Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus The Very Thought Of Thee"1 (Lyrics)
1 Peter 1:18-19 – For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (NIV 2011)
One morning this past summer, during our morning walk, my wife and I stopped for a break at our usual bistro. It was a beautiful morning, and we decided to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. Sitting at a nearby table was a group of three or four people listening to a man describe in minute detail, and in a very clear and ecstatic voice, his experience of undergoing surgery at a hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. As he related his story, it became obvious to me that he was the recipient of a heart transplant. As I myself had been through the experience of open-heart surgery as a teenager in the very early days of that procedure, I was interested in his story.
The man at the table was expressing his feelings about the experience in a joyous voice, telling his listeners just how grateful he was towards the doctors, the technicians, and the nurses. Just as I was getting ready to leave, one of his listeners asked the man if the surgery had given him a new outlook on life. Once again, the man related in a voice still full of thankfulness how he awakens each day with joy in his heart just to be alive. He went on in a quieter and more reverent tone of voice that each day, he remembers, "Someone had to die in order that I may live, and each day, I try to live life to its fullest." As I walked away from my table, I suddenly became overwhelmed by the thought that, just like for that man, Someone had to die in order that I may live my life to its fullest.
John 10:10 – The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life — indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest. (CEB)
Jesus died on the cross that we might, through the regeneration of the soul, attain the newness of heart that gives us life in its abundance. Those who are in Christ are born again. Do we rise each morning with a heartfelt sense of gratitude for His sacrifice? Are we as emphatic in our witness to the newness of our heart, received as a gift through the death of our Lord Jesus?
Prayer: Dear Lord, by the power of Your abundant grace, bestow on each of us the gift of a grateful and courageous heart, in order that we may ardently express to others the fullness of our gratitude for Jesus. We earnestly pray for all those who, this day, are seeking Your kingdom, Your love, and Your grace. Amen.