by Phillip Koons
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Today I simply want to call each reader, and myself, to a sweet time of remembering the truths of the Gospel. Whether you have been a believer for most of your life or for just a short time, we need to return daily to mediate on the truths of the Gospel. Indeed this is also the one who is reading and has yet to profess Jesus as Lord and Savior. I pray that this may be the glorious day when the hardened scales of your heart and eyes are peeled back, allowing your first glance at the bitterness of sin and sweetness of the Gospel. So I pray the Lord would use His Spirit to cast our eyes heavenward, silence the noise and distractions around, suppress the constant noise from within, and allow us to hear His voice.
First, I call us to remember our hopelessness apart from the saving blood of Jesus Christ. It has been said that we must taste the bitterness of sin in order to fully grasp the sweetness of the Gospel. We remember with Paul that we were once far off and have been brought into His warm embrace. We, too, were dead in our trespasses and our sin, but the Spirit of God has illuminated our eyes to see our need for the Savior. May we therefore remember our once ignorant state before a righteous God, and may we give Him glory this day as we remember the Hope promised in His Word. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:16–17).
Secondly, I urge us to remember the importance of prayer. The Christian is called to walk in a prayerful manner because that is exactly where we can experience the peace that surpasses all understanding. A prayerful life produces peace for many reasons. For one, it places us in a posture of humble submission before the One who brings all things come to pass. We experience peace because we are in constant communion with the Creator, Sustainer, and Protector of all things. The peace promised in Scripture is Christ unconditional, not driven by the temporal circumstances we face throughout each day. We have peace because God saw our helpless circumstance and sent Jesus Christ to overcome and conquer our utter depravity. We have unconditional peace in Christ because He cried, “It is finished!” and is currently interceding on our behalf. We have peace because our hope lies in eternal promises, not temporary circumstances. So if you are in Christ, remember today has already been won by our Champion. The good and bad circumstances of this day cannot thwart His plan, but are working together for His glory and our good. “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Cor 13:12).
Lastly, He isn’t done. Each of us carries sin, brokenness, insecurities, and blemishes for which we are not proud. Some of these are recent habits and others seem to be consistent thorns in our side. So I encourage us to remember that in Christ we are no longer slaves to sin, for we have a Redeemer who sets us free from the power of sin and death. However, we must also remember that we have entered into a battle. The war is won and Christ stands victorious, but we are called to put on the full armor of God because He knew we would be sojourners in a foreign land. The evil one lies in wait, seeking to devour those who claim Christ or further entrench those who are already lost. So let us run this race with endurance, not on our own strength but with constant reliance on the perfect work of Christ and His promise to bring this work to completion. “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6).
Whether you are reading this in the early morning hours, on your lunch break, or as an evening devotion, I want to encourage us all to set out minds on Gospel truths. The love of God, shown through Jesus Christ, is bigger than any circumstance, trial, temptation, or disaster we may encounter this day. May we run to the warm embrace of our loving and gracious Father and never forget our position as His children and heirs of the promise. And if you find yourself in a season of doubt or unbelief, I urge you to beg the Lord for eyes to see, a heart to love, and a mind to understand the overwhelming goodness of our God and Savior.