Broken, imperfect, unholy, scarred,
Sinful, selfish, impatient, untrusting,
Closed off, unloving, cold, distant,
Proud, rebellious, foolish… Fallen.
In a nutshell, that list describes my flesh; the parts of me that held me in chains and would have pulled me down to hell… But thanks be to God that grace has broken the chains of sin and death; enabling me to live a holy life and call Heaven my home.
Now, I am one who waits upon the LORD and He renews my strength daily. I will mount up on wings like an eagle; run, and not be weary; walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
The promises of God have been written on my heart and they are before my eyes on a daily basis. So, when I see or feel sins rising up in my flesh, the Holy Spirit convicts me, and I am reminded once more of an awesome truth; that I am God’s and He is mine.
Christ abides in me.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock. If any man hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and will sup with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20)
Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, unless you abide in Me. (John 15:4)
Since I abide in Christ, and He abides in me, there is no room for sin in my life. Though I would not now be condemned for committing any of the sins that once enslaved me, yet why should I waste grace by putting on chains that have been torn off of me by my Savior?
I am not holy, and most certainly not perfect. I make mistakes. I sin on a daily basis, whether in thought or action, or both. And though I know the grace of God covers all of my mistakes and imperfections, yet I don’t want to use His grace as an excuse to give into sin.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
How shall we, who are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:1-2)
If I choose to live in sin, then my life proclaims that I have no idea what grace is and no understanding of the depths of Christ’s love for me and for all of His creation.
He did not die, giving His life as a ransom for mine, just so that I could willingly go back to my cruel captors.
Jesus died to set me free, and the only way that I can truly accept His gift of salvation and freedom is by dying to my sinful flesh and living for my awesome God; taking up my cross, fixing my eyes on Jesus, and desiring only to bring Him praise.
Then said Jesus unto His disciples, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)
Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith; Who, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him Who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds. (Hebrews 13:1-3)
Whether, therefore, you eat, drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
God is not glorified when I sin or when I look exactly like the world.
I don’t need to be popular or seen as normal to be fruitful and effective in Christ’s work.
The whole problem is that the world’s normal and popular are completely contrary to God’s desire for His creation.
Jesus came to bridge the gap between hopeless, sinful, helpless, and broken man and God. He is the only One Who can bring us back to the original normal; life as it was before the fall of man, before sin entered into the world.
One beautiful and humbling thing that was sown into humankind at the beginning was our freedom to choose.
God did not make us blind followers. And though mankind is compared to sheep in the Bible, we are not sheep. Man is also compared to sparrows in the Bible, but we are more valuable than many sparrows.
Humankind is God’s most prized creation on this rock called, Earth, but that doesn’t mean that He is a soft-handed Father.
Most everyone can be a witness to the fact that true love does not equal letting your kids do whatever they want, whenever they want, and however they want; it is protecting kids from themselves and others.
Often, parents cannot keep their kids from getting hurt, but most every loving parent would confess that they would rather take the pain on behalf of their kids. Most parents don’t take their kid’s pain on themselves, but that is exactly what God did.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
More than pain, Jesus came to take away the eternal punishment for sin. And the reason why He has the power to do that is because He took all our sin upon Himself and rose to life again.
Jesus was the perfect sacrifice; the only One Who could die and save all of mankind, once and for all.
For in that He died, He died unto sin once, but in that He lives, He lives unto God.
Likewise, consider also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:10-11)
Jesus loves us too much to ignore our sin. It was for love that He died for all of mankind… If you want to know what grace and love looks like and how they work; grace are love are Christ’s blood poured out on sinful people and it transforms them into sons and daughters of God: holy, righteous, loving, and Heaven-bound.
I have confessed that I am a sinful person, and I know that I stand with the entire human population on that front. So, Jesus’ blood was poured out for all of us. And His blood, that crimson grace, washes every dirty soul that comes to Him for rest and forgiveness, and those who are cleansed by His blood are made free from the law of sin and death.
There is, therefore, now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God. -Romans 8:1-8-
The eternal and present curse of sin no longer has a hold on the redeemed; for those who seek to live after the Holy Spirit and not after their flesh.
When we grow in grace, we are naturally made more like Christ, because we understand the price that He paid and our hearts and lives respond with active gratitude.
I am not saying that this process of growing in grace and becoming like Christ happens quickly; it is a lifetime process. And because it is a lifetime process, we must continually come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Whosoever will fall upon that stone will be broken, but on whomsoever it will fall, it will grind him to powder. (Luke 20:18)
I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify Your name forevermore. For great is Your mercy toward me, and You have delivered my soul from the lowest hell. (Psalm 86:12-13)
If you think you are redeemed, because you recited a prayer and go to church every Sunday, yet don’t read the Holy Bible or seek Christ on a daily basis, then you don’t know what it means to be redeemed; you don’t understand grace.
I urge you to go back in this post and read the Bible verses I quoted once more, and then go to the chapters in the Bible where they are found. Meditate on those words and let them sink in, become a part of you, and change you.
Growing in grace and faith cannot happen without a hunger for God, His Word, and the glory of His name… and it also cannot happen without Christ in you.
Yes, you can profess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, and be saved; but that faith leads to righteousness and that confession leads to salvation. So, when you believe, it naturally follows that you will boldly proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ through your words and life, because there is no shame in Christ.
“The word is close to you, even in your mouth and in your heart.” That is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whosoever believes on Him will not be ashamed.” –Romans 10:8-11–
Don’t let your walk with Christ start and end at the salvation prayer; the gift of grace and freedom goes so much further than that. So, pray earnestly, every day, that Christ would be made manifest to you and through you. He wants you to be so filled with Him that there is no space for self and sin, and a life filled with Christ is the most fulfilling life anyone can have.
God is faithful to answer the heartfelt and humble prayers of His saints… And just so you know, every saint was once a sinner, but with the help of Christ, their chains have been broken.
I pray that you would be set free, too, and fully experience the joy, rest, and purpose that is found when you abide in Christ, and He in you.
If you have questions or topics you want me to write about, or you just want to chat, send me an email or post a message on any of my pages.