of sin—spirit, soul and body.

     We will be wholly blameless and shameless at Jesus’ second coming, because he took our blame upon the cross and despised its shame for us. Even now, our lives are hidden safely in Christ (Col. 3:4)—who is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:31).

     Father, I boast …

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A Prayer in Awe of God’s Hyper-abundant Grace

     For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Rom. 5:15-17

     Most holy and gracious Father, today my heart is filled with praise for the hyper-abundance of grace which you’ve given us in Jesus. Through the failure of the first Adam, we were born spiritually dead—willing subjects, co-conspirators, members in good standing in the reign of sin and death. But now, through the work of Jesus—the second Adam, we’ve been made new and alive. We’re objects of your affection and subjects in Jesus’ kingdom; your beloved children and glad-to-be servants; fully known by you and thoroughly enjoyed by you. Hallelujah, for such a standing in grace!
     As dead as we were in our sins and trespasses, we are much, much more alive in Jesus’ forgiveness and righteousness. As distant and disconnected as we were from you because of Adam’s sin and our own sin, we are much, much more at peace and intimate with you through …

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A Prayer in Praise of Jesus, Who Saves Us Completely

     Because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Heb. 7:24-25

     Dear Lord Jesus, during this particular season of Lent, I have come to realize, yet again, how much I need a great and gracious Savior. And that would be you. You live and love forever, you advocate and pray for us forever. You are the forever Savior who completely saves us, and my heart is stunned with gratitude as this day begins.

Jesus, I praise you for already completely justifying me. Though my justification will be more public one Day, it will never be more certain than it is right now. Because of your work for me, I am fully and eternally accepted by God, in you. I can live today with this life-liberating chorus reverberating in the corridors of my mind and the chambers of my heart, “There is now (and forever) no condemnation for those who are in Christ.” I am no longer under law. I am under, in and all about your grace!

Not only is there no condemnation, there is perfect peace, irrepressible delight and unparalleled rejoicing going on from God towards me, and all his children. It boggles my mind, exposes my unbelief and stretches the limits of my imagination, but God actually desires, enjoys and loves me; and it’s all because of you, my perfect and complete Savior.

Jesus, I praise you …

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A Prayer about Being Kept in Perfect Peace

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. Isa. 26:3-4

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1

Most loving and trustworthy Father, you haven’t promised us a storm-less, hassle-free life. You offer us no formulas for decreasing the probability of discouraging things happening around us or disillusioning things happening to us.  But you have promised something that transcends the chaos and uncertainty of life. You’ve promised to give us your peace and keep us in peace, no matter what happens. A thousand times over, we thank you.

Being kept by you… we treasure this promise more than all the gold in Fort Knox; all the chalets in Switzerland; all the oil in the Arab States, for we cannot keep ourselves. We don’t have strength to muster or enough boot straps to pull up. Thank you for being an engaged Father who will never forget or abandon your children; a sovereign Lord who names stars, feeds birds and controls our destiny; mighty Warrior, you defends and safeguards our passage home.

But your promise is even grander. You have promised to keep us in perfect peace–an unparalled …

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