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Archive for December 27th, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

Colossians 1:22: “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (NIV).

Last time we talked about how recently I have started to grasp God’s amazing love for each and every one of us.  I had grown up in the church and heard this preached throughout my life, but only recently, has that concept grown from head knowledge to heart knowledge.  You know, the kind of wisdom that you don’t just know something is true because you have been taught it and can verify the facts, but you know something is true because you believe it with all your heart and no one can convince you otherwise.  I have another example today that I think will clarify what I’m trying to say even better.

I have always known that when anyone admits they’re a sinner, confesses those sins to Jesus Christ, and admits that He’s the only way to get to Heaven, accepting Him into their heart, they are changed.  However, people still sin, mistakes are still made, and God is still a holy and just God who hates sin.  So…I have struggled with the contradiction of God loving me, a Christ follower, with a fierce protective love as one of his daughters with the fact that I still sin, I still upset/disappoint Him, and I still make mistakes, lots of them.  As a result, how can He look at me and love me when I mess up so much?  (Add to that my perfectionistic qualities and I tend to run away from God when I mess up instead of running toward Him due to my self-imposed guilt.)

However, in the last few months, I have had countless sermons and illustrations and messages point to the key that resolved the struggle for me, taking it from head knowledge to a heart connection.  One example that was given in our church was this:  Consider God a Judge in a courtroom.  He is a just God who cannot allow sin to enter Heaven.  Therefore, since we, as mere humans sin (none of us are perfect despite what some may think), there’s nothing we can do in ourselves to earn our way to Heaven.  So, when our life is over, we stand before God on Judgement Day and if He were to look at us and our lives and our mistakes, the clear choice would be to send us to hell forever.

But, the illustration doesn’t end there.  God is a just God, yes, but He’s also a very loving God.  He didn’t want us to spend eternity in hell, so He made a way for us to live in Heaven with Him.  That way was through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Now, as God is looking at us on Judgement Day, all of a sudden Jesus stands up and says to His Father, “Hey, don’t look at them.  Look at me.  Yes, the payment for their sins is death, but
I paid that price on the cross.  So, when You look at them, You need to look at them through Me.”  I love that mental picture.

God knows that’s true, His own Son paid our penalty.  Now whenever He looks at a Christ follower, someone who has asked Jesus to be their Savior, He looks at each of those individuals through the filter of Jesus.  He can only see perfection, He can only see love, He can only see His own sons and daughters.

That was what finally brought home the message of God’s love to me.  I had never thought about how God sees us through the filter of His blameless Son when we choose to follow Christ.  So, now when I mess up (and I still do way more than I like), I’m learning it’s far better to run toward God than away from Him.  I’m quicker to see my mistake for what it is – a mistake.  I’m quicker to take the blame, right the wrong, and move on.  I don’t get it right all the time, but that’s what I do more often now than I ever did years ago.  And, instead of rehashing my mistake over and over in my mind, I remember that God doesn’t remember it once I’ve asked for forgiveness, so why do I want to?

As I tell my children all the time, every choice we make either pleases our Father or pleases the evil one.  Who do I want to please more?  Do I want to wallow in self-pity and self-guilt and please the evil one?  Or do I want to rest in God’s love, knowing that Jesus paid the price I should have?  Instead of frozen by guilt, I can work toward changing my actions, my attitude, and my lifestyle to more reflect my Father, the Creator of the Universe.

I pray that illustration helped a fellow Christ follower today.  Instead of seeing yourself as a sinner and someone who repeatedly messes up, instead see yourself as God’s child, blameless through the filter of Jesus Christ.  And, if you have never made that commitment to ask Jesus to be the ruler of your life, He is waiting patiently for you to choose.  But as I always say, the choice is yours alone since God is a gentleman who won’t force Himself on you.

Next time you make a mistake, try looking at yourself through the mirror that God uses.  It might change your perspective just a little.  After all, you are an heir of the Most High.  Not everyone has those credentials.

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