Last Sunday we had a sermon on Sexual Sin. I kind of went into it thinking...yes I have been there done that. Some crazy college nights, alcohol, some bad relationships, big mistakes...yes I am past that. Hope these college kids listen up! I am happily MARRIED. Well as the sermon progressed I felt my heart being tugged to listen up...and I began to think about my past sin. Sin that I thought I had let go.
Sometimes as believers we can identify with each other as sinners, but for me that is where is stopped. Yes, believer with all my heart, love God!! But I have been forgetting that other piece of the gosple. That when I confess my sins, my hurts, my regrets to God he is there and he has FORGIVEN me. That sin is gone, done, finished. For reals....
But is it for me??
I typically go through life as a dertermined individual, trying news things and pushing myself to be grow and be better. I have some ugly sin in my past (which I am sure I am not the only one). Sin that has been forgiven but I still pack it around. I don't broadcast it or share it, but at the most unexpected time it will rear it's head and Satan will begin to fill my head with lies.
Often times it is P.C. to say oh you need to get those "negative thoughts" out of your mind and replace them with positive ones. I agree with this but I feel like I am more aware that SIN in the root of those messages.
When we mess up or sin there can be a sense of failure. Is that why my heart is often on a journey of succeeding?? Trying to get away from the thoughts, labels of dissapointment and failure and make things right, prove that I better?
Thoughts of "I am loser, I am so stupid, I'll never be good enough, who would want me, I am a failure again, why am I surprised that I failed again?
The pastor on Sunday showed a clear glass with a dark liquid in it. It was black, dirty, unclean, stained. This is sin our lives.
Then he showed up a clear glass with clean water in it! Oh it was such a pretty picture next to that glass full of darkness. This is God's promise, this is the gospel. God forgives and it is DONE. Oh how I want to see myself as that clean glass of water, made clean and righteous through Christ and his sacrifice!
Beyond confessing and sharing my heart with God, there is nothing I need to do to earn this or make it right. No number of good deeds, P.R.s, new accomplishments or amount of money I can give...will make any difference in where I stand with God.
I feel like I know that BUT on Monday it all became very clear for me for the first time. So you all know I like to suceed, set goals and do a good job. On Monday I decided to make cookies with Sweet J. OK this was unusual because I typically mess cookeis up, so that means I stay away from baking. If I can't do it well....I run the other direction. But for some reason on that day I thought it would be fun. Well it was all good until the baking part. Burnt, under done, watery, flat! UGH!
That was all it took...and the negatve thoughts came pouring in. The thoughts of failure and inadequacies took over. It was then in the kitchen crying that I thought of the sermon and realized that I was NOT crying over cookies but yet in that moment I was feeling the weight of my past sin, the sin I hide, the sin I still carry.
It broke me down and made me cry out to God to please help me remember that my SIN is gone...I am forgiven. I don't need to make cookies the best, be the best mom, or fastest runner, etc. I just get to be a child of God...worshiping and loving Him in the everyday! God did not pull the "loser" card on me....I let Satan do that and he does it well. It is in those moments I could SEE my glass filling up with that dark liquid. I quickly wanted to dump it out and rest in the promises of God. That I am forgiven and made clean.
Unfortunately people have hurt me and I have hurt myself and the result is a dinged up soul. God does not see those dings. It is the "world" that points those out. So one sermon (that I thought I was so over) and baking cookies with my girl has left me changed. Sin of any kinds leaves hurts and creates small holes that can only be filled with God's grace and forgiveness.
The pastor shared a story from the old testament about the Day of Atonement. This was something that was done in the old testtament (before Christ was born and died for our sins) where one day a year all of Israel would gather and the High Priest would go present a goat in the presence of God as a scarifice. A sacrifice for all of the Israelites sin. I have heard this story, but was not familiar with the last part. After the sacrifice was done there would be another live goat that would be swatted on the behind and sent out into the wilderness. Everyone would watch and watch until the goat was OUT of SIGHT, GONE, NO MORE! This goat like the one scarificed was like our sin...gone, not to be brought back up, FORGIVEN!
This story in the old testament is a foreshadow of what we see God do when he sends his son to shed his blood for our sins. Amazing!!
So know that if you have sinned that God is still there, waiting for you to come to Him and pour our your hurts asking for forgiveness. You just have to believe and know that God sees you as that clear, beautiful glass of water...don't let Satan or anyone else tell you any different.
If you want to explore this more!
NOTES directly from
Pastor Josh Martin.
Faith becomes a fighter.
Faith becomes violent against anything that comes between Jesus and you.
Part of John Calvin Quote (LOVE THIS)Shame whispers lies that seduce you to believe that you are alone, rejected, worthless, too stained for grace. Jesus cross and resurrection proclaim the opposite.
The truth of scripture.
Memorize Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” 1st John 1:9 “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” 2nd Cor. 5:8 “If anyone is in Christ He is a new creation.” Romans 3:3 (Micah 7:8-9) These are two verse to talk to the devil.
HUGS to you all...would love to hear your thoughts.