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Friday, December 2, 2011

Re:Defined

"And such were some of you.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of the our God" (1 Corinthians 6:11).

Hypocrisy.  It's cited as one of the leading reasons that many people have either walked away from God, the church, or both, or either have steered clear from either/or altogether.  It's easier to judge than it is to be judged.  It's easier to hold the gavel than to hear it being slammed down, unjustly sentencing you based on opinions, ideas, ideals, expectations, and standards that the "sentencer" doesn't hold themselves to.  Of course, it is also easy to become overwhelmed with cynicism that we, too, decide to check out, criticize, and allow bitterness have a fighting chance at overtaking our mind.  So, where does that leave us?

"And such were some of you..."  Paul is referencing statements he has just made concerning the types of people who will not inherit the kingdom of Heaven.  He even mentions some of the "hot button" sins that we like to capitalize on, separating ourselves from the same responsibility to God over our "lesser" offenses.  He lists them and says, "...and such were some of you..."  None of us are without a past, without sin, without stains upon the fabric of our hearts.  Without God at the forefront of our lives, we are all tainted.  God doesn't level and categorize sin in the same manner that we do.  He condemns it all.  Yet, He has made away to remove the stain from our lives in a way that leaves all of the power of "oxy clean" wanting!  We each have struggled, failed, and failed again, but God, through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ, has washed us, made us new, and has redefined us by His grace so amazing.

There are areas that you have undoubtedly struggled and failed.  But, those areas no longer have to define you.  Why?  Because, you have had the opportunity to be redefined by the power of the Spirit of God.  You are a child of God.  In Him, you can be made new, clean, pure.  Restoration can be more than an ideal.  It can become a reality in your life.  You, however, must choose to receive the grace and mercy, each day, that He has for you.  Choose today to live each day with the knowledge and confidence of who you are in Christ Jesus.  Don't judge yourself by who you've been or by how you feel, but by who you are in Him.  You are made new.  You are forgiven.  You were created in His image.  You are His.  And while you're at it, allow that grace that you are desperate to receive from Him also flow through to others.  After all, "...and such were some of you."  Oh, but for the grace of God!

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