By Lindy Black
“Am I loved? Does someone see me? Do I matter? Am I safe?” Shauna Niequist’s words in her new book, Present over Perfect, could be my own as she describes the “cavernous ache” we all experience deep in our hearts. The Gospel throughout the Scripture answers with power and certainty – YES, in Christ Jesus! But until recently, I had not tapped into this truth deeply in my daily life. Let me explain.
The first time I heard I needed to “preach the Gospel to myself every day,” I really didn’t know what it meant. And actually, I didn’t do it for years. I’d share the Gospel and apply hope to others’ situations and needs. I knew I was “in Christ” because of the work of Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection. But a daily experience? I didn’t understand.
This past December I came across a tool* from fellow staff, Craig Parker. “Preach the Gospel to Yourself Every Day: A Gospel verse reading plan.” At the bottom of the 2 pages giving you a passage for each day of the year he writes, “Woven through these 365 Gospel passages are the threads of God’s amazing generosity to undeserving people.” From Genesis to Revelation, these verses are offered as a daily reminder of good news for my soul. So, I began in Genesis, in January, and am now to passages in the Psalms.
Already, I see threaded through these good news verses three resounding truths I hope will encourage you as you minister.
First and foremost, I AM LOVED. I am the Lord’s delight. I am valued! I am chosen, picked out by the One who is generous in love. Exodus 34:6 amazes me: “The Lord, The Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness…” The language here is over the top. The Lord is exceedingly, abundantly, hugely, greatly loving and faithful!
Just this morning I read Psalm 88. “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to You…give me an undivided heart that I may fear Your name…You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
Secondly, I AM SAVED! I am rescued, delivered, found. I cannot save myself! But hallelujah, He is my Mighty Savior! David writes in II Samuel 22:20 (repeated in Psalm 18:19), “He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.” Psalm 72:12 reminded me this past week, “For He will deliver the needy who cry out…”
And thirdly, I AM FORGIVEN! I am redeemed, clean, atoned for, and healed. This is because of the Lord’s great mercy. Psalm 51 (in the New Living Translation) begins, “Have mercy on me, O God, because of Your unfailing love. Because of Your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.”
To repeat often His words of truth – I am loved, saved, and forgiven – gives me a solid place from which to love the Lord and those closest to me: my husband, kids, grandkids, parents, and fellow laborers. I begin from a secure place of favor. Regardless of others’ words, responses or choices, I am loved. I am rescued. And for my friends who have yet to believe in Christ, I have fresh words of hope.
What difference would it make for you to preach good news to yourself today? As you change diapers and mop up spills, grab some minutes on the phone with someone in need of prayer, or try to get dinner to the table without losing your cool, remember… I am exceedingly loved. I am His delight. I am in the One Who can rescue me from myself and my weaknesses today!
The Lord has demonstrated amazing generosity. When we make room in our day to meditate on the Good News, it changes everything.
Lindy and her husband, Vic, have been married 40 years and have been on staff 36 of those years. They have 3 incredible kids married to 3 incredible spouses! They have 9 perfectly adorable grandkids with another grandson due April 27. She loves to walk, talk, eat popcorn, and play with her grandkids. Serving as Associate U.S. Director has been an unexpected and great privilege.