I am thrilled about the theme for this month’s planner: the gospel!
Everything starts and ends with the gospel. The follower of Jesus never graduates from the gospel, but spends his or her life finding endless joys in it. It is simple enough for a 2 year old to understand and complex enough to amaze PHD’s. It is everything for the Christian. It’s the truth we need every single day. We are dependent on it and endlessly thankful for it.
Maybe you are reading this, and you are wondering what I mean when I say “gospel.” Pastor John Piper has a one sentence explanation of it that I love. He says, “The gospel is the news that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over all his enemies, that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy. That’s the gospel.”
I personally needed to make the gospel the theme for this month’s planner. Why? Even though I know these truths, I so easily forget them. Without reminding myself of the gospel each day, I easily tend to become works-oriented. Instead of trusting in the gospel for God’s acceptance I try to earn it by being “good enough” for God. As a result I become very overwhelmed, defeated, and consumed by my failure. But, when I start my day by filling up on the gospel my focus shifts from my behavior to Jesus’s perfect sacrifice for me. When I ask the Holy Spirit to fix my eyes on Christ, and depend on the Holy Spirit’s power to live in light of the gospel, I notice a remarkable difference in my thoughts, words, and actions. My life stops being about me and instead becomes about God’s glory. When I, by God’s grace, live a gospel-saturated life, He gets the glory and I get joy. As Pastor John Piper says, “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”
You may be asking, “Ok, that all sounds well and good, but what does it mean practically to live a gospel-saturated life?” It starts by humbly coming before God and asking Him to work in us. We come before him and confess that we need his grace again today. We ask Him for grace to grow deeper in our knowledge of and love for the gospel. We pray for God to open our blind eyes to the truth of the gospel and reject the lies of this world. God desires this; he wants us to humbly come to him like little children asking for help. Along with asking God for help we must intentionally set apart time to read God’s Word.
Another thing I have found very helpful is to fill my day with things that stir my affections for God. Things like listening to worship music that is full of truth throughout the day is incredibly helpful. Something else that has really been encouraging for me lately is listening to podcasts. My favorite one right now is called “Journey Women Podcast.” I listen as I drive, while I workout, as I fold laundry, or as I scrub dishes. It is so encouraging to learn and grow from other believers. Do what works for you, I find that doing these small things throughout the day refocus my mind on Christ and pushes me to follow him.
Let me just close with some gospel-centered truth that all who follow Jesus can claim. In Christ I am loved in spite of my sin. In Christ I have a mediator who fills the chasm between Holy God and me. In Christ I can boldly approach the throne of God because he has made me righteous. In Christ my sin yesterday, today, and tomorrow has been pain for. In Christ I am confident that I will spend eternity in heaven with him.
I hope this month’s planner will be helpful and encouraging to you. I hope it serves as a tool for preaching the gospel to yourself each day. If you have any questions about the planner or about the gospel itself, please reply in the box provided at the end of this post and I will be happy to write you back.
This month’s planner is slightly different from the previous month. Page 5 is something I intentionally designed for you to print. Put it on your fridge, in your car, or wherever the place is in your life that you will be able to see it and be reminded of the gospel. Also, this month I included my favorite recipe for Fall in muffin form. Enjoy!
Finally, below are a few tools that have personally helped me to keep my heart fixed on the gospel:
The Gospel Transformation Bible (A study Bible with notes pointing to the gospel in all of Scripture)
Desiring God (A website with blog posts, articles, and I follow them on Instagram for daily encouragement)
Gospel by J.D. Greear (A book that God used to open my eyes more clearly to the gospel)
Morning & Evening by Charles Spurgeon (A daily devotional book)
New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp (A daily devotional book)
Journey Women Podcast (A gospel-centered podcast for women)
Village Church Podcast (Sermons from a church in Dallas Texas)
Also, I have created a playlist on my Spotify of my favorite songs. Follow my “Gospel” playlist on Spotify @ mrsandyross.
Happy October, friends!