Saturday Passion Week - John 3_16

Hi everybody, it’s Pastor Dave Shepardson, and today we are doing a “What Am I Grateful For This Week?” journal guide. It’s Saturday morning. It’s Saturday of Passion Week. It’s the Saturday between the Cross of Friday and the Resurrection of Sunday. This is a great day to be grateful. So, grab your journal and your Bible, and let’s set our hearts on what we are grateful for today.

In our Alone With God journal, it just says on this page, “What Am I Grateful For This Week?” It has a little place for “Answered Prayers,” and then it’s got a bunch of blank lines for you to write what you are grateful for. And my prayer is that you direct your gratefulness, your thankfulness to God for the Cross and the Resurrection. How can we not focus on being grateful for those things today and this week?

So, we are thankful. We are thankful for the Cross of Jesus. We are thankful; we are grateful for God’s incredible love for us. We are grateful that we have a home reserved in Heaven. We have an inheritance reserved in Heaven that is undefiled and will not fade away, 1 Peter 1 says. We are grateful that we are kept by the power of God, by the Spirit of God here, while we’re here. And we’re grateful that there is a place waiting for us in glory for eternity with the Lord. We are so grateful for our salvation. We’re so grateful for the assurance of our eternal life. We’re so grateful for the Cross and for the Resurrection that we’ll celebrate tomorrow of Jesus overcoming, defeating sin and death and the grave on our behalf. We are grateful today. This is a great day to just be grateful.

We had our Good Friday service last night, and we really focused on what Jesus did on the way to the Cross to show his immeasurable love to us. If you weren’t with us, or you haven’t watched that service, you can on the Word By Mail phone app. Download the Word By Mail phone app and get the Good Friday service. It’ll be under recent messages and live services. You can also get it on YouTube, on the Word By Mail channel, and on Facebook at Word By Mail. But that was an awesome, awesome worship service last night.

And today, we look forward to the victory of the Resurrection tomorrow. So, here’s what I’d like to do. I’d like to just give you some verses to meditate on, and I’m going to read them to you. And between me reading them to you and maybe you opening your Bible and meditating on them, I just want to encourage you to write in your journal what you are grateful for today. And prayerfully, it will be around your salvation and the victory that Jesus won for you in the Resurrection.

Let me start with 1 Corinthians 1, verse 18. Write that down in your journal, and you can meditate on these verses when we’re done here. Verse 18 says, 18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. We are grateful for that today. We know that the message of the Cross is the very power of God to conquer death, sin, and death and the grave. And we are grateful that the Cross shows us how God loved us and how much he loves us.

John 3, verse 16, the most famous verse in the Bible. In the NLT, it says, 16 “For this is how God loved the world: (And so, in the literal translations when it says “For God so loved the world . . . that can be translated as he loved the world so much, or he loved the world in this way. And both are correct translations.) . . . this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. Lord, we are grateful for that today. We’re so thankful for that, and the moment, Lord, that we take our last breath here and our first breath in eternity, we will be most grateful for that.

And then I’ll read portions of Romans 5 from verses 6-11. Verse 6 says, 6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. And then verse 8 says, 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And then, verses 10-11 say, 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Oh, man! Those are great verses. So, hopefully, you wrote them down. You can go meditate on them yourselves or go back and listen to me read them again. Take a moment today to be grateful.

Let’s pray. Lord, Jesus, we are grateful. We are thankful. We’re grateful people. We’re thankful for the Cross, Lord. We’re grateful for what you’ve done for us and for your incredible great love for us, Lord. Lord, last night, we tried to grasp the unimaginable sacrifice that it took for you to take on our sin. And, in fact, the sin of the world, and pay the complete penalty for it. But, Lord, today, we are grateful for that. We are grateful for the Cross, and we’re grateful that we have received that full payment that you made for our sins personally. And thank you, Lord. Thank you is not enough! We don’t know how to thank you enough. For not only dying in our place, paying for our sin, but conquering sin and death and the grave on our behalf and being the Pioneer – the Firstfruits of the Resurrection – Lord, that we would follow you into eternity, into glory, Lord. You paid for that at the Cross, and you ensured it in the Resurrection. And today, we’re grateful for it. In your precious name, Jesus, Amen.

Alright, with all that, you go on and write down today, “What Am I Grateful For?” And if you need an Alone With God journal, get it at Better yet, download the wordbymail phone app, and you can communicate with us there. You can get over a thousand verse-by-verse Bible teachings there. It’s the place where we put everything. So, get the Word By Mail phone app, and you can text us for any reason, at any time, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. The number is (877) 790-WORD. (877) 790-9673. Have a grateful Saturday, and we’ll see you tomorrow on Resurrection Sunday. Bye-bye.

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