Friday, March 10, 2023

An Atoning Sacrifice For All

 Friday, March 10, 2023 Some material taken from NAMB Who’s Your One 40 day devotional.

He himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world. 1 JOHN 2:2, CSB

An Atoning Sacrifice For All

The scope of Jesus’ atonement goes beyond our personal salvation. It is amazing that Jesus cares about each individual person saved, including you! After all, it is said that He leaves the 99 to save one (Luke 15). But His redemption does not stop with our salvation. He died for the sins of your closest loved ones and your greatest enemy. He came to save your most intimate relationship and mere acquaintances. He gave Himself for those who would trust in His name, and He has entrusted His people to take this message of redemption to the world. 

Lydia was a seller of purple cloth in Philippi who met Paul on his second missionary journey to Philippi. Lydia worshiped God, and when Paul found her, she was honoring the Sabbath, which means she was most likely a Jew. There was a group of women gathered on the Sabbath at a place of prayer near the river outside of Philippi. That is where Paul, Timothy, Luke, and Silas spoke to the women.

Lydia heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, and her heart was open to pay attention to what Paul was saying. After she believed, Lydia was baptized, along with the rest of her household. 

Lydia’s conversion marked a very special moment in the Bible. Up to that point, the gospel had not gone further west than Asia Minor, and on this current journey, Paul’s original intention had been to stay in Asia, but God had changed his plans. Paul had a vision calling him westward across the Aegean Sea and into Macedonia. Lydia became the first person recorded to have been saved in Europe. This was the beginning of the Gospel spreading into a whole new direction. God rerouted Paul and friends and ensured that Lydia would be in the right place at the right time to encounter Paul and hear the good news of Jesus. This story – Lydia’s story – is a story of the perfect love, care, and timing of our sovereign God. This story is your story too, and the story of your one as well. Nothing happens by mistake; God is in control of every move that is made and He orchestrates our paths for our good and His glory. 

Each one of us are important enough to Him to leave the 99 and come after us. He pursues us and desires more than just an acknowledgment from us. He desires a deep and meaningful relationship with us. He wants our hearts. He commands and trusts us to spread His gospel message to the world. 

It is reported at a later time that there was Christian church in Lydia’s hometown – a church that Paul did not start. There is speculation (no concrete evidence) that maybe Lydia's conversion and testimony could have been instrumental in the beginning of that fellowship. 

Be encouraged to know how very valuable and cherished you are by God. As you marvel at your own story of redemption, begin to direct your attention to those around you whom God may be wooing to Himself. He died for you and them. He died for your one. Pray God would give you ways you can share this good news today with your one.


A God-fearing woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, was listening. The Lord opened her heart to respond to what Paul was saying. ACTS 16:14, CSB


God, Lydia’s story gives me hope for the salvation of ___________________. Give me the boldness of Paul. Make me courageous to share the gospel message with __________________ in a way that is clear and compelling. Help me reject the fear that causes me to shy away from speaking the Truth in love. Do for __________________ what You did for Lydia. Open his/her heart to believe the gospel. Align the circumstances of life to soften his/her heart to the truth of the gospel and cause him/her to listen intentionally and respond humbly to Jesus’ offer of salvation.

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