Archive | October 2015

Were….. not We’re Sinners

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Have you ever heard something that someone has said….. and for some odd reason it just doesn’t quite sit well with you?   You’re not exactly sure why?  It really may not even be something that is obviously wrong….. but it just….makes you think there has to be more to this than what is being said as simple fact.

I remember having that feeling when I first started going to church at the Christian Church where I live.  We would read in the bible about the gift of tongues and they would usually say something like…. well … we all know that has passed away.   I’m really not sure why, but even as a new Christian, there was something about the statement I just couldn’t hook up with.   From then on….God began to unfold the truth of my curious heart and I found out….no….no it hasn’t passed away…. and I know….. because I have experienced it myself!

Another Christian saying that didn’t resonate with me was…

“We Christians are all Just Sinners…Saved by Grace……

We have heard that one over and over throughout the years…. and for some reason it has always caused a “twang” inside of me.
WHY?
Is it because I don’t want to admit that I am a sinner?   I mean… it isn’t a pretty title to carry around, Is it?   I fought with myself many times to accept that “title” because it seemed like the humble thing to do.   I thought it had to be pride that made me refuse to repeat the phrase everyone else seemed to have no trouble letting roll off their tongues.

We  label the unsaved as heathens…. evil….gentiles…..Sinners!
How could I be “still” a sinner?
Oh…. I know very well … that I was a sinner before I asked Jesus to forgive all of my sins…. and receive Him as my Lord and as my Savior!!!
That cleansing feeling… OMGosh… their is nothing like it!!!  Hope…. Joy…… Peace…. Love….all wrapped up in that one…. very special act!
Who would EVER want to go back to living that old way of life after experiencing His Grace and His Mercy.

From that moment on I began to learn how I am now a Child of God (John 1:12)
We are the Righteousness of God (2nd Corinthians 5:21).
My sins are removed… as far as the East is from the West (Psalm 103:12).
Many more Scriptures declare what we have inherited and who we have become, because of the Sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for us.  It isn’t an easy road to walk when you know what you “were”…… and even harder when those voices continue to whisper in your ear reminders on a daily…. and sometimes……hourly basis.

Once again…. I asked God about my struggle with this.  I didn’t want to not accept truth…. truth that would “put my in my place” to remind me of my status of “Sinner… saved by Grace”…. but also didn’t want to not accept the truth that, that is no longer who I am.

The analogy He gave me was….  A Prisoner.

When someone has committed a crime warranted of prison… his “title” now is  …. “prisoner”.
As long as he is in the prison system…… that will remain a fact.
If…however….he is exonerated…. he now has been set free from the prison and also … the “title”…. of prisoner.
What person…. once released from prison…. introduces or refers to themselves as a “prisoner?”
True…. I don’t know many people who have been to prison to confirm this statement… or maybe…… because of that very fact of them not declaring their previous state….I am unaware of knowing…… and so I “think” I do not know anyone who has been to prison.
In any account…. if the conversation ever did come up…. I am very certain…… they would not refer to themselves as a “prisoner”.

They were ONCE a “prisoner”… but … Now they are now….. simply…. a citizen!

We WERE sinners…. but through the exoneration of the Blood of Jesus…. we no longer wear that “title”!

I am a Child Of God…. who makes mistakes… who misses the mark sometimes…. who “sins”….
But that does not define me as a “sinner” no more than a person who was once in prison is still labeled a prisoner.

That was very freeing for me!  I didn’t have to carry that title around with me anymore!  I can declare …. I WAS lost….. but NOW…. I am found.    I am a NEW creature… the old…. has passed away…. all things…. are new! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

We are taught to watch our words….. declaring healed…. even when the symptoms say otherwise.
Our needs met….we have the wisdom of God…the Favor of God…… we can do all things through Christ Jesus… we are Righteous….we are forgiven.

Then……why… would we want to continue to declare we are “sinners?”

We WERE….but Thanks to the Blood of Jesus…. WE’RE no longer….”sinners”!

 

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A Flashlight And A Cow Path

4436064097_65f85da4a1_z[1]Now, I am no expert on the things on a farm….I wasn’t really raised on a farm like I’ve said before…. but I did have Grandparents that had milking cows, so…. I have brushed shoulders with the “farm” life in the past, mainly on weekends and a few weeks on summer vacations.
Something that was very fascinating to me were those cow paths.  What cow or cows started that path?   How did they remember…. from trip to trip… the exact same path to follow in order to trample down the grass and earth to make a definite pathway in the middle of the pasture.  How… could those huge cows make such a narrow little path…..?  There were paths Everywhere.  Paths…. leading to places the cows wanted or needed to go….. out to the barn…. to the pond…. to the shade trees…. to the meadow, like little freeways….in a pasture.

I can remember walking those cow paths with my Grandpa…. going to the barn to milk or looking for cows out in the pasture that may be hurt or calving.  The paths made it easier to walk through the high grass in the summer, as well as in the winter through the snow.   You really needed to watch your step, however while walking those paths.   One… because  the path was narrow…. and usually not in a straight line, making it harder to stay in it.  Many times they would wind back and forth which made the journey a little longer than cutting across at an angle.     Although a slower way to travel than cutting across the pasture, you could never be sure of what could be hiding in wait off of the path… a hole to fall into….. a branch to trip over … or maybe even a snake…. sleeping…who would not be happy about someone interrupting his slumber!!

And…Two…..you needed to watch  your step because…well… there were sometimes some little surprises scattered along the path …..sometimes dry….. and sometimes…. not … and those were the things you sure didn’t want to step “in.”
During the day you were able to see ahead of you where you were going.  You could see where the path was taking you and the curves and the “surprises” in front of you to allow you enough time to process the strategies and also to walk pretty fast.
But…..
In the dark….with a flashlight… would make the travel much slower, especially to someone who wasn’t as familiar with the path.  A flashlight beam is very low and narrow …you had to keep that narrow beam just feet in front of you as you walked in order to see where your next few steps would land.   You would never really be able to see more than a few steps in front of you at any given time.  You just had to trust the path you were taking, was going where you needed to go, no matter if it seemed like you would never get there.

There is a Scripture in the Bible that says in Psalms 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path

…. a “Lamp”… to my feet…. and a light…. to my path……

A flashlight…. for my steps…. and a light….. on my narrow…. winding…. cow path…

Life….is kinda like that cow path
Trusting the path God leads us down can be a hard thing to do when its dark and lonely and you are not sure exactly where the path He is taking you.   Oh…. we know where we want to go…..and we know where it will ultimately end….. but its the narrow and winding path He chose to use for us to get there that makes the journey seem hard.   The path, however..is the path He carved out for us.   He made a safe passage through the pasture of life… and if we stay on that path…. not venturing into the “high grass” …. we will avoid the holes of trouble we could fall into.   Our Faith wont be tripped up over obstacles….. and the snakes …. we will be able to avoid waking up.
Of Course there will be things….. surprises…. that will cross our path on the way…. but by watching each step… with His light…. we will be able to handle them much better.

Living in a instant gratification time…. I would much rather have that path…. and that flashlight… more like a freeway and a flood light!   I want to zip through life, running 70 miles and hour and plenty of light to see hundreds of feet in front of me and on both sides of me.

That just isn’t the way God’s perfect plan is for us… He wants us to Trust Him.   One step at a time.   To rely on Him to guide our path.   If we could see that far ahead of us…. how many of us would end up taking short cuts…. or assuming we knew the way…. and well… from my past track record… it usually makes the trip longer by missing an exit and having to turn around or something worse.

So…. that reminds me of another scripture….
Matthew 7:13 Enter through the narrow gate  (Path); for wide is the gate (Path) and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.

14 But the gate (Path) is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.
So…. I guess we need to get that flashlight…(God’s Word)…. and continue on this Journey we are on… called life.
I do believe we may be close to reaching our destination. It just may be right around this next bend in the path.