God Meets us Where We Are

In Daily Devotional by Chad Bird

Theme of the Week: The Good News That God Doesn’t Believe In You

Bible Verse: “See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children—and we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know him.” 1 John 3:1, CSB

Scripture Reading: Psalm 86:1-17

Robert F. Capon reminds us that “if the Gospel is about anything, it is about the God who meets us where we are, not where we ought to be—‘while we were still sinners.’”1 The gospel is “not some self-improvement scheme devised by a God who holds back on us till he sees the improvements. Above all, Jesus wants to make sure we understand that he doesn’t care a fig about our precious results. It doesn’t even make a difference to him if we’re solid brass bastards, because ‘while we were still sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.’”2

Jesus knows good and well that there’s nothing inside us worth believing in. In fact, everything inside us looks absolutely untrustworthy. If anything, when the Lord peers into our hearts, he should hightail it for the hills, getting as far away from us as he can.

But he’s not that kind of God. He loves before he looks. And even after he looks, he still loves. Because his love has nothing to do with us. It is not sparked by our goodness or sustained by our obedience. God is love. It’s who he is and what he does. While we were still powerless, he was powerful to save. While we were still sinners, he was still the sinless, gracious, saving God he’s always been.

Our life as husbands and wives, moms and dads, teachers and truck drivers is a Jesus-only life. Whether we have a smiles-and-laughter year or a dumpster-fire year; whether we are at the top of our game or hunkering down in the shadows of defeat; whether we completed an Iron Man or were so depressed we just binge-watched Netflix, every day of that year is lived in Christ alone. When the Father sees us, he sees his Son. Period. Full stop. He doesn’t see a glowing success or an embarrassing failure, he sees Jesus.


Excerpted from Upside-Down Spirituality: The 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life by Chad Bird, Copyright 2019, Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, used by permission.
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1 Robert F. Capon, The Mystery of Christ (and Why We Don’t Get It), (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993), 21.
2 Capon, The Mystery of Christ, 90–91.



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About
Chad Bird
Chad Bird is a Scholar in Residence at 1517. He has served as a pastor, professor, and guest lecturer in Old Testament and Hebrew. He holds master’s degrees from Concordia Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College. He has contributed articles to Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, Modern Reformation, The Federalist, Lutheran Forum, and other journals and websites.
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Chad Bird
Chad Bird is a Scholar in Residence at 1517. He has served as a pastor, professor, and guest lecturer in Old Testament and Hebrew. He holds master’s degrees from Concordia Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College. He has contributed articles to Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, Modern Reformation, The Federalist, Lutheran Forum, and other journals and websites.