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)
Dear Lord Jesus, I share Paul’s eagerness to preach the gospel today; yet my target audience isn’t Rome, but my own heart, because we believers need the gospel just as much as non-believers. I praise you for convincing me that there’s nothing more than the gospel just more of it. Our comprehensive need of grace is met by your inexhaustible supply of grace. Out of your fullness, we continue to receive grace upon grace upon grace (John 1:16), for which we exclaim, “Hallelujah!”
Lord Jesus, you are my righteousness, holiness, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). I trust you as my substitute before I own you as my example. You are the second Adam, not my second chance. Indeed, 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 my life in yours, he cannot love me more than he does today, and he’ll never love me less (Col. 3:1-5). Your life for me is my guarantee of redemption; and your life in me is my “hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).
And now, regenerated, sealed and indwelt by the Holy …
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
Dear heavenly Father, this Lord’s Day morning, my heart is filled with praise for the hyper-abundance of grace which you’ve heaped on us in Jesus. This portion of the Word is a zip-file of gospelicious wonder.
By the 1st Adam’s failure, we were born spiritually dead—willing subjects, co-conspirators, members in good standing in the reign of sin and death. But through the Jesus—the 2nd Adam, we’ve been raised to new life, and live as objects of your affection and subjects in the reign of righteousness, peace, and joy—the reign of grace.
As dead as we were in our sins and trespasses, we’re much, much more alive in Jesus’ forgiveness and righteousness. As distant and disconnected as we were from you, we’re now much, much more at peace and intimate with you through Jesus’ perfect work. As narcissistic and navel-gazing as we were through …
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 24-25
Dear heavenly Father, this one little benediction from Jude is like a zip file of glory—crammed full of sovereign goodness and your measureless mercies towards us in Jesus. May this be a year in which we come more fully alive to the multiplied blessings you’ve already lavished upon us in the gospel.
Already you have rescued us from the dominion of darkness and have placed us in the kingdom of your beloved Son, Jesus (Col. 1:13). Already you have blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3). Already we are completely loved by you because of Jesus’ completed work on our behalf. As the year progresses, open the eyes of our hearts to see all these glorious riches more clearly and enjoy them more fully (Eph. 1:18-19).
All year long you’ll prove your covenant and capacity to keep us from falling. Though we may falter in the journey, the grasp of your grace is steady and secure. When we waver in our adoration of you, you will remain constant in your affection for us. When we are faithless and disobedient, you will remain committed and fully engaged with us. Even when you must discipline us this year, it will be …