Monday, October 19, 2015

Accepting The Gift

Yesterday in my second class at church, we were talking about our identity in Christ and particularly about how secure we feel in our relationship with Him. This is a big deal if you are in the faith; if you call yourself a Christian. There were a couple of people in the class and I have met many Christians outside of the classroom setting, that seem to lack the necessary security for their spiritual growth. This fear of status loss and security in the Kingdom is the single biggest thing that holds our churches back from becoming what Christ intended.

The thing I have heard most often is that, "some of the things I have done in my life are so bad, I don't know if God can forgive me".

Christian, if you are thinking this, the problem is not God forgiving you! It's you forgiving you. God did everything possible to make you His. What does John 1:12, 13 say?

12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

You are his child. If He did not love you, if you were not significant, He would never have given up His first born Son to die for your sins.

Further to the point, Paul explains it this way in Romans 5:1-11:

 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Friends, there is no reason for you not to be secure in your salvation. You are forgiven; freely justified before God by the blood of Christ. You have no cause to fear. What you need to work on is forgiving yourself. And if God has forgiven you, what does that say about your standards? You are not God! Accept yourself as you are. He does. Your past is covered. The future is bright and full of possibilities. You are His. He will save you. If there are changes that need to be made, He will take care of it. Sanctification takes a lifetime.

If you are still doubting your status as God's child and whether He forgives you, consider this. When you refuse to forgive yourself and accept His free gift of forgiveness and salvation, what are you doing? Is it possible that you are saying to Him, "Your sacrifice was not sufficient to cover my crimes against God"?

Do not bar the door to His grace. Accept His gifts and ask for more. He loves you so much! Let me close with Paul's words in Colossians 3:15-17.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Let it go Christian. Love yourself and then get out there and love everyone else! Go and grow and enrich the lives of the people around you so that when they see you, they will see Jesus.   

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