Skip to main content

I started out bad, but I am not ending that way!

We started out bad, being born with evil natures, and were under God’s anger just like everyone else.  But God is so rich in mercy; he loved us so much that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, he gave us back our lives again when he raised Christ from the dead—only by his undeserved favor have we ever been saved—and lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with him in the heavenly realms—all because of what Christ Jesus did.  And now God can always point to us as examples of how very, very rich his kindness is, as shown in all he has done for us through Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:3-7 TLB)
Yesterday, we began a study in this passage. If we want to deal with the residue we have in life, we need to recognize WE started out bad, but WE don't have to finish the way we started! The truth of the matter is that none of us is truly all that different from the other - we all have a sin nature and we all need a Savior. God's love is what actually begins to differentiate us one from another - for it is his love that makes us truly unique. It is the richness of God's mercy that fills those empty spaces where sin had filled us with nothing of any value. It is his love that empties us of those burdens sin so quickly placed upon us, weighing us down with a burden we were never created to bear. 
How we start may set the course in our lives, but it doesn't have to determine our final destination - the outcome. We do need to start somewhere, but if we must start again in order to change the course of our lives, there is no harm in that "restart" or "reboot". In fact, I have had to "reboot" a few more times than I might like to admit - and sometimes without really recognizing I had somehow become corrupted in the path I had taken! Restarting just means we make things fresh or new again - the old gets left behind and the new is free to take its place.
In every "restart" there is a recognition that Christ hasn't been the one in control - we have been. This recognition is what brings us to the place where we ask for grace and sink deeper into his love than we ever have been before, instead of sinking in the mire of wrong decisions. It is where we evaluate what we have been trying to accomplish and then recognize it hasn't gone all that well! It is Christ's ALL that overcomes our limits. This is something that may take time for us to learn, because we want to do it all and then seek God's help!
The sooner we recognize we cannot do it all, the better it will be for us. Why? There is "much" we can do - obedience - but we cannot "make" the end result as it should be. We lack the wherewithal to change things within our own character just by trying harder. Truthfully, we humans try way too much and then seek forgiveness for all our trying! There isn't anything wrong with admitting we haven't a clue how to get to where we want to go - in fact, stopping to "ask for directions" may just be what we need the most in order to accomplish the course corrections we so desperately need!
If we all start out poorly - sin being at the root of all we do - then we can pretty much be assured our end will fall short of righteousness. If we admit at the start that we need to have God's help to root out this sin, then we are open to receiving God's righteousness in place of our "bad" nature. Where God's nature is exchanged with ours, that is the place of "correct" beginnings - not "corrected" beginnings. As humans, we make a lot of "corrected" beginnings - starting again and again. As inhabited by Christ, we make "correct" beginnings for the one who lives and breathes all righteousness is working within us to help us take the steps in the right direction. Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Gateway closed, ears open, heart ready

We can certainly hear a lot of voices today - each representing some "cause" or "purpose" we are supposed to get our lives behind. Some are reasonable and seem to catch our attention simply because what they present seems both logical and straight-forward. Other voices are not as forth-coming in their motives, oftentimes not very logical and definitely not telling you the whole story. They simply use a technique that manipulates the crowds until they have them to the place we might call "biting on the bait". Our mailboxes are inundated with this request for "charitable contribution" one right after another; get this product now; attend this seminar to get rich quick; and get these veneers put on your teeth to change the way people perceive you. Lots of voices demanding our attention, but do we recognize its source? Jesus was most concerned with the repetitive 'voices' and 'demands' our world puts out there over and over again - vo