I was one of ten children—number five for those of you that are curious. I loved being part of a big family. For mom, keeping ten growing children in adequate clothing was work. She did a great job by conserving money buying clothing from liquidators when possible. Some things she bought were irregulars and sometimes pieces of clothing that smelled like smoke because they were salvaged from stores that had burnt down. We got more than our fair share of irregular or slightly damaged ‘new’ clothing.
Do you understand that because of the sin that is in the earth, we all become damaged goods—either slightly damaged of slightly irregular? If you haven’t admitted that to yourself yet, it’s because you’ve only noticed the flaws in those around you while forgetting to look in the mirror. The stain of sin in the world has left its influence and mark on each of us. Consequently, we all have quirks we manifest to others but don’t notice in ourselves. We are too busy noticing everyone else’s quirks, flaws, and irregularities. Our flaws will always be a part of life but, we can be thankful for the power of the Holy Spirit within us to help transform us and correct and reduce some of those flaws and irregularities. But let’s be real! Transformation is slow and an ongoing work, and only happens to the degree we seek God’s help in becoming more Christlike. I haven’t gotten rid of all my quirks yet. Have you?
Man’s efforts toward perfection were curtailed by the sin of Adam. Sin spread to all mankind. Romans 5:17 NLT says, “The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death (sin) to rule over us…” Thank God He has a plan to help us through Jesus! Romans 5:18 NLT says “…but all who receive God’s wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. Yes, Adam’s one sin brought condemnation upon everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness makes all people right in God’s sight and gives them life.”
The gift of reconciliation or having our sins forgiven and being made right and united with God. That happens by asking God to forgive you of all your sins and by asking Jesus to come into your heart to be your Savior and Lord. Upon that sincere request through prayer, the Holy Spirit of God comes to immediately live within you. The Holy Spirit will be a new experience in your life! As you read God’s Word, the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart, shows you God’s ways, and gives you power over sin that you never before had.
This love for Jesus within you hungers and creates the desire to walk in God’s ways. And, scriptures that once made you feel condemned, no longer do. They just set the path of instruction and transformation that the Holy Spirit empowers you do—over time. In that light, the Apostle Paul wrote these words to us that again lead us back to becoming more Christlike. Colossians 3:5-10 NIV “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
Psalms 37:37 KJV says, “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.” Trying to reach some unattainable measure of perfection in your life might lead to never-ending disappointment and condemnation. That is not the voice of God but of the devil. He wants to make you see yourself as a hopeless case. You aren’t! You are God’s work in progress! God is doing a work in you! Be honest when you sin and be sincerely sorry and ask God to forgive you. He will! Your victory over it will come—one victory at a time. The booster to a more rapid change is in becoming more selfless—giving yourself over to loving and serving God and those around you! Do that and you’ll look back and see God doing a great work of transformation in you! And then you’ll know these words are true for you! Philippians 1:6 (NKJV) “…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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