Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)
I love the notion of starting over – of God wiping the slate clean and re-designing my life after I’ve messed it up. Being IN CHRIST or “belonging to Christ” means that I live within the limits of His limitless grace and love. I don’t venture outside of that space – the space of His vast power and mercy. If you have made Jesus the Leader of your life and have forfeited your position as sovereign over your own destiny, if you want Him to run your life by His wisdom and not your own, then you belong to Christ.
For years I [Jill] deceived myself into thinking that because I talked the talk, memorized the Scripture, went to church, and read my Bible, that all was as it should be. But I was deceived because while I knew His word intellectually, I didn’t fully know it experientially. I wasn’t walking in forgiveness and love. This was not the pattern Jesus set for me, and deviating from His ways cost me dearly. But that cost caused me to pay attention to myself, soberly evaluate myself, and learn the Truth about being a follower of Jesus. God set me on a new path of loving him, loving others, and walking in forgiveness. I am a new Jill. The old Jill is gone, and I’ve begun a new life that is rich and full of joy and full of God’s gracious surprises. Every day He gives me His plan for me, and I walk in it with him. I’ve still got tons to learn and even more to unlearn, but I am beginning to understand and embrace the truth that I am not the person I used to be. I am NEW. This is my confession, and I want to share it with you today:
I am a NEW CREATION in Jesus my Great Lord. He has recycled my old self, ridding me of all my delusions and filling me with His Truth. I am brand new, with a new destiny and a recalibrated purpose, and because of this, I have outstanding hope, unrelenting joy, and love that never fails.
Make Jesus your Lord today, and you can walk joyfully with all of us who have placed our hope in Him!
“Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it! …What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!” ~Jacob (Genesis 28:16,17)
Jacob’s plans had gone awry. He got what he wanted: he stole his brother’s birthright as well as his blessing as the eldest son, but now he was to become a fugitive. It was in this broken state that He stumbled on the presence of God. These were his words, and we can make them ours today. We are all a bit like Jacob. His name means “treacherous son-of-a-something”; he made his bed and it was time to lay in it, but God had mercy on him. He revealed Himself to Jacob in his darkest hour, and things began to turn around for him. Are you in a dark hour? God is with you whether or not you feel His presence. The place you are standing now contains a portal into His presence if you will open up your eyes to His Word, His promises, and His purposes in your life.
You are here with me even though I’ve been unaware of you. You have placed before me a gateway that will lead me to you. In faith I take a step towards you, inviting you to come into my life, to teach me, change me, and make me the person you created me to be. Your Word says that if I seek you, I will find you. I’m seeking you now, and I’m ready for you to lay claim to the rest of my life for your purposes and your glory. I repent of insisting on my own way, doing my own thing, calling my own shots, and following after my own selfish desires. Each of these has deposited me on this dead-end road, wracked with pain. I’m ready now to be everything you’ve made me to be. Take me. I’m yours now. And I’m entering your presence through the portal of your great love and forgiveness.
In Jesus’ Name Amen.
The Amplified Bible footnote reads:
“There is an open way between heaven and earth for each of us. The movement of the tide and the circulation of the blood are not more regular than the intercommunication between heaven and earth. Jacob may have thought that God was local; now he found Him to be omnipresent. Every lonely spot was His house, filled with angels” (F. B. Meyer, Through the Bible Day by Day). When Jacob found God in his own heart, he found Him everywhere.
Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2
“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!'” Matthew 25:21
Jesus expects faithfulness concerning what God has given us. Each of His children have been endowed with a portion of gifts, talents and resources which we are instructed to nurture to maturity. Our assets are to be invested and multiplied in order to hear the sweet words, “Well done.” God praises those who are faithful stewards of their land, businesses, talents, potential, intellect, strength, and character.
Our beloved Pastor preached a wonderful sermon on this subject last Sunday that moved me and convicted me to the core. There are some investments that God has made in me that have been dormant too long. How about you? Pray with me?
I have not been faithful in obeying you by doing the things you have called me to do. I repent and ask for your forgiveness for procrastinating. I’ve been waiting for the perfect time and the perfect conditions, and that is no excuse. I now receive your gracious forgiveness and I turn and belive the good news that you will help me to walk in obedience to you, to not delay, but to move forward with these endeavors. I take up the call, and with your wisdom and strength and mind, I will press forward, investing and honing the gifts you have given for the sake of Your Kingdom.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. Psalm 119:35
My favorite part of the The Hobbit is when Gandalf urges the dwarves and Bilbo to stay on the path. He warns them that the there will come a time when circumstances will wrangle you to abandon the right road and follow a different way; he cautions them that this will lead to disaster. They do, and it does.
God has provided a path to happiness in our lives. That doesn’t mean we will be trouble or challenge-free, but it does mean that we will have a sustaining joy that will get us through those deep valleys and see us safely through to the other side. If you’ve lost your happiness, your hope, and your passion for life, then pray.
The path I find myself on is not the path I started out on. Somehow, the bells and whistles of my enemy lured me here where I am out of sync with You, Your Word, Your people, and my true self. I repent of being duped by the enemy, of allowing myself to believe his lies, to take his bait, and to turn from the One who knows and loves me. Remove me from this downward path, this slow decline, and put my feet on solid ground. And even when the going gets rough, I’ll not leave your path. I’ll stay with you, trusting you to lead me to the places you have ordained me to go, with Your help.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
“The safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
– C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters