Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Romans 6:15-23 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Imagine with me a horrifying scenario (great way to start a Daily Walk devotional, isn’t it?).
You have a 5-year-old daughter who’s been put to bed. She’s had a bedtime story and a prayer and been safely tucked in and kissed goodnight. She’s the love of your life and she’s drifting off to sleep as you walk out the nearly-shut door. You and your spouse hit the sack not long after.
In the morning, you go to your daughter’s room to get her up and ready for the day. You open her door and find the bed empty. It’s unusual for her to wake up earlier than you, but it’s happened before. You look for her in the kitchen, in the bathroom, all over the house. You can’t find her anywhere. You call out. No response. You rush back into her room and for the first time notice that her window is open and that there’s a dirty footprint on the windowsill.
You are now panicking. You call the police. They come over and take statements, examine the room, look outside the house, and question the neighbors. There are no leads. The police have no idea who could have done such a heinous thing. A kidnapper has taken your child and you don’t know what’s going to become of her. The future is uncertain. But one thing is for sure: you would do anything to have her back into your arms and at home with her family where she belongs. The phone rings. It is the kidnapper with a list of demands.
What would you be prepared to do to get her back? Anything? Almost anything? Would you trade your life for her life?
This is the way God feels about you, right now. A kidnapper came into His home and took His children (Genesis 3). This kidnapper introduced sin and the wages of sin (what sin does to us, not what God does to us), and our Father will do anything to get His children (us) back. In fact, He already did do everything He could to get us back.
The kidnapper demanded a ransom. That ransom was death. Jesus willingly paid that ransom to take His children back from the kidnapper and bring them home.
The wages of sin was death to our Savior. Now we are freed from the wages of sin and free to live the kinds of lives that don’t breed death and destruction but love and everlasting life.
If you have children, imagine what you’d do for them if they were in danger. What would you do to save them? How has God done the same things for you?
Thank God for saving you from the wrath of sin and death.
Read the four gospel accounts of Jesus’ death and ponder what He has done to ransom us from the kidnapper.
When you think of your child, what do you think they will be like when they grow up? Do you think they will be really good at sports, music, or maybe math? Do you think they will have a bubbly or a serious personality. Do you think they will have lots of friends or a few close friends? If you could plan the perfect life for your child what would it look like? A life with no pain, doctors’ visits, or embarrassment. A life of fulfillment, success, joy, and love. The Bible tells us God’s plans are even better than these. Pray and ask God to remind you of His plan for not only your child’s life, but for your life as well.
The Bible tells us that living under sin is icky. When God made Adam and Eve, He made them to live forever. He wanted them to enjoy living in His presence, to build a family, and to create beautiful things on the earth He created for them. Sin changed that and now people don’t live forever like God originally planned. Jesus changed all of that. When He came and died on the cross, He made sure things would go back to the way they are supposed to be. He made it so that one day we will live forever just like God planned for us to—and we can create beautiful things!
Jesus died for you. These are four words we hear all the time, yet these four words can change your life if you let them. The problem is we usually don’t let them. I know that for me growing up Adventist, going to church, and even attending academy, the Jesus message got bland after a while. Here is what I want you to do today: Take a moment to let the death of Jesus sink in. When Jesus died, He didn’t just die to make your sins go “poof!” He actually thought of you by name, took your sins upon Himself one by one up on that tree, and suffered the guilt and the death you deserve. Why? “Because the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Have you accepted that gift yet? Do you need to accept it again today? If the Jesus message has become just another story in your life, talk about it with a mentor. Fight each day to keep it fresh.