Monday, July 25, 2011

In Christ Alone

It has been interesting looking back at my life, at My Story, and I am realizing that the series is probably getting longer by the blog post. So I am going to keep writing those but think I will try to post those once a week, hopefully on Wednesdays, so that I can still have space to write the random things that come to mind. So on Wednesday I will write about my early memories, including the story of my brother being hit by a car.

Nice tease there. :)

Today though I wanted to take a minute to remind my dear friends, my fellow Christians, that you are loved, that you are forgiven and that you are forever more children of God. 

I write this because I have been hearing more and more people sharing their very real pain over not feeling worthy of God's love. I don't know where this lie comes from, actually I do. I know it comes from the depths of hell to keep God's children in the dark. To force them to live lives that are less than. Because when we become focused on past sins, past decisions that were disobedient and rebellious, when we define our lives by what we have done in the past and who we were, we miss out on the true gift of being saved. The gift of being defined simply as a child of God, redeemed and reborn. And then living in this freedom gained by grace. 

There is scripture after scripture that points to God's forgiveness and love. There are countless scriptures that remind us we are not a compilation of our decisions but that we are simply defined by the act of Christ on the cross. 
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus …” Romans 8:1 
“Come now and let us reason together,” says the Lord, 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.'"  Isaiah 1:18 
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
We know these verses. We have read of God's forgiveness throughout the old and new testaments. And yet, so many cannot really believe these words deeply. I am slowly realizing that my confidence in Christ's work in my life, my confidence in being His child, new and worthy, is a gift that God gave me. I don't know why He did, but I have never doubted God's love for me. I have certainly doubted my value in the world's eyes. But not in God's eyes. Even when I mess up, when I stray away, I know He loves me and holds me close. I know my Father loves me no matter what I have done in my life. 

And I want that so desperately for my friends. I want them to walk in confidence as God's children, deeply loved and forever forgiven. I want my friends to see themselves as God sees them, white as snow through faith in the cleansing work of Jesus. I want my friends to let go of the haunting parts of their pasts. So many hold on to things they have repented, continuing to seek forgiveness when it was already given. They are weighed down by guilt and self flagellation. Unnecessary and so incredibly destructive. No matter what they do, there is still this part of them that holds onto who they were, what they did. It is a sad place to live. 

I heard this song yesterday morning in church and the words were clear. 
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ
No guilt of life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me

In Christ Alone - Lyrics

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt of life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

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