Jesus . . . gave himself . . . to redeem us . . . and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:13–14)

A FATHER AND HIS SMALL SON were working together on a home landscape project. The boy watched his dad lift large rocks and carry them to their new location. When the lad reached down himself and tried to lift one of the rocks, it wouldn’t budge. “Daddy,” he said. “Can you help me? I need your muscle.”

The world’s spiritual landscape is filled with boulders of sin. They separate us from God, and as much as we may try, we will never have the strength needed to move them out of the way. Christ came with all the muscle of godly love to remove the sin barrier for us. In the world’s eyes, His expression of love on the cross may be a sign of weakness. But it was exactly that power that kept Him on the cross to finish the atonement work we couldn’t do ourselves.

That same strength that saves us also sanctifies us. Temptation doesn’t end when we become Christians. But now the Holy Spirit is living within us, giving us the means to love God and to love our neighbors, and therein the power to say no to sin. We can be “confident of this, that he who began a good work in [us] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6).

Knowing Jesus suffered and died to make us His very own should fill us with gratitude and make us eager to do what is good.

Spend time in worship today. Acknowledge your weaknesses and praise Christ for His strength.

Nancy Reinke lives in the Colorado Rockies with her artist husband. She enjoys writing, photography, hiking, gardening, grandmothering, and encouraging others.