The Word of the Day and of Eternity


Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body as a holy and living sacrifice to you. 

Jesus, We belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Romans 5:7–8 (NIV)

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


We have heard a lot of big words in Romans so far. Today, we introduce a new word. So far in Romans, we have discussed the weighty concepts of sin and righteousness and faith and justification and mercy and peace and hope and circumcision and the heart and justice and judgment and law and atonement and repentance, and all of this is the stuff of the gospel. There is another word that brings all of these words together into the deep coherence of the gospel. That word, of course, is grace. But that is not the new word. 

As I look over the list of terms it occurs to me they are all somewhat abstract concepts. They all mean something and yet their meanings all together point beyond themselves. In other words, they are describing something larger. Even this word bringing coherence to them all—grace—points beyond itself. They are all nice words, even powerful words, with strong meanings and yet they remain abstractions; until we read this:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Amazing grace can only come from one place: amazing love. 

As our fight song has it, “He left his Father’s throne above, so free so infinite his grace, emptied Himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race.”

The word is love. Though we have hardly seen it to date, we will begin to see it everywhere in Romans. 

Paul refers to the gospel as the “power of God” precisely because the gospel is the love of God. It is why I maintain that rather than the conventional nomenclature of “the gospel of Jesus Christ,” it should read, “The gospel is Jesus Christ.”

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Love is the question and the answer. It is the rule and the reason. The love of God in Jesus Christ is not only the grace that saves us but it is the very life of God in us that makes us agents of salvation for others. The apostle John will later capture the logic of love in these words:

“This is how we know what love is—Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (1 John 3:16).  

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Grace is an idea. Love can only be a person. Indeed, grace is the big idea of God, but love is his nature and his name. 

Yes, “Amazing love how can it be, that thou my God wouldst die for me.” 

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


Our Father in heaven, thank you for sending your Son to this earth to die for us; even for me. I understand this to the point where I can accept it in my understanding and yet I hardly grasp it. I want to break free into a new level—not of grasping for you but of being grasped by you. Something tells me this will come down to my own willingness to receive and be loved. Something in me doesn’t want it to be about love, but about power or justice or sovereignty or something that feels more weighty to me. Forgive me for this. I think it begins by being honest; so that is my honesty today. I believe my knowledge about you keeps me at a safe distance. I am ready to trade this in for the real knowing and being known by you. I am ready to personally receive the demonstration of love who is Jesus. Praying in his name, amen. 


Do you want it to be about something other than love? Why? Does love feel soft and flimsy to you or has it come into the category of the eternal weight of glory; of ultimate durability and final substance? 


What a day to learn verse 3 of our fight song, “And Can It Be.” Talk about being on point. You are going to love it. It is hymn 569 in our Seedbed hymnal, Our Great Redeemer’s Praise. 

For the Awakening,
J. D. Walt

P.S. You will hear a story this Thursday night . . .

. . . that will knock your socks off. It will blow the doors off. It will raise faith to new heights for it is a story of the love of God come down to earth! It is our annual Ascension Day gathering at which time we will tell the story of the Asbury Outpouring from this past February in Wilmore, Kentucky. We will meet at 6 pm CST on Zoom here. Invite friends. Invite your church. No registration is required. We will keep it to an hour-ish.

Subscribe to get this in your inbox daily and please share this link with friends.

Share today's Wake-Up Call!


WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

3 Responses

  1. God demonstrates His LOVE today in and through hearts that open up to and fully surrender to the presence and Lordship of the resurrected Jesus Christ.

    There’s only one proven source for human heart transformation — ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Millions of people from various cultures and time periods around the world have testified to and demonstrated by their changed lives the power of the living Jesus to give human beings a new heart and break their inner bondage to the sickness of sin.

  2. I too, am praying to be filled with the Love of Christ. I best understand this to be the fullness of the Holy Spirit. My resistance to praying for this in the past is my misunderstanding about the true meaning of the word love. This is due to the way our English language has so thoroughly mangled the meaning of love. Christ’s love is not soft and squishy, it was the motivation to offer up himself as a ransom for our sins. It was and has been the power manifested in the martyrs of the entire Church Age to remain faithful to the end, thereby giving witness to the truth of the Gospel. I too, pray to fully know and love God, and to be fully known and loved by Him, as in Matthew 7:21-23

  3. These words came to me after reading today’s Wake-up Call.

    The fullest expression of love is only birthed through death….
    Death to it’s greatest enemy, the SELF.
    The giving of one’s self to others….
    The greatest gift we have to give.
    The whole self, the very Bread of life,
    Must first be given up to God,
    So He can break it up
    And parse it out according to the needs of those around us,
    Like the small boy’s lunch of loaves and fish so long ago,
    And, thereby, many will be blessed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *