Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Reminding Myself

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 1John 4:4 

It’s sad how easily I can forget Who I belong to and how far He has brought me. My HIStory is a testimony of His great love, His blood poured out to cover all of my sins. It is the stuff old hymns are made of. 
I once was lost, but now I am found, was blind but now I see.
(Amazing Grace, John Newton, 1779)

I was sinking deep in sin, Far from the peaceful shore, Very deeply stained within, Sinking to rise no more; But the Master of the sea Heard my despairing cry, From the waters lifted me, Now safe am I. Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, Love lifted me.
(Love Lifted Me, James Rowe, 1912)

Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings see what He hath done.
(Count Your Blessings, Johnson Oatman, 1897)

Little one’s to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong! Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.
(Jesus Loves Me, Anna Bartlett Warner, 1859)

The above was from a post a year ago, inspired by a YouVersion app verse of the day. It inspires me still. 

The “reminding” is fresh in my mind, not a threat of the enemy, but a promise from God. He is STILL changing me, challenging me, refining me, molding me. I don’t believe I’ll be “done” until He takes me Home, or He returns —what a glorious day THAT will be! 

We all have a HIStory, even if you were a good kid raised in a Christian home. We all have the need to be saved, and just because your HIStory is different than mine doesn’t mean it’s not important. It is!

The same way, all of our sins need to be forgiven by the Savior, Jesus. It was His blood that was shed on a cross, and He was buried for 3 days before He was resurrected and restored to His heavenly place with His Father. 

“What sins?” you may ask. Well I came with a long list of them, and He still refines me today. They aren’t the addictions and behaviors I had 40 years ago, but they’re just as sinful. I like the description in Galatians 5:19-21 of some of the more popular ones, and how he leaves it open to “and the like.” I think every other sinful outbursts of humans falls under that phrase.
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
And verses 22-26 show what He places in our heart instead...
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
It’s still a process. I’m still growing. It may not be “drunkenness” but “envy” instead. Or it may be that my spiritual fruit is not yet formed and ripened, perhaps I’m not showing “patience” or “peace.” Your struggles may be the same or different. They still need to be confessed to God and He still wants to change them, to grow you!
Whatever is going on, it’s important to keep walking with Him. With the assurance that He is with me (and you!), always (Psalm 16:8) I don’t need to fear the letting go of bad behaviors or attitudes. He loved me as I was, and loves me as I am ... still growing. I can still cling and grow, and stumble, yet He is so faithful to let His blood wash over me as long as I continue to come to Him... 
Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot;
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt;
Fightings within, and fears without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind;
Yes, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, Though wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

(Just as I Am, Charlotte Elliott in 1835)

©2019 Marina Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table, all rights reserved.

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