Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Daily devotional: The path to salvation and real life

Peter's words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do?" Peter replied, "Each of you must repent of your sins, turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ to show that you have received forgiveness for your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Acts 2:37-38 NIV

Peter outlined the appropriate response to understanding that Jesus is the Lord and Messiah, exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God's right hand. When we understand this, we should turn from our own ways by repenting of our sins and turning to God. We should also be baptized as a sign that we have died with Christ and from our old way of life and have risen to new life in Christ Jesus. We have these two incredible gifts of having forgiveness for our sins and the indwelling Holy Spirit who convicts us and leads us into real and abundant life. What peace and joy can be experienced by the believer who has received these incredible gifts!

Be careful not to emphasize part of the gospel (e.g., real life is available to us now) but neglect other parts (e.g., God is holy; we must acknowledge our sins and do a total about face as we repent and turn toward God). Don't take the gifts of forgiveness and the Holy Spirit for granted.

Lord, You are exalted above all the earth. You created the earth and all that is in it. You are Lord of all, abounding in love, slow to anger, and filled with compassion, grace, and mercy for us. Time and time again, You forgive us and give us another chance. Thank you for bridging the impossible gap between my sins and Your holiness. Thank you for sending Jesus and exalting Him to the place of highest honor, that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! Let me never forget to share your full Gospel and not just share the parts that are socially acceptable or seem palatable. And let me never take your incredible gifts of forgiveness and the Holy Spirit for granted! I love you, Lord!

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