Easter Selah Day 2023

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The Gospel – The Heart of Christianity

Now brothers, I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and
have taken your stand on it. You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed
to you—unless you believed for no purpose. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day
according to the Scriptures. —1 Corinthians 15:1-4 HCSB (emphasis mine)

“The gospel is, broadly speaking, the whole of Scripture; more narrowly, the gospel is the good news concerning Christ and the way of salvation.” (Definition from GotQuestions.org)

The Greek word for “gospel” is euangelion, which means “good news,” and is mentioned 93 times in the New Testament. Before He ascended into Heaven, Jesus commissioned His disciples to preach the gospel. “Then He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation’” (Mark 16:15 HCSB). The gospel matters. It’s essential to the Christian faith.

Dear One,

It gives me great joy that you have set aside time to meet with the Lord today. Selah Days are important in so many ways. They quiet our souls. They give us time to linger longer over the Word of God and prayer. They are an offering of the precious commodity of time to the One who made time. They are days of learning and listening and simply being with the God who made you and loves you.

Lately, I’ve been pondering the utmost importance of the gospel message. We Christians can disagree over so very many things, can’t we? So. What is essential to our faith? What defines us that is non-negotiable? I believe it is the gospel. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul states that the gospel is “most important.” We’ll study that passage and several others today as we meditate on what Christ did for us on the cross. The readings are not the traditional gospel readings we think of in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Instead, they’re based on the early church and its emphasis on the supreme importance of Christ’s substitutionary death and physical resurrection. I loved looking at the gospel from that perspective.

As always, however, this is just a guide. If the Holy Spirit leads you to another section of the Bible? Great. If you spend your Selah Day in prayer? Wonderful. If you fall asleep in the middle and never finish? Well then. Perhaps the Lord knew you needed a nap, like Elijah in 1 Kings 19. Don’t let this guide become a ball and chain. Follow the Lord and ask Him to teach you through this guide or in some other way.

Start with Prayer. Before reading the passages, surrender the day and your worries and anxieties to the Lord. Bring the people whose burdens you might be carrying to the Lord and lay them at His feet, asking God to watch over them.

Request His help in understanding. Pray for a quieted spirit and a slowing down of your mind to focus on the readings.

Read the passages below in your favorite translation. Under each listing …

Record one verse that particularly spoke to you, and under the verse …

Respond with a prayer to the Lord about that verse. Jot down notes about the section as a whole.

Luke 24:45-49

Acts 8:25-40

Romans 1:1-17

Romans 10:9-15

1 Corinthians 15

What did you learn about the gospel from these passages?

Stop and pray for people in your life who need to hear and receive the wonderful Good News (gospel) for themselves.

Two Ancient Creeds

Next, let’s look at the oldest creeds of the Christian church. These creeds were put together because heresies had started to spring up in the early church, and those who loved the Lord and the Scriptures wanted to codify what was most important to Christian faith and belief. We can learn much from these ancient words. Read these “out loud” if you can, affirming your own belief as a follower of Jesus Christ in these basic tenets of the faith:

Apostles Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; The Holy catholic Church, the Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body, And the Life everlasting. Amen.
(Copied from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website)

The Apostles’ Creed, though not written by the apostles, is the oldest creed of the Christian church and is the basis for others that followed.

In its oldest form, the Apostles’ Creed goes back to at least AD 140. Many early church leaders summed up their beliefs as they had opportunities to stand for their faith. See, for example,
1 Timothy 6:12. These statements developed into a more standard form to express one’s confession of faith at the time of baptism. The Creed is not Scripture but is a simple list of the great doctrines of our faith.

The word “catholic” means “relating to the church universal” and was used in the original version of the Creed. It does not mean the Roman Catholic Church, but the church as the body of Christ, a universal fellowship. The phrase, “He descended into hell,” was not part of the creed in its earliest form.

Did anything surprise you about this creed? Did any part particularly move you? Write about it below, or write your own creed of belief to the Lord Jesus!

The Nicene Creed came about after the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. It was developed in response to heresies that Jesus was not God and/or He did not rise from the dead. Both are vital truths of the Christian faith. Enjoy reading this creed as well, and linger over the words and the beliefs expressed by brothers and sisters in Christ centuries ago and still expressed today worldwide:

Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have
no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. (English translation from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979 edition. Copied from TheologyImpact.com website)

Did anything surprise you about this creed? Did any part particularly move you? Write about it below, or write your own creed of belief to the Lord Jesus.


This ends the “formal” part of your Sweet Selah Day on the importance of the Gospel to Christian believers. Here are some suggestions for the rest of your time with the Lord:

  • Listen to our Spotify list of Easter music and sing along—or whisper along.
  • Read the accounts of the crucifixion and resurrection in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.
  • Read Isaiah’s amazing account of the Messiah in Isaiah 53.
  • Take a walk somewhere pretty and admire our Creator God’s handiwork.
  • Sit in silence and simply “be” with God, whispering an occasional “I love You” to Him.
  • Pray for your month ahead, asking God to bless each event you anticipate with His guidance and His presence.
  • Pray for family, friends, or strangers as the Lord leads.

You are loved.

Sharon and the Sweet Selah Team

If you wish to enter our drawing, send a photo from your time away and tell us how your day went. Send to sharon@sweetselah.org. We can’t think of anything we’d rather celebrate than you spending time with the God who made you and loves you and tells you to come close.

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