April 12, 2021
The Ultimate Personal Gift Card
“Just do the right thing!” I have to believe all parents say this to their kids at some point. Many people try very hard to do the right thing. As Christians, we try to choose Jesus first in all we do. Unfortunately, we often make mistakes, even some whopping, sinful ones. To compound the damage, we let our fleshly, me-centered natures and Satan go to town with these sins that cripple, bind and blind us. The chains are made of guilt, shame, self-pity, lame excuses, blame-shifting, depression, fear, anxiety, isolation, addiction and insecurity. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
In the Holy Bible, when the crowd was about to stone the woman caught in adultery, they asked Jesus, “What do you say we do?” Jesus started to write in the sand and then said, “Anyone here who has never sinned can throw the first stone at her.”
The young men looked to the old, the old looked into their hearts, and they were the first to drop their stones. Jesus then asked the woman if anyone had judged her guilty. She said, “No one, Lord.” Then Jesus replied, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
How do you think God reacts when you fail? Listen carefully because this is critical: He writes it down, but not in the sand or on paper. Instead, God writes it on a cross using Jesus’ blood. His message has three words: “Paid in Full.” He’s given you a gift card that He pre-paid for your penalty. The response He asks from you is to confess your sins, receive His gift, know He is your Savior and use the Holy Spirit and His instructions to go and sin no more.
Now, this is an important point, so hear this. Your personal gift card is not permission to sin—that is a completely different devotional on misusing this gift. Your gift card is freedom from the condemnation your sin would bring if it weren’t for such a gracious God who is perfectly holy and just—and also perfectly loving.
Today, redeem your gift card. How? Confession. We don’t use it enough. We sin a bunch, but most of us only confess, what, once a week … once a day … three times a day? I know I sin more than that, and I bet you do, too. So, examine your thoughts and actions. When you miss God’s mark, stop and confess that you failed to meet His standard. Celebrate the freedom Christ purchased from the slave market of sin. Your renewed and liberated mind is now freer than ever to make Godly decisions. Think of a loved one who needs to hear the Good News of Jesus’ victory over sin. This amazing gift card is theirs to redeem, too. Whether you use your unlimited personal gift card or you lose your FREE personal gift card and never use it, it’s your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father, I come to You with a thankful heart—thankful You sent Your son to pay the price for my sin and thankful for Your gift of forgiveness. What a comfort to think of the words, “Paid in Full.” Better yet, thanks for the eternal life you offer me, free from sin’s devastation. Help me learn from Your wisdom and apply it to my everyday life. Please help me to stop judging others’ hearts. Let me be Your disciple, not a judge. Help me to forgive others as You have forgiven me. Focus my eyes on my own heart and intentions, not on those of others. I pray this in the name of the One who paid the ultimate price for my gift card, Jesus Christ. And all God’s children say AMEN!
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’” John 8:12
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:5-9