God's Grace Covers Our Fears...
Hebrews 4:14-16 New Living Translation (NLT)
14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
God removes the sin of the one who makes humble confession, and thereby the devil loses the sovereignty he had gained over the human heart. -- Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
When David was hit with the fact that he had messed up - messed up bad - he turns to God and writes these words... "Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love." Why do we struggle to ask for the same thing when we have messed up. Why do we turn to feeling guilty? Why do allow ourselves to feel bad and feel stressed out because of a poor decision with our spouse, our kids, our co-workers, or the guy we just waived at with road rage!!!! Why do we feel those things...
Due to our sin, weaknesses, and perhaps traumatic past experiences, we might assume these things are merely consequences of the fall. But at the core, they’re not. God actually designed us to be motivated by these emotionally powerful forces, for they uniquely reveal what we love. -- Joe Bloom
David confesses that mercy comes from God's "unfailing love" and that God is the one who has given us mercy. God has the power to free us and he wants us living in the safe freedom of trusting him through Jesus. But God frees us not by removing our fear of disapproval, but transferring it to the right place. And typically, he frees us by helping us face our fears so that they lose their power over us. When we face our fears and face the issues that are standing behind our circumstances, we see that God is there standing with us and has been there even in our sin.
David Crowder's Song - ALL I CAN SAY
Lord I'm tired -- So tired from walking -- Lord I'm so alone -- Lord the dark Is creeping in and It’s creeping up to swallow me -- I think I'll stop and rest here a while
Lord didn't You see me cry'n? Didn't You hear me call Your name? Wasn't it You I gave my heart to? I wish You'd remember Where you sat it down --
I didn't notice You were standing here -- I didn't know that it was You holding me -- I didn't notice You were cry'n too -- I didn't know that it was You washing my feet...
King David had realized and had come to face the fact that what he was feeling was not punishment, but instead - MOTIVATION! God uses our guilt to motivate us to turn back to his perfect plan for our lives. When we feel defeated - we should not loose sight of God's victory. When we feel overwhelmed - we should not loose sight of how Jesus has overcome the world. When we feel stressed out, guilty, worn out, etc - we need to know that just maybe - maybe God is waiting for us to turn back to him and ask for his help and guidance. Just because we feel fear and feel the emotions that come with sin - we should never believe that God has turned away - God is faithful and His love is unfailing!!!
THE BEST VERSION OF ME>>>>
Often when we think about being a Christian, we assume that God just wants us to do the right things (follow the rules) and not do the wrong things (sin/miss the mark). So often we turn being a Christian into a self-improvement program, a moral code - a way of following rules (to be made right/to be saved). But with Jesus, it’s about a relationship, not just following rules. Are there rules - sure, there is always rules, rules for everything...(you ever tried having game night with your family - there are rules for everything) - but the rules by themselves are not enough. Part of the reason we have these "boundaries" is to let us know when we get outside the safe zone; the healthy place we have with Jesus.
The more we grow in our love and relationship with Jesus, and the closer we get to Him, the more He will begin to change us from the inside out.
What is most important is our relationship with Jesus… the rules by themselves simply cause us to fear the outcome or the punishment, but life change that is based on relationship pushes us to the BE THE BEST VERSION OF ME THAT I CAN BE. This life change with Jesus helps us push past our fears to live the best life possible!
This MOTIVATION is at times caused by the fact that we feel defeated, overwhelmed, stressed out, worn out, etc. God loves us so much that he wants the best for us... at times I need to let my son/daughter "skin their knee on their bike" as they are learning to ride... this pain and struggle gives us an arena to learn. The "F" on my report card gives me a chance to learn and grow... I may never be an "A" student, but I can learn to be the best version of me. I will look back and see that both my dad and my teachers were there for me - even when I didn't know it or feel it.
2 Corinthians 5:15-18 New Living Translation (NLT)
15 Jesus died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.
In our relationship with Jesus we are never thrown out and too far away... but we can not allow the FEAR of our sins, the FEAR of others knowing our sin, the FEAR of judgment, or the FEAR of change stop us from receiving the best life possible - don't allow your "bike wreck" keep you from enjoying a "bike ride" with your dad. This life is a learning process and we are all a "work in progress"... so get up and sin no more... I do not condemn you... I love you!!!! The resurrected king is resurrecting me!!! I will rise from the ashes of defeat!!!
It may not look like much is happening on the outside, but on the inside a rapid transformation is taking place so that that what emerges is beautiful and full of purpose…
If you would like to find out more on this issue of FEAR... join us this Sunday, February 17 at First Christian Church. Our services are at 8:30 AM (Classic Service) and 11:00 AM & 4:30 PM (Modern Service). Have a great day and remember that every day is a new day!
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