‘When Mercy Found Me’

I love this song, by the Rhett Walker Band.  Enjoy!  A reminder that as Christians, we are a new creation! (Please skip the ads).

 

 

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Take off your past experiences: Moving on from the past and straining toward the future

So I had a dream the other night.  In it, I was taking off shirt after shirt and laying each one down on the floor in a stack.  Each shirt was white.  It was rather uncomfortable and burdensome to wear so many shirts.

When I woke up, I got to thinking what this meant.  I asked God if it meant anything or if it was just a silly old dream.  The thought that came to my mind after that was…

“Take off your past experiences.”

What does the Bible have to say about this? Are you carrying around some experiences, regrets or burdens from the past that you should lay down?  Imagine doing life with several shirts on.  I know I would get uncomfortable and it would keep me from my purpose!

I realized God wants His children to do a few things.  There perhaps is a time to mourn about the past but also a time to move on!  Learning from the past, living in the present and straining toward the future is a beautiful thing.  How many shirts are you wearing?  Are you choosing to keep those shirts on?  Does God want you to wear that many shirts?

It is interesting that the shirts were white.  Often the experiences we carry around and replay over and over again in our minds have been cleansed by Jesus.  They are “white” so to speak.  God’s grace and forgiveness cleanses.  Is there anything you need to let go of from the past and lay down at the feet of Jesus?  I know there was for me, and now I can live freely for today and the future – with one shirt on!

“Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13,14

Sort Your Mail

Do you ever feel bombarded with mail?  Whether it be paper or electronic, there is a lot to sift through.  It crossed my mind the other day that life is much like sorting the mail.  When we get the mail, there is a huge stack.  Much of it is junk.  The junk mail contains lies for the most part – “if you buy this, you will be happy”.  So many advertisements.  The rest is valuable and worth keeping.  Those are the bills and the truthful items.  It is the truth that if we don’t pay our power bill, we will not have power!  Better not discard that one.  If we lie to ourselves, we may say that the junk mail is good and worthy of keeping.  In reality, so much of the mail we get just sucks our energy.  It is unneeded and wasteful.  That’s why it’s called junk mail.  If this stuff is not dealt with right away, it can pile up and become very burdensome.  It occurred to me that life is much like going through mail.  Every day, new things come our way.  New people and new experiences.  New situations and new demands.  If we don’t sort through the junk mail, it piles up and overcrowds all the good mail to the point where we cannot even see the good mail anymore!  Let’s face it: God sends things our way; so does the devil.  Both God and the devil send things (situations, circumstances, people, etc.) into our lives.  God sends truth.  The devil sends lies.  Is there anything in your life that you think you could throw away or donate?  Physically and spiritually speaking, is there anything that weighs you down that you have kept unknowingly that prevents you from running a good race?  Going through our physical possessions and minimizing can certainly be freeing.  I just went through our entire house and was honest with myself about what we truly needed to keep.  If it did not bring me joy, I threw it away or donated it.  Going through emails and de-cluttering our computers can also be freeing.  Same with our inner lives.  Is there anything that is toxic that you would be better without?  Maybe you have kept some junk mail not realizing it was junk?  Sometimes too much clutter and too much toxicity can effect our health and even start to poison what is good in our lives.  What is weighing you down?  Ask God to show you if there are any changes you could make to make your life more free, light and joyful.  God wants us to walk in freedom and joy.  Sometimes an inventory is needed of our priorities. Galatians 6:2 says we as Christians are to carry each others’ burdens and thus we will be fulfilling the law of Christ, and that is a noble thing.  Christians are responsible to love others and carry each others burdens.  We must make sure that the burdens (baggage, excess mail) we are carrying around with us day-to-day are truly Godly burdens that God has willed us to bear.  Sometimes, we think God has planned we carried certain burdens when He actually has wanted us to let go of such burdens because they are out of our control or sphere of responsibility.  Such burdens can actually do us harm in our race with Him.  Some points to think about.

Absolution

Word of the day…Absolution:  “Act of absolving; a freeing from blame or guilt; release from consequences, obligations, or penalties.”  Have you experienced God’s absolution?  Have you given absolution?  This is a good word.  A freeing word.  Meditate on 1 John 1:9.  Many of us are walking around with the idea that God can’t forgive us.  Remember His mercy today!

Encouragement for Christians with physical illness: a look at Galatians 4:14 and God’s providence

Have you had an illness or injury and you just couldn’t figure out why God would allow you to have such a condition?  In Scripture we see that the Apostle Paul was loved by God and led a holy life but had an illness.  How important it is to remember God’s providence!  There is nothing that He does not see.  Sometimes our illnesses may serve a greater good or purpose that we do not see because all things work together for good for those who love God who are called according to His purpose.  I know that this is a hard thing to think about.  For the Christian – what a comforting reminder that we are in Him (in God) and in His hands (illness and all).  Nothing escapes His sight.  Sometimes He may allow things for reasons unknown to us.  I am not saying that illness is from God because personally I believe that God is good and illness is from satan usually.  There are many instances in scripture where satan attacks God’s people with illness.  In scripture God speaks of healing and the gift of healing.  Of course He is for healing.  We must remember His providence though and not lose hope when in the midst of a physical trial.  In the hands of God the Apostle Paul was safe – illness and all.  Paul asked God to take it away from Him and God would not.  The illness was not a punishment from God.  Are you struggling with a physical issue?  Here are some scriptures to meditate on.  These came to me as I was sitting in prayer pondering this topic:  “…for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’” (Acts 17:28);   “And my trial which was in my flesh you despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.” (The Apostle Paul; Galatians 4:14).