Welcome to Daily Steps!
A weekly devotional message with daily scripture readings, prayer prompts, and action steps to help you spend time with Jesus and strengthen your relationship with Him.
Romans 5:1-2 "Our faith in Jesus transfers God’s righteousness to us and he now declares us flawless in his eyes. This means we can now enjoy true and lasting peace with God, all because of what our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, has done for us.” (TPT)
When we are born, God’s plan for our lives is like a newly constructed wall of a house. Envisioned and intricately designed to glorify Him long before we are conceived in the womb, His plan is strong, smooth, and completely clear of any dings, marks, or ridges. Like an unaltered wall, the trajectory of our lives is defined by its simplicity, flawlessness, and indisputable purpose in life. And then… we mess it up. Our mistakes start immediately, if not innocently. After all, who can blame a three-year-old for not admiring such a large, blank canvas and believing that a red magic marker wouldn’t improve it in some way? As we grow, the dents, dings, and marks appear everywhere, eventually creating permanent scars that extend deep into the studs behind the exterior veneer of the drywall. Just like people trying to cover up their flaws, the wall has sustained far more damage below the surface than can be seen with the human eye.
But then Jesus enters the house and everything changes. The truth of Romans 5:1-2 is simply this: because of Jesus the wall is beautifully flawless again, no matter what we do to it or try to use it for. Even more mind-blowing, it’s not just free of blemishes on the surface and the structural problems deep within, it is now adorned with the finest of materials and admired for the glory of God’s restorative work on its behalf. Just like the wall, with Jesus taking up residence in our hearts, you and I can stand justified before God, which means we are fully exonerated and blameless for our mistakes, sins, and faults. Even more amazing, we can live under the covering of Jesus’ righteousness, gloriously radiant, loved, and approved by our Heavenly Father.
But then we wrestle with Jesus over control in the house. Instead of resting, trusting, and letting His plans unfold under His power and in His timing, we do various things to alter the wall again — all in the name of spiritual service and improvement. However, Ephesians 2:8-9 cautions us that there is nothing we can do to win God’s approval or make ourselves righteous. Even harder for us is to let go of is the notion that our true identity, worth, and validation is found in Jesus, and not through our own natural talents and abilities, no matter how rare or incredible they are. That’s because our transformation comes through humble surrender, not achievements or self-sacrifice. There’s nothing we add to the work of the cross, nor is there anything Jesus needs from us. His work is the complete package. We are simultaneously worth nothing without Jesus, but we are worth everything with Him.
This week as you contemplate the foundational truths of justification and righteousness, ask God to help you want more of Him as your understanding of His endless love for you increases. With each of the readings below, seek His presence with the intent of knowing more of Him, rather than knowing more about Him or receiving something from Him. Before each reading, take a few moments to quiet your mind and simply be still.
Daily Bible Readings
For each of the readings this week, take the time to read them slowly and in several different translations of the Bible. If you click on the scripture links we’ve provided, you’ll see the ESV, a literal translation, and the TPT, a paraphrased version, on the same page. Reading from more than one translation helps us to understand the context of the verses, consider the possible meanings, and apply Biblical truth to our daily lives.
Monday - Read Romans 5:1-2 and Jude 1:24-25. Take a few moments to jot down the many benefits of having a relationship with Jesus. Contemplate how you’ve been experiencing those benefits in the last several months, as well as where you haven’t. Spend at least five minutes quietly focusing on all that Jesus offers you, and then ask Him to show you how to have even more of His presence in your life. Praise God that in Jesus you can have a perfect relationship with the One who created you and thank Him that your talents, achievements, and works have no bearing on that fact.
Tuesday - Read Romans 5:3-4 and James 1:2-4. It is an empowering and comforting thought to know that even our mistakes and struggles will become a part of God’s beautiful plan to make us more like Jesus. Spend time asking the Holy Spirit to help you remain steadfast, trusting Him to carry you through any season of waiting, hardship, or loss. Ask Him to open your eyes to how He’s using your difficulties to refine you and prepare you to help others through similar trials.
Wednesday - Read Romans 5:6-7 and 1 Timothy 1:15. Contemplate this statement from this week’s devotional: We are simultaneously worth nothing without Jesus, but we are worth everything with Him. Jesus died for those who humbly recognize their own need for a Savior. Ask the Holy Spirit to convict your heart of any sin, pride, or personal agenda that’s keeping you from becoming more like Jesus. As you surrender to His prompting, ask for forgiveness as needed, and then intentionally rejoice in the freedom from guilt that follows. As you let go of your control, you become free to hold even tighter to Jesus.
Thursday - Read Romans 5:8-9 and Ephesians 3:16-19. The love God has for you is not only beyond comprehension, it is limitless. As you meditate on these verses, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with a deeper understanding of how much God loves you. Sit quietly, imagining yourself wrapped in the love of God. Notice what it looks like and feels like. Allow yourself to rest and be renewed in His presence, as you worship Him in awe and gratitude.
Friday - Read Romans 5:10-11 and Colossians 1:19-23. Most people don’t like to think of themselves as sinful, selfish, or hostile, but Scripture tells us that everyone is an enemy of God until they seek reconciliation with Him through Jesus. While this may sound like a harsh pronouncement, an honest session of self-reflection with the Holy Spirit will lead you to a greater level of humility and opens you up to a new level of spiritual maturity.
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
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