The Gospel & Our Response to God's Grace

As you read this devotional, I hope to be in Ethiopia. I will be one of four preachers/missionaries going to train pastors and share the Gospel of Christ. Our team is part of a much larger medical and dental team going in to minister to the needs of the people. Please pray for me, the teams, the Ethiopian pastors and masses of people that we will be ministering to.

In Ethiopia, I will be focusing my teaching time on the themes of "Unity" and "Lordship" with John 17 as my focal passage. In this, the last recorded prayer of Jesus before He went to the Garden of Gethsemane to be arrested and later crucified, Jesus knew that if the world was ever going to know what He was about to do on their behalf, His people would have to work together to make Him known. So, with a heavy heart, Jesus prayed repeatedly to the Father that all Christians would work together to make His love known around the world: a love so true and so pure that He would give His life as a sacrifice for all mankind. He actually would give His life for the sins of the world. His shed blood paid the price for our sin and purchased eternal life for all who will call on Him in faith. His blood reconciled us to the Father and mended the broken relationship between sinful man and a holy God.

The individual sin issue was not all that needed to be dealt with in our lives—Jesus, on the cross and in the resurrection, also dealt with the consequences of a fallen people, of a fallen world. Isaiah 53 tells us that Jesus did more than just take upon Himself our sin, He also took upon Himself our sickness, our sorrow and our pain. "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows... But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him and by his wounds we are healed. We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Is. 53:4,5-6). Through the suffering and death of Jesus, we are set free from sin and the eternal consequences of that sin. We can live and enjoy a victorious life on this earth despite the troubles, sicknesses, and sorrows that we experience as a part of life. The difference is, in Jesus we now have a very present and an eternal HOPE of God's presence and provision—both now and for all eternity. Because He took our sin, bore our sickness, took our sorrow, and defeated death on a lonely cross, we are free to live a victorious life now and for all eternity. Our relationship with the sweet, compassionate, loving and holy God is restored by the blood and the resurrection of Jesus.

This is the Gospel or the Good News that Jesus prayed in John 17 that we would work together to make known around the world. This is the Gospel that the world is so hungry for and so desperately needs to know and experience, because all people are sinners and in need of God's forgiveness. This is the Gospel that changes individual lives and entire cultures. This is the Gospel that drives the ministry of Cattle for Christ International and sets the course for my life, and I hope the course of yours.

As you and I accept by faith God's forgiveness as provided by the blood of Jesus who died in our place for our sin, our response should be to love and serve Him in return. We initially love Him because of what He has done and is doing for us. As we spend time with Him and study His Word, we learn to love Him because of Who He is!

On the other hand, He loves us not because of what we did or can do for Him, but because He is Love. He saw our need and He loved us! He loves you! He loves the people of Ethiopia! He loves the whole world so much that He sent His only Son to suffer and die in our place. What greater love is there than this?

Scripture tells us that when we accept Christ as our personal savior and Lord of our lives, that His Holy Spirit comes to live in us to comfort, guide and empower us. Jesus is God with us--the Holy Spirit is God in us. As we yield to the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit and as we study and obey the written Word of God in the Bible, we allow Jesus to be the Lord of our life. If we do not, then He is not!

If Jesus is our Lord, He will live His life and accomplish His will in and through us. If He is our Lord, we will want to know and to do His will—we will want to live our lives to honor and serve Him. We will make it our mission to share the Gospel message with them so that they too can know His love, His forgiveness, His hope, and the eternal life He purchased for them. We will love them for His sake! We will love them because we love Him! We will love them because He loves them and because He wants to live out that love through us!

Will you allow Jesus to be your Lord? Will you unite with us to make His love known to the nations? I know it sounds paradoxical, but you will never experience true freedom and abundant life until you allow Him to be your Lord and your Master! Because He is a loving and a holy God, there is no safer or more satisfying place for us to be than in His hands, in His care, and in the center of His will.

Until next time, may the Lord bless you and keep you.

Devotions by Year

  • Even Bulls Can Learn To Get Along
  • Changed Minds
  • Today is the Day
  • Sometimes We See What's Not There
  • Why Do You Farm?
  • Misplaced Aggression
  • Feasting On Filler
  • 'Get Some Rest': Not As Easy As It Sounds
  • Lessons From Freddy
  • Just Tired and Reflecting
  • Safe Pasture
  • Sin: Just Like Fall Army Worms
  • Blood Cleanses
  • Just Cute Little Harmless Pups
  • Life: A Series of Pipping
  • Just Because He Loves Us!
  • No Excuses!
  • Oh! Now You Tell Me!
  • Live Like You Were Dying
  • But You Didn't Tell Me!
  • Time to Choose
  • A Gift for the Man Who Has Everything and Realizes That He Really Has Nothing
  • Celebrate the Harvest
  • Falling Stars
  • Easier To Lead Than To Drive
  • Weeds, Weeds, Weeds!
  • Grace Is Like Grits
  • We Can’t Do It ‘Ourselves’!
  • I Wouldn’t Make a Good Cowboy
  • What Are We Thinking?
  • Your Walk Talks
  • Activity is No Substitute for Reproduction
  • Who Would Have Ever Thought It?
  • Thankful for Boundaries
  • Cover It Up Or Fix The Problem?
  • What Will Your Legacy Be?
  • I Wish I Had Been There! I Wish I Had Not Forgotten!
  • If God Can Use a Dove....?
  • Hope In The Midst Of Hopelessness
  • I Don't Know You!
  • Like A Straddled Squirrel
  • Sounding the Alarm: This Is Not a Test!
  • Don’t Let The Urgent Keep You From The Most Important
  • We Never Know Who We Have In The Basket
  • Uh Oh--Jesus' Got Toothpaste On His Head!
  • A Moment of Silence is like Preg Checking a Bull
  • A Chicken's Right to Choose
  • Got to Leave Right Now! What Do I Take With Me?
  • He is Able—But if He Does Not!
  • Declarations of Independence: Properity or Destruction?
  • Blackie: One In A Hundred-In More Ways Than One
  • Who Is Holding On The Tightest?
  • That Must Have Been 20 Years Ago!
  • It's Almost Time
  • Keeping Me Awake At Night
  • Better Be Dressed
  • CHRISTMAS My Favorite Time of the Year
  • A Nation Without God is a Nation Without Hope
  • Bush Hogging During a Severe Drought?
  • When the Heart Dies—the Whole Body Dies With It
  • Depopulate and Eradicate (or) Expiate and Propitiate
  • If I Could Only Say One Thing and Had One Last Chance to Say It
  • Go Ahead and Jump Son—Daddy Will Catch You
  • The Final Dispersal
  • Chicken Piping—He Sees Them All
  • “Takes the Teeth Out”
  • Making It Harder Than It Is
  • Why Was He Born?
  • What to do when you don’t know what to do
  • A Dry And Thirsty Land Where No Water Is
  • If Only These People Will Change
  • Go Fishing—You Never Know What You Might Catch
  • Some Droughts are Preventable
  • Celebrating ‘True Freedom’
  • Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
  • Victory Through Surrender
  • Responding Like a Sick Calf?
  • Our Life’s Investment: A Time for Reflection
  • Preg Checking: Open! Bred! I Ain’t Sure!!
  • Confidence To Face The New Year
  • Two Virgins and a Baby—The Irony and the Gift of Christmas
  • Precious Moments in the Calving Pasture
  • Working On a Building
  • What is the Foundation of Your Faith?
  • To Walk on Water—You Have to Step Out of the Boat
  • Only One Life to Live
  • The Uniqueness of a Mother’s Love
  • A Prayer That God Will Always Answer
  • Lessons from a Boar
  • When You Have Done All You Can Do to Stand: Stand Firm
  • Lowing in the Distance
  • Not My Dirty Feet!
  • Where did it go CFCI devotional
  • The Day ‘Tater’ Died
  • Life’s Lessons from the Chicken Yard
  • Christmas Choices
  • Experiencing God in the Calving Pasture
  • FAMILY: On and Off the Farm
  • Unity is More Than Important—It is Absolutely Essential
  • God, I’m not ______________. I AM!
  • The Rod and the Staff
  • The Good Shepherd Leads the Way
  • The Good Shepherd
  • Blessed to be a Blessing
  • Mama Should Have Named Me Martha
  • FENCES: On the Farm & In Our Lives
  • The Harvest Depends on the Heart
  • The Gospel & Our Response to God's Grace
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