Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 12, 2021
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:9
This morning as I write, I am thinking about new beginnings since the New Year has just arrived. I am reminded of a new beginning I experienced in my early twenties that forever changed my life. It was the summer of 1986 and a friend invited me to move in with her for the summer. As I packed to leave my parent’s house, I felt compelled to take a small, leather Bible with me that belonged to my mom.
One evening I was all alone. My roommate was on a date, and my boyfriend was working out of town. I picked up that old leather Bible and turned to the book of John. While growing up, I had heard about Christ’s death and resurrection in church many times, but it was never personal to me until that evening.
While reading, it became undeniably clear to me that my sin had put Christ on the cross—and I wailed. I let out a cry I am sure the neighbors could have heard. I cried over and over, “Jesus, I am so sorry. I am so sorry.”
For the first time, I understood I had sinned against my Savior and I understood the gift of salvation He was offering me. Through tears and the desire of my heart, I invited Him into my life, and I asked Him to forgive me. In that moment, I knew I was fully forgiven, and I knew there was nothing more I needed to do. I couldn’t be good enough to get to heaven or do more to make Him love me. He was offering me the unmerited gifts of His love and salvation. All I had to do was receive. I’ve (thankfully!) never been the same since.
As I look back, I am so grateful for the people the Lord brought into my life in the days that followed. They didn’t point me to a particular church to be saved, to a particular denomination, religion, or to particular religious practices to earn God’s favor.
Instead, they pointed me to Jesus—and that has made all the difference. They pointed me to His grace, that is in no way dependent on my works. They pointed me to His love, which is in no way dependent on my love for Him. And they pointed me to His truth, which is in no way dependent on my goodness to receive it.
Without grace, how could I have ever overcome the internal struggles I experience now and experienced in those early days? How could I have ever known the joy of His love, the steadfastness of His goodness, or the assurance of salvation?
Ever since that day when I understood that He died for me, He has been my constant companion, faithful guide, understanding friend, and wonderful counselor. He has never left and will always stay even though I don’t deserve it. And because of who He is, not because of anything I have done, I have heaven to look forward to with loved ones and the Savior Himself. How marvelous!
“Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness” (Romans 4:4-5).
Lord, thank you for your free gift of salvation. Thank you that I cannot earn it and that your salvation is entirely by grace. Help me to fully receive this truth. Please forgive me for my sins. Thank you that I will live with you forever in eternity. Amen.
Have you asked Christ into your life? If so, who shared about His love with you? Take a moment to thank Him for his faithful messengers. Thank Him for His love that never ends and thank Him for the sure gift of eternal life.
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