By the Grace of God

Have you ever felt repulsed by your old life? One of my favorite TV shows was Friends, a popular sitcom in the mid-1990s – 2000s. I was very engaged in the Ross and Rachel saga. Ah…the good ol’ days, or, maybe not. A couple of years after I met Jesus, I sat down to watch an episode. My anticipation turned to discomfort when the sexual innuendo spoke louder than the comedy. My eyes were open wide. The ways of the world stood out like gaping wounds. Watching Friends was like going back to an old life that didn’t fit anymore.

After I received Christ into my life, I saw my sin. I felt like God put it out in front of me like a feast that had turned sour. It made me feel great shame, therefore, I felt unworthy. Instead of experiencing promised freedom, I was in condemnation. I couldn’t see the free gift of grace that God had offered. Ephesians 2:8 (NLT) says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” Living condemned was returning God’s free gift of grace.

The truth is that God doesn’t show us our sin to shame us. We see our sin because we come alive. There is supposed to be a difference between the old and the new. The good thing is that the old has passed away and the new has come. Believing we are unworthy is saying that our past is not worthy to be forgiven. In that place, we live in dead skin. God never calls us unworthy. He says something completely different, “This is how much I love you, I gave my Son, my one and only Son. So that you would not be destroyed, by believing in Him you can have a whole and lasting life.” (John 3:16 MSG, personalized) God’s interest in salvation is not that we are worthy, it is that He loves us.

Unworthiness hinders our promised restoration. We all come to Jesus broken, it is his promise that we will be restored. That starts with the act of dying and being reborn. It continues over our lifetime. Believing the totality of God’s forgiveness can be challenging. Many of us have never experienced total and complete forgiveness from anyone. Sometimes we need help processing the past to receive the future. In my situation, I had to go into counseling. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. In the meantime, let the Word of God permeate your heart. 2 Corinthinans 5:14-15 says, “Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. It goes on saying, God gave us a “fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins.” (v19) Salvation is your fresh start. “The old life is gone; a new life burgeons.” (v.17)

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United with Christ

I don’t know about you but Romans 7 is a tough one. Writing about it seems way above my pay grade.🤷🏼I wanted to pick out the verse that summed up the chapter. I bet if you picked up your Bible and read the whole thing, this seems to be the lesser point. But I submit to you, it is the major point. We are united with Christ. 👑

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Instead of doing life by the law, we now do life in the Spirit. It is the Spirit inside of us that gives us life and the ability to serve in love. 

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Sure, there is a lot about our flesh in there. While it may seem like the point is about us fighting our sin nature, the greater message is if we are following the law, we are still in our flesh. Good fruit is only produced in the Spirit. 

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Spirit of the Living God by Meredith Andrews may not be a song about baptism but it asks the Spirit to have his way in us. “Cause when you speak, when you move, when you do what only you can do, It changes us, it changes What we see and what we seek” The Spirit changes us, what we see and seek so that we serve in Jesus name with His heart. 

Check it out! 

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Photo Props: Scotty James Kunkle via Lightstock. 

Alive to God

Do you remember the day you were baptized? Did you sense anything different? No matter what you felt, that day you were made new. Knowing we are born again and have the Spirit of God in us is the solid foundation on which we build our new life in Christ.

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I ♥️ The Message Bible. It makes scripture so plain, so clear. It packs a punch 👊.

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📖 Romans 6: 1-5  says, “…That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land! That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.”

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You get a new life in a new land. AMAZING! 🙌🏼

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I Am They sings this absolutely joyful song called From the Day about being saved. The lyrics say, From the day you saved my soul, till the very moment when I come home, I’ll sing, I’ll dance, my heart will overflow, from the day you saved my soul. 🎉💃🏼

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There is a party going on in heaven when  you give your life to Jesus. It’s your birthday! 🎂 Celebrate!

Peace with God

Happy Monday! Today, I am reminded of the importance of remembering. This week I am going back to the beginning of I’m Made New. I want you to know that YOU are made new! Making Jesus our Lord makes us born again by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

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We will be taking a walk down Romans Road (isn’t that catchy? I saw that phrase and had to use it!) This is where the Biblical truth of your changed life is found. 

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Romans 5 says: You have peace with God, therefore, you have access to Father God always. You now stand in grace. 

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The big words often used for this are justification and/or reconciliation. The meaning of those words are all summed up in Romans 5. Get out your Bible or your Bible app, remind yourself that you have peace with God and you now live under grace. Your life of sin has been exchanged for a life of grace. This is the beautiful gift of the sacrifice of Jesus! 

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There is a song that ignites this experience. Something in the Water by Carrie Underwood. It still makes me cry! In this song are words to describe what happens when you are born again. “Felt love pouring down from above, Got washed in the water, washed in the blood, And now I’m changed, And now I am stronger. There must be something in the water.”

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There is something in the water! 

NEW LIFE!