I have been so encouraged by this book lately! I was supposed to have had it read for a class at church last week. Well, I was a bit of a slacker, and only started reading it last week. So, I’m not even half way through it yet, but it is already such an encouragement to me. I am already planning on re-reading it as soon as I finish it. The main point of the book is that a knowledge of the great love of God for us will lead to lives that are transformed every day. The truths of the gospel (that unfortunately can become so common place for Christians) should be intersecting with our lives on a daily basis reshaping the way we think, live, and respond to circumstances. John 3:16 should be fuel for me, not a verse that represents old news or elementary truths.
There are so many excerpts I’d like to give you (and you’ll probably see more). Here’s one I read today.
“Many people struggle with feelings of condemnation and guilt today because they’ve never really understood what Jesus did for them on Calvary. They think that their relationship with God is predicated on the fact that they’re not really all that bad, and then they wonder if God still loves them when they struggle with ongoing sin. They wonder if they were ever really his. They don’t see the depth of the sin that Christ bore in their place and so they can’t comprehend the righteous fury he withstood for them nor the riches of the grace they’ve been given. I’m encouraging you now to fully embrace your sinfulness for one simple reason: so that you can fully embrace this great exchange, our ‘justification’.”
As Jesus hung on the cross He prayed, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”(Luke 23.34). That is how great Christ’s love is- that while on the cross, He would ask the Father to forgive those very men who were crucifying Him. God’s love and forgiveness covers the greatest of sins and the greatest of sinners. Yet I often forget that this love and forgivess is mine and covers me, and that my identity is now found in the One who is righteous and perfect and sinless, Jesus. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8.1)!