“Preach the gospel to yourself daily.” Many of you have heard us say this in the past. Hopefully, I’m sure we have, given credit for this gem to Jerry Bridges. Preach the gospel to yourself everyday.
How can this happen? How should we do it?
At the Look at the Book conference, Jerry Bridges gave a wonderful talk about incorporating the gospel into our devotions every day. Let that sentence fall on you.
Most would respond and say “Well DUH! Of course we should incorporate the gospel into our devotions. Don’t we do that anyway? After all, we are reading the Bible and praying.”
But think about it and be honest with yourself. How many times a week do you specifically focus on the good news of the gospel in your devotions? I had to think about that and the answer was surprising. I rarely brought the gospel into my devotions. True, I read my Bible pretty much every day and I pray. But the gospel was missing. I would do my allotted reading for the day and I would forget what I read by the time I was leaving for work.
Do you see why we need the gospel in our devotions, or as Bridges called it alone time with God? Even when I was being faithful in reading I was still falling short of God’s glory because what I read had no effect on my life. I would read and feel better about myself but it made no impact.
So, how can you incorporate the gospel into your devotions every day?
Bridges gave four things he goes through when incorporating the gospel into devotions.
- Acknowledge I am a sinner, I am the foremost of sinners.
- Acknowledge God has been merciful to me.
- Acknowledge I still need mercy.
- Go to the gospel.
In his talk he focused on one verse in relation to the gospel. 1 Corinthians 5:21 says: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” This is the gospel. Christ who knew no sin was made to become sin for us. Christ took the punishment for our sin, our sin was credited to His account. In Him we become the righteousness of God. Christ takes our sin and His righteousness is credited to our account. God declares us righteous for Christ’s sake. It has nothing to do with what we have done or could do, but it has everything to do with what Christ has done.
Here is how this could look for your morning devotions. You could pray through these four points.
“Father, I come before your throne this morning based upon the merit of Christ. I am a sinner that is unworthy of your mercy, love, and grace. But you have been merciful to me a sinner. Father I still need your mercy. Be merciful to me a sinner. Father thank you for redeeming me, for justifying me because of what Christ has done. I bring no righteousness of my own, only the righteousness that has been credited to me. Thank you Father.”
That is so simple, but think about the difference it can make in our walk with Christ and the impact we could have for Christ if we would take a few moments and remind ourselves what Christ has done for us?
What are some ways you can incorporate this into your devotions?