Sacred Holidays: A Devotional Leading Up To Lent and Easter

Day 3 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

DAY THREE: 


We already have learned with great certainty that Jesus came for everyone, but specifically for the sick and lost (Luke 19:10; Mark 2:13-17). We also know that God has made Himself abundantly evident to everyone (Romans 1). Today we are going to face one of the hardest questions—what is God’s response to sin? 


Read Romans 6:23 and note what the consequence of sin is. 


Death is what comes from sin, both literally and figuratively. The reason people die is because sin is in the world, in the form of sickness, disease, and suffering. And even outside of physical death, there are all sorts of ways our sin—while it may seem or feel good in the moment—leads to consequences that feel like a major loss has happened. Before I was a Christian I felt this, and today, even after walking with God for years, I still know the stings of death all too often. 


Pause for a moment and ask God if there is sin that has a tight control over you and is leading to death? 


If you aren’t sure if a certain habit or action is considered sinful, think about how you feel while you are doing it. For example, I really like to convince myself that it’s okay to share everything with my husband and best friends. If it’s with my safe people, then it’s not gossip, right? Wrong. If I pause and ask the Spirit what’s going on in my heart, He will show me that while I say I’m going to them for “wise counsel” in a certain situation, I’m really just trying to have a juicy gossip session. The death that comes from that, for me, is shame. Instantly, I’ve let my husband or friends know I can’t be trusted. And as for the person I was gossiping about, I no longer feel good around them because I had a conversation about them that I never invited them into. And so on it goes. 


What about you? Spend some time confessing to God the times you’ve chosen sin and death. Push yourself to really think through every area of your life. Ask yourself: Is this something I’ve justified as okay, but really it’s leading to death? Or is this something that actually brings life? 


Life. That is what God provides. We read in verse 23 that Jesus came to give us a free gift, eternal life—this is the Easter story! When we turn from sin and turn to God, we choose eternal life through Jesus! It really is that simple. 


I’ve found that this is both a one-time thing and a forever thing. There was a time when I first made this turn when I first believed. That was a really big turn—there was a lot of sin and death I had to turn away from to walk in life. However, I’ve also learned that this turning is something I still have to do daily, actually many times throughout the day. 


I hate to admit this because I feel like I should “have it all together” by now. I let shame flood in too quickly, a constant distraction from turning to life. 


Read Romans 8:1-3 and note what God says about those who are in Christ. 


He says there’s “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” None. Shame isn’t from God. His spirit corrects and convicts us, but shame has never been His voice. 


Wrap up today by telling God the things you feel shame over, and then speak out loud, if possible: “There is therefore now no condemnation for X.” There isn’t. You don’t walk in death, you walk in the life that Jesus Christ has given you.