We all have pasts we are not proud of. I’m sure that as many of you answered the survey questions – it was a reminder of this, at times. (Thanks for answering all of those questions for me!!!) I know I have done plenty of things I am not proud of – as you can read in many of my posts. We are all born as sinners in this fallen world. Our nature is that we will disobey and displease God. Give us some rules, and we will break them. At least some of them! And then we are stuck in the mess we made for ourselves. It can feel really hopeless in that pit of despair. None of us can be good enough to meet God’s holy standards of perfection. It is totally impossible!
“No one is good—except God alone.” Mark 10:18b
Many of us grew up in broken homes, didn’t see healthy examples of godly marriage, have been involved in sex outside of marriage, have been abused by someone we trusted. Or maybe we have acted out in rage, hatred, and violence ourselves. Some of us have been involved in adultery, homosexuality, promiscuity, or fornication. Some have had abortions. Some have made mistakes that have haunted us for decades. Many of us battle with insecurity, bitterness, worry, fear, guilt, shame, unforgiveness, gossip, lust, idolatry, and/or addictions. No matter who we are, we all have an ugly history of ungodliness.
That is a lot of bad news. And then – the even worse news is that just one sin separates us from God and condemns us to hell forever according to the Bible. We all stand condemned before the only God in the universe. We all owe God a sin debt of billions of dollars that we could never repay.
The wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23 (meaning physical death and “the second death” which is hell)
But here is where the news is about to get AWESOME:
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:18
God loves each of us so much that He couldn’t leave us in our wretched condition. He came Himself as Jesus to live the perfect life we could never live and to die the death we deserved to die. He took all of God’s wrath for our sins upon His own perfect, holy, sinless shoulders. Now, He allows us to exchange our sinfulness for His goodness. Our punishment for His glory. He took all of our guilt and imperfections and paid for them as if they had been His sins. And He dresses us in His holiness and His right relationship with God. When we receive the gift He gives us – and receive Him as our Savior and LORD of our lives, He counts our old sinful selves as dead with Jesus on the cross. And He fills us with His Spirit’s power to live for Him. We can walk in victory as we yield in absolute surrender to Christ!!!!!!
We can throw off our old sinful selves if we are willing to turn away from everything God calls sin and turn away from this world. We can put on our new self in Christ! We don’t have to live that old miserable way anymore!
If you are in Christ, or if you will turn to Christ and follow Him as Lord now, your old sinful self was crucified with Jesus on the cross and buried with Him in the tomb. That is how God sees you. You are now dead to the world and to sin. You don’t have to live as a slave to sin any longer (Romans 6). Now, you belong to Christ. Now, His Spirit can fill you to overflowing and He can radically change your heart, mind, and soul. He can change your desires to match His own. He can change your will to match His. He can give you His eyes, His love, His ears, His heart for the world. All that you have is now His at His disposal, and all that He has is now yours!
What GOOD, GOOD news, my dear sisters!!!!!
None of us have to be in bondage to the lies of the enemy, to pride, to lust, to addictions, to hatred, to having a bad temper, to a sharp tongue, to violence, to bitterness, to unforgiveness, to idolatry, to materialism, to people’s opinions, to the world’s ways, to greed, to gossip, to guilt, or shame. Jesus has already paid the price to set us free! Our shackles have fallen from our hands and feet. The dungeon door is open. Run and skip out into the glorious freedom, light, joy, and peace of God! 🙂
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2
God is love. God is joy. God is peace. To know God is to have all of Him. He is never stingy. He shares all that He has with those He loves and those who trust Him completely. He wants to give you all He is! That is CRAZY!?!?!?!!? But His love is that unfathomable for us.
If you have not already read this book, Absolute Surrender, by Andrew Murray – you have simply GOT to read it! He explains all of this in such amazing detail with the most powerful word pictures. Here is a free download. You can read it or you can listen to it.
Meditate on God’s Word and find solid Bible teaching to help you grown and stretch in your faith. Rest much in Christ and His love for you. He gives a Sabbath rest to all who come to Him. He does the work in and for us – as we rest in and delight in Him. Cling to Him as a branch remains attached to the vine. It isn’t about you trying harder or you doing more good works. You and I can do nothing that is pleasing to God. We need more and more of Jesus!
I pray you might fully yield yourself to God and taste how good He is and experience how He alone is the greatest Treasure there is!
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.