“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
I bet that the large majority of us know this verse by heart. If you have been in church for any time at all, you have heard it. And it is a great story, full of hope and grace, so it is easily remembered. But when you think about it, there is so much more to it than meets the eye.
I invite you to spend a few minutes today considering this verse in a new way. First, let’s reword it:
But God demonstrates his own love for ME in this: While Lana Mae French Johnson, (with brown eyes, a love for peanut butter, and a bad habit for being controlled by her emotions) was still a sinner, Christ died for me.
You can fill in your own blanks. What makes you unique? What are your defining characteristics?
Once you have decided on your verse, then ask Jesus this question: What is it that made You want to die for me?
This is the million dollar question, my friends. When we take this verse out of the nebulous “Jesus died for everybody” and personalize it to “Jesus died for me,” then we begin to get to the heart of who we are.
I urge you not to generalize His answer in your mind. Isn’t it so easy to just say, “Well he’s God. He loves me.” And that is very true. But I continue to ask myself, “Why does He love me? What about me could possibly make Him want to suffer through the pain, humiliation, and torture of the cross?”
I have to belief that there is something He sees in me, in each of us, that He believed to be worth His sacrifice. What a humbling thought. My perfect Lord considers me worthy to suffer for. Before I was ever born He knew me and considered me redeemable. I picture Him in heaven, thinking about me, and saying, “Yes. I will go. It will be awful, but she is worth it.” Brothers and sisters, the good news is, He was thinking that about all of us.
What is my response to this grace? I am going to let this roll around in my head today. It is a lot to take in. But my first reaction is that He saw something good and moldable, and useable in me. I think my first step is to try and figure out what that is and use it for His glory. I think I would very much like to truly embrace the life of the redeemed.
Words cannot describe how I feel about You today. While I continue to try and wrap my head around this notion of Your love for me, I fall short. But, if You would be so kind as to help me, I will do my best to follow You and serve Your will for me. It’s the best I have to offer You in return for this life You have ransomed. Show me today how best to bring You glory.
In Your sweet name I pray,