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Never too late!


But that is not the way you learned Christ!—  assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,  to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,  and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.    –Ephesians 4:20-24

Do you ever feel like you’ve blown it and blown it big?  Have you ever just felt like giving up on even trying to walk with God?  Maybe with all you’ve done, all you’ve been involved in, you are afraid others will call you a hypocrite for even trying to get close to God?  You think, “Maybe when I get my act together, I can try then.”

So many people feel this way.  I remember a few years back.  I  had fallen out of going to church regularly.  I felt pretty self-conscious when I tried to go back.  I worried over what others would think.  I entertained the thought of just giving up and living life my way.  After all, sleeping in on Sunday was easy.  And comfy.

What I had to realize was all that matters is what God thought about me.  And you know what?  Pulling people from the pits of sin is His specialty!  The truth is you can never fall too far, rip your britches too badly, or make too big of a mess that our Almighty Father cannot pull you out, dust you off, and put you to work for His kingdom!

In this passage in Ephesians, Paul was writing to the people of Ephesus, to encourage them in their walk with Christ.  He reminds us that we are corrupt and our sinful ways are not what we learn in Christ.  We are meant for more.  But ultimately, we are sinners.  We have a sinful nature that draws us in and encourages us to sin.  Paul says we are to throw off our sinful nature.  To be renewed in our mind and spirit, and put on a new self that is devoted to God and His ways.

How do you do this?  Through prayer, reading your Bible regularly, and staying in fellowship with other believers.  You can do it!  You can throw your old, sinful ways out with the help of our Father.  Does that mean you will never sin again?  Certainly not.  A Christian life is a life of constant striving to be Christ-like.  We will never find that ultimate state of perfection.  Only He is perfect.  But you will grow.  Will get better at saying no to sin.  And when you fall, you will have even more desire to seek Him and get back on track.

As you begin this weekend, commit to putting away your sinful nature.  Commit to walking in God’s ways.  Commit to living for Him.  Every day.  It’s never too late for God to use you. You are never too far gone!  God has a plan for you.  A great plan.  Far better than you can imagine for yourself.  You only need to be obedient, draw to Him, and follow his direction.

Happy Friday!

 

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Posted by on January 6, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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Do-Over, Please


But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.    —Romans 5:8

Have you ever felt unworthy?  Undeserving?  Have you ever been fearful that if only people found out about the REAL you…your innermost thoughts and desires, the hidden sins in your life, that you would be an outcast?  You would be unloved and uncared for?

When you look back on your past do you see all the mistakes, all the sin, all the messes you’ve made?  I know anytime I take a peek backwards, I pinpoint all the bad choices I made, many of them life-altering.  I can easily become angry and even disgusted with myself because in hindsight, those mistakes were so silly, so unnecessary. If only I could have a do-over.

It’s very easy to become burdened with past failures.  We become so burdened, so grieved over our failures, that we decide we are not good enough to serve God.  He could never use us.  We are too tarnished.  Too far gone.  We convince ourselves that we are unworthy and unusable.

Well, guess what?  We are ALL unworthy.  We are all unusable.  You and me.  You worry if people only knew?   Well, God does.  He sees all.  He knows each and every desire of our heart.  The thoughts running through our minds.  He hears every word that falls from our lips.  He sees every action, no matter how discreet……..and he knows the motivations of our hearts, too.

We ARE unworthy of His love.  We ARE unfit and unusable for His kingdom.

Until Christ enters our hearts and lives.

Christ is the game changer.

The most amazingly awesome thing about Christ is He knows all these bad things about me,  but He loves me anyway.  During the darkness of my worst sin, in the pit of my life, He loved me and loves me still.  And He paid the price for every sin in our life.  He paved the path to forgiveness and a lifelong relationship with our heavenly Father.

Through Him, we get that do-over.

Suddenly, through Him, His power, we can do ALL things.  Nothing He calls us to do is too big, too hard.  Not because we are suddenly worthy or fit for service, but because our strength comes from Him.  His power and glory will shine through those of us who yield to Him.  We are weak, but He is strong.   We are suddenly not only useful, but needed.  He wants and expects us to help further His kingdom.  He has a plan for you.  A plan to bring you hope.  A future. A plan for great things in your life.

When you take that walk down memory lane, don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the mire of your mistakes.  Seek Him, seek His forgiveness, and look toward the future.  Stay in the word and in prayer.  He will lead you down the path He has for you.  Grab a hold of that do-over and make the most of it.  Through Him, we have a clean slate.  A fresh start.  A new beginning.   You get a new story to write.  Make it something you are proud of.

Live for Him.

In every moment of every day.

Live for Him.

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Posted by on November 17, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

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He makes ALL things new!


 

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”   —- Revelation 21:5
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.   —-  Psalm 51:10

This morning when I woke up, I felt a bit weary. It’s been a busier week than usual and my to-do list is growing rather than dwindling. As I looked the list over, I realized there was one thing on the list that has been there for entirely too long.

The swimming pool.

I walked out and took a peek. YUCK. It looks like pond scum soup. I shook my head with dread at the task before me and walked away in defeat.I mean, it’s so bad, how can I tackle it? How can I recover something useful and even enjoyable from the mess it’s in now? As I walked back into the house feeling even more weary, a still small voice said to me….

“I can make all things new.”

That’s when I realized…this nasty, filthy pool that looks to be beyond repair, forever useless, and nothing more than an eyesore in my mind…..must be what my heart looks like before God.

No matter how hard I try there are things I struggle with, things that keep me from living fully for God. There are things that clutter up my heart like pond scum. And often, as much as I hate to admit it, I catch myself not wanting to try. It’s hard to live for God and easy to fall into negative behaviors. I often become so frustrated with myself because I should do better. I can get so caught up into beating myself up about the mistakes and wrong turns in my life, that I am of no use to God.

Thankfully, the blood of Jesus washes the sin of my life, the pond scum.  God is ready and willing to create in me a clean heart and renew my spirit.

A clean slate. A fresh start.

Just like that.

Today, give your heart to God. Stop beating yourself up and punishing yourself for all the wrong turns you have made.

Allow the sacrifice Jesus made for you to wash away the pond scum that makes your heart unusable.  In return you will have a renewed spirit and fervor for life….and a clean heart before the Almighty.

Now, if only cleaning the pool were that easy….

 

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

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