“And such were some of you..”
May 1, 2014
“Do you need reminding that the unjust have no share in the blessings of the kingdom of God? Do not be misled. A lot of people stand to inherit nothing of God’s coming kingdom, including those whose lives are defined by sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, sexual deviancy, theft, greed, drunkenness, slander, and swindling.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
There are some lists you want to make and others you’d like to avoid. That list in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is the latter. The mean-spirited might use this list to point out the sin of someone else, but that puts them on the list too (revilers). The good AND bad news is that we are ALL on this list. By the world’s standards of judgment once you’re on certain lists you’re labelled for life; guilty until proven innocent is our reality. People SAY with their mouths innocent until proven guilty, but rarely mean it.
It’s a hopeless feeling to walk around day in and day out trying to be accepted, given a chance to do better, be seen for your good intentions despite prior mistakes. Most people won’t even take your word for it, you need references to be accepted in “desirable) circles. I know there are some people who wish they could get a do-over, clean slate, or even a new identity.
There’s nothing that you could do on your own to get your past record cleared, but all is not lost. Just keep reading.
“Some of you used to live in these ways, but you are different now; you have been washed clean, set apart, restored, and set on the right path in the name of the Lord Jesus, the Anointed, by the Spirit of our living God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11 (The Voice)
We could get depressed and down on ourselves without someone else pointing out our faults. It’s a good thing that God looks at us and doesn’t see what other people see. God looks at our hearts. (1 Samuel 16:7)
Several times in my life I can remember trying to be a servant of God and trying to stay on the right path and failing. I was easily distracted by what I wanted, forsaking what I truly needed. What was I doing wrong? I was working on my own steam and coming up short every time ending up right where I didn’t want to be. Willpower is not enough to get you and keep you in a better life, into God’s kingdom. Romans 3:23 says “for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God,” so I needed something else to get it right. Rather, someone else – Jesus.
God saw something in me that He kept tugging at my heart and drawing me to Him. I needed to accept that I couldn’t do it on my own, ask Him for His help and accept it through His son. I did that last year. I cried, “UNCLE!” I gave up. I got tired of falling on my face, getting hurt, and damaged. One of my favorite scriptures now is Psalm 116. It reads in part –
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
This psalm describes exactly how I felt. I was in so much pain that I felt like I was dying, but knew and trusted that God could and would save me.
With His great love for me He took me into His house and washed me so that I no longer have to feel ashamed of what I’ve done in the past and feel unworthy to come to Him when I need Him. (I need Him every day.) He’s sanctified me by letting me know just how special I am to Him. I no longer live like I used to, not because of rules, but out of gratitude and by the power of God’s gift of His spirit. I’m now justified by Jesus’s sacrifice.
I’ve been made alive by the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead. When God looks at me, He doesn’t see my past, He sees Jesus’ sacrifice. Jesus’ sacrifice is enough to make me worthy of God’s kingdom. Hallelujah! By being a part of God’s family I’m getting the protection I need from the harsh elements of this life on earth and predators who wish to harm me, not just physically, but who want my soul. I’m being healed from the pain, damage, and released from the bondage of my past. I’m now in a place where I can receive the proper nourishment to help me grow into and thrive as the person God intended me to be.
This surrender took place in the privacy of my home, but I gladly made it public. My water baptism, publicly identified me as a Child of God. I could not have imagined the many benefits of being a part of God’s family, but by seeking Him daily, He’s telling me and more importantly showing me all about them. Now I can sing about all the benefits of being adopted into God’s family,
I can sing like David in the 103rd Psalm –
1Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.