Sunday, July 7, 2013

For the skeptics

I hope I never come across in this blog or in person that I am minimizing the magnitude of my sinful past. I strive daily to keep my past in mind while not being in bondage to it. My sin has affected me and many others, yet my identity is not in my past or my sin. God is doing amazing work in me, despite my unfaithfulness in the past. That I can't deny. It is a testimony to God's goodness and awesomeness.

If you are skeptical of my "changes," then I don't blame you. I would be too. Adultery is a heinous sin that causes extreme damage. It takes work to heal and recovery from, but thankfully it's not the unpardonable sin. As Jesus told the woman who was living in adultery, "I don't condemn you but go, sin no more."

I wish I could erase my past and go back and choose a different path. I hate what I have done and want to learn from it and allow God to do a mighty work in and through me. Like Paul said in Romans 6:21-22, "Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life."

As we approach our two year anniversary of recovery, I want to continually take seriously my accountability and dependence on Christ, while striving to help others who are facing a similar situation. King David said it well when he confessed his adultery. Psalm 51:12-13 (NASB) says,
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will [l]be converted to You.
That is my prayer: I want joy, a new heart, to be cleansed, humility, purity, to rejoice, to live in repentance, to experience forgiveness, to be contrite and broken, to be healed and filled by the Holy Spirit, to feel God's peace and presence, and to help minister to others in need. Only through Christ am I am to do these things. 

Romans 8 is rich with truth and amazing insights about our God and relationship with Him. The whole chapter is great, but I want to share some of the verses that are quite amazing ( 
 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery [g]leading to fear again, but you have received [h]a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him
 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the [j]saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that [k]God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was [l]raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of [m]Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,
For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There are days when I am tempted to believe the lie that says I have nullified these truths for myself, but God says otherwise. Rejoice today in these powerful truths.

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