Great Encouragement from Jerry Bridges

18 Jan

A friend sent me this devotional this morning from Jerry Bridges and I just had to share it with you. It is excellent.

A Lifetime Message
Today’s Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:18
“The word of the cross . . . is the power of God.”

If it’s true our relationship with God is based on his grace instead of our performance, why are we so prone to fall into good-day/bad-day thinking? It’s because we’ve relegated the Gospel to the unbeliever.
Regardless of when you trusted Christ, the cross divides your life into two periods: “unbeliever” and “believer.” What one word describes the Bible message you most needed to hear as an unbeliever? It’s the Gospel, the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). And what one word describes the message we most need to hear as believers? I get many different answers to that question, but most can be summed up with the word discipleship:demands and duties such as the spiritual disciplines, holiness, and service.
I don’t question our emphasis on discipleship. Jesus did say, “Go therefore and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). If anything, we need more challenge and instruction on this. But there’s something more basic than discipleship, something that provides the necessary atmosphere in which discipleship can be practiced: the Gospel.
We need to continue to hear the Gospel every day of our Christian lives. Only a continuous reminder of God’s grace through Christ will keep us from falling into good-day/bad-day thinking, where we view our daily relationship with God as based on how good we’ve been.
Only the joy of hearing the Gospel, being reminded that our sins are forgiven in Christ, will keep the demands of discipleship from becoming drudgery. Only the gratitude and love to God that come from knowing he no longer counts our sins against us (Romans 4:8) will provide the proper motive for responding to the claims of discipleship.

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