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Posts Tagged ‘forgiven’

i-have-swept-away-your-offenses-like-a-cloud-your-13947067

“I know that I’ll come back to my faith, I just need to figure it out for myself first.”

I am not sure whether those words made my heart sink (for the intentional turning away from God) or start to sing (for the door is not closed).

This person had grown up in a home of faith and in the church. They had received the love, acceptance and blessings of such a life. Having a time of evaluating and reevaluating the dogma that one grows up in, is a normal and even a good process. It is a pruning of what is and isn’t absolute and a polishing of what never changes. It is a process of choosing whether one’s faith is personal, or simply hereditary.

Yet, it still can be like a kick in the gut to hear that one is choosing to turn their back on the faith, even just for a season.

Then, weeks after this conversation, as I was driving to a meeting, a song came on the radio that reminded me of the never-ending pursuit of our heavenly father for our hearts, souls, lives.

“You will never outrun my love
There’s no distance too far, that I can’t reach you
There’s no place that’s so dark, that I can’t find you
Anywhere that you are, if you need proof
Take a look at these scars, and know I love you
Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter what you’ve done
You are never, you are never, never too far gone”

And these words are not just for those who are figuring out where God fits into their life. They are also for those who feel that their choices, their actions and behaviours are far too vile for God to forgive. God forgives. That is why his son had to die, because the debt of the sins of humanity needed a pure atonement, a propitiation, which is literally “a falling or rushing toward” (www.etymonline.com).

We will never do anything, go anywhere, that God is not rushing toward us, offering his forgiveness. It is offered, because he knows we will need it.

If you want to check out the entire song, check out Jordan Felix.

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designall

Church is for the weak …

It is a sentence, a belief, an experience …

a truth.

I have no problem with owning up to that statement as reality for me, personally. I have no problem telling others that I go to church, that I believe in the crucified, dead and buried Christ who also rose on the third day, and that He is coming again …

because I am weak.

I have the hereditary disease called sin. It affects every part of who I am, and how I live. It is a guaranteed death sentence.

It may not have been me (or you) who said yes to that fruit of the tree in the garden (if it was an apple, and if it was me who was tempted, I would have said yes even more quickly than Eve), but we still carry the genetic markers for sin, because we still make mistakes, we still mess things up, we still say and do ridiculous things … we still die.

John 3:16 states, “for God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” You see I … we, were all conceived into sin, all conceived with a destiny with an end. But Christ came, just as the perfect young lambs that were slaughtered in the Old Testament stories. It was through the sacrifice of this spotless lamb, in the form of Jesus, that our sins were erased … our life here on Earth had a purpose … that eternal life was made available.
That does not mean that we have it all together. Every breath we take provides yet another opportunity to sin all over again, but, in the eyes of our Creator, that sin was erased … before we even thought about it.
I recently read the following:
“Satan knows our names, and calls us by our sins,
Christ knows our sins, and calls us by His name.”
I am a sinner, but, through the grace of God, I am cleansed of that sin by the blood sacrifice of His Son.
I am weak, but God’s grace is greater!
And it is in church where I am reminded, regularly, that the prescription for my weakness has been paid for, administered, and it is a once and for all application.
“Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”

2 Corinthians 12:8-10

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My advice:
If you just clicked on this and have no time to read, just scroll down to the bottom, and watch the video … it is just that good!

It had been so long, so very long, since it had happened, since I had even thought those thoughts, and yet, out of the blue there it was again, as if no time had passed.

I had thought that I had turned my back on the past and that it would stay there … but here it was, and I was feeling all that I had felt before.

As I sat in the driver seat of my vehicle, I felt like anything but the driver. I put my head back closed my eyes and moaned, “why does this keep haunting me? when will it go away?”

The ‘it’ was sin. A sin of the past, one that I had acknowledged, repented of, and was forgiven. Yet, here it was again stalking me like some deranged killer, eager to snuff the life from me.

I wondered if this struggle was like the “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7) that Paul had experienced. He referred to it as “a messenger of Satan to torment me” that helped to keep him humble. Well, I am not sure if my sin of the past is keeping me humble, but it certainly drives me to my knees!

For a week or more the guilt of this sin was haunting me. It was there when I went to bed, and when I work up. It was everywhere, and all the time. I was easily able to relate to Romans 7:21-24 “although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;  but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man/woman I am!” I just wanted it to go away!

And then, while driving in my van a couple of weeks later, as so often is the case, the voice of Truth spoke to me, loud and clear. It was through a song I had not heard (or had not needed to hear) before, but the message I received from it, I believe, answered my cry, “who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25).

It answers the cry of all of our hearts!

Redeemed
“to restore the honor, worth, or reputation of”
American Heritage Dictionary

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