“[God Has Set Things Right]But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.”
Glorious lives…. I look back at the life I’ve lived and what I see is the long and sorry record I’ve written as a sinner. But what God sees is the glorious life He has willed for me. He sees me through the veil of the blood of Jesus Christ. He sees the perfect creation I will be when I enter into His glory.
What is a glorious life? Is it one of self-destruction and self-pity? Is it a life of hiding in the shadows or is it a life lived in the light cast upon us by the wonder of Easter?
I recently reconnected with my very first boyfriend via social networking. He is married and has a small son. I love that! Having someone to share your life journey is so important. What does this have to anything? Exchanging emails with him made me think about the girl who was so excited to get letters from him in the mail. Life was ahead of me and for me everything was glorious. I’m not sure when the “real world” stepped in, but in the matter of a few years glorious turned to gloomy. Heart break and personal struggles created shades of gray for many years. After my husband passed on the rainbows we’d had together turned to shades of black.
I have determined though that I will not sit in the blackness and feed into my own personal pity party. I am surrounding myself with color and I will use every tear I’ve cried to embrace the glorious future that God has created for me and paved with blood of my Savior.
Heavenly Father, help me to see the glory of this day that you have created for me. I thank You for the colors of Spring that fill my soul with joy. I thank You for my friends and family who fill my heart with hope. I thank You for Your all-consuming love for me that sees me as glorious in spite of my sins. In Jesus’ name… ~Amen
“What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.”
How are you living out your Faith? Do you live by rules and regulations of religious traditions or are you living by the resurrection of living Savior?
I’m afraid to say that I often try to hide behind legalisms, judging others for things that I would not want to be judged by. Justifying myself to myself. Backing myself into self-created corner of the world. Trying to compete in an imaginary pageant of righteousness.
Can I possibly hope to impress God with anything I do? Who is it that I’m trying to impress with my show? Others, who aren’t even watching, or myself? Just how much righteousness can I create for myself anyway?
Living by my faith in Jesus Christ creates a balance and content in me. Living by my charades of religion leaves me grouchy and needy. So why do I continue to live in pageant mode rather than by the grace allowed to me through my Savior? Good question.
Heavenly Father, I come to you again asking for holy blinders to keep me focused on the cross and the sacrifice You made to grant us the way to eternal life with You. Let us not forget the power of Easter and the freedom it brings to us to live in Your grace and mercy. “Thank you”, is not enough to express the gratitude and humility for this unsurpassed blessing. Help us to not keep our hearts hidden away. In Jesus precious name,…~Amen
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”
We live in a race. Some call it a rat race, some call it a maze. Either way it’s a lot of energy expended on doing things that don’t need to be done. Don’t sweat the small stuff, right?
I don’t know about you, but I can get so caught up in the small stuff that I lose sight of my destination, my goals. This happens in my day-to-day activities as well as long-range objectives. I can get on the computer to send encouragement to a friend and get so caught up in everyone’s Facebook status updates that I completely forget what it was that I started out doing in the first place. For me cleaning house should be a marathon event. I spend so much time walking back and forth after the supplies that I thought I already had with me that I’m exhausted before even one room is done.
Getting caught up in day-to-day activities prevents me from keeping my focus on what I’m supposed to be doing for Christ. I allow the busyness of life to weigh me down and drag me under to the point where I’m completely useless as His ambassador. We’re talking lead blankets on all my limbs type of weighted down. Dragging the lead blankets against the current of a mighty river weighted down.
That is not what Jesus wants us to do. Paul tells us that we are to strip down and start running. Pretty sure he didn’t mean our clothes here, but rather all of the stuff of living that just doesn’t matter. I love the Message version of scripture. No spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Your sins have been forgiven, leave them behind you and keep running. Don’t get so caught up in religion that you lose sight of the Savior.
Read the Gospels and get back to the important tracks of the race. Embrace Easter and live!