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Wednesday February 13 – A gift that cannot be bought

Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. – 1 Peter 1:18

Scripture reading: 2 Kings 5:8-14

Naaman discovered that salvation is a gift of God’s grace that cannot be bought. He could not buy his cure with gold or silver, not even with ten extremely valuable suits. Naaman, to his initial dismay, also found that he could not be cured of leprosy by influence, not even with a letter from the king.

Yet there are many people today who try to buy their salvation with deeds of self-righteousness, not realizing that we have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment (Isaiah 64:6a).

Many others try to be cured of their sin by influence. “I have been a lifelong member of the church,” they might say. Or, “Because of my baptism, I know that God will receive me.” But the sacraments, precious as they are to those of us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, can never save us.

The only way to be cleansed from sin, which is represented by Naaman’s leprosy, is to be cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus which is portrayed by the cleansing that Naaman received as he washed himself seven times in the Jordan River.

When we come to Christ in saving faith we are cleansed from something far worse than leprosy; we are cleansed from sin and granted eternal life, which is why we are to live to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6)!

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord that the day prophesied by Zechariah was fulfilled at Calvary by Jesus Christ: On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness (Zechariah 13:1).  

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Ted Gray has served as pastor of First United Reformed Church in Oak Lawn, Illinois for the last 15 years.

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