19 August 2013

I Choose to Walk in Christ!

Scripture: Jeremiah 46:28

Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, for I am with you,” says the Lord . “I will completely destroy the nations to which I have exiled you, but I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you, but with justice; I cannot let you go unpunished.”

Observation:

This was life under the law.  Israel merited justice, because they hadn't turned to Christ.  The Old Testament is full of examples of the Lord forgiving His people . . . but if they refuse to repent, justice claims its due, and as it says in the last phrase, the Lord cannot let the unrepentant go unpunished.

Application:

I'm SO glad I have been given the chance to know Christ.  To walk in His sacrifice each and every day.  To live in a completely new and different way . . . a gentler, merciful, loving way.  To not feel compulsion to beat myself up for each and every shortcoming or failure, and to have the simple ease of forgiving all men in the same way flow from that forgiveness I feel surrounding me that comes from my Savior.

I feel like I should write and write about this.  It's radically revolutionary to the way I was taught.  I was taught something like this:

Sin:Repentance = 1:1

When, in reality, when you have been washed clean, it's a much more organic, constant process.  I can stumble and mess up in a whole bunch of ways during a period of time, but it just takes one coming back to Jesus to make it all right again.  (Apologizing & restoring if I've hurt or destroyed along my merry way, of course.)  But it's not a game of trying to remember each and every blunder I've made, asking forgiveness for each and every one, and torturing myself over and over, trying to remember them all, and to make proper atonement for each myself.  I just have to turn to Christ, and He comes and walks me through it all, healing and fixing and teaching along the way.  This is SO much better than the "old" way, living under justice, instead of mercy.  This is grace.

Prayer: 

Father, I praise you for your incredible gift of Jesus.  I praise Jesus for His astounding love and sacrifice . . . every minute of every day, for His whole life, He lived blameless, so he could pay for the wreckage I create, blundering through life with the best intentions.  I have trouble, some days, with living blameless for three minutes, let alone 33 years.  Guide me today, show me the path You want me to tread.  Teach me Your will, Your ways, Your love and Your forgiveness each and every day.  I glory that Your mercy is brand-spankin-new every morning.  That I'm continually presented with a shiny new chance to live in Your will for me, to drink from the fountain of Living Water, and to be filled!  You are so, so Good, God of mine, and I will rejoice in You forever.  (And oh, what a wonderful eternity that will be! :o)  In Jesus' most precious name I pray, amen.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!