Marriage and Family: Inside OutAugust 13, 2014
Our daughter came in the other day with a sweater that had a hole in it and needed mending. Now while I am not a seamstress by any means, I did know a little bit about hemming and mending holes, so I agreed to give it a try. I grabbed the sweater and turned it inside out to look for the hole. In order to mend it so that it looked good on the outside, the part that people would see, I had to turn it inside out, mending it on the inside first. The outside couldn't be fixed without the inside, and the inside couldn't be fixed without what was done showing on the outside. Both were needed.
The Bible says that BEFORE CHRIST, I was worldly: selfish to the core. I wanted my own way and was going to manipulate, bribe, and bullying others to get it.
Once I saw that my way was getting me nowhere and had negative consequences, I also began to see my need for Jesus to save me from myself. God created me with purpose, but I had taken life into my own hands for my own purposes and were totally missing God's. This is called sin: missing the mark. The consequence of sin is eternal separation from God, the only One who knows what I was created for! Just as only someone with money can pay the price to get something, only a sinless person could pay the price for sin. God sent His sinless Son, Jesus, to pay my price.
I recognize this, confess my sin, receive God's forgiveness offered through the giving of His Son, and ask Jesus to come into my heart and restore His purposes in me. This is salvation. The Bible says that now I am IN CHRIST.
"......you are in Christ Jesus.......Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin." 1 Corinthians 1:30
"For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:3
That means that when I stand before God, my POSITION is holy, guilt-free, and blameless. I am hidden IN CHRIST. My life is covered or hidden behind what Jesus did.
However, when I stand before people, they don't see me the way God sees me. They still see the sinful mess I have made of my life and the consequences that I am living because of the selfish choices I have made, or others have made that have effected me.
God was well aware of this dichotomy that would appear hypocritical. Therefore, He offered at salvation the promised Holy Spirit which He deposited in me at salvation. The Bible says that CHRIST IS IN ME.
"Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27
The Holy Spirit is placed in me to help me become on the inside what God says I am in His sight, so that I can show on the outside what God's Spirit is doing on the inside. That way,I would not be hypocritical but rather changed to look more and more like Jesus with each passing day.
That means that while I stand before God holy, guilt-free and blameless in POSITION, God has put His Spirit in me so that when I stand before people, I am holy, guilt-free, and blameless in my PRACTICE. That way, my life looks the same way before people as it does before God. But one thing is required: allowing God's Spirit to have control of my life. I have to SURRENDER my life to HIS LORDSHIP. Jesus must be Savior AND Lord. Lord means that God is the boss, the master, the leader, not you, anymore.
Jorja's sweater had to be turned inside out and mended on the inside so that the beautiful garment it was, could be revealed on the outside. Maybe Paul understood this analogy and said, "Clothe yourselves with the LORD Jesus Christ." Romans 13:14
So the questions become for today:
1) Does your life reflect one WITHOUT CHRIST? Selfish, manipulative, bribery, and bullying?
2) Are you IN CHRIST? Saved by the shed blood of Jesus to pay a debt you could not pay, becoming holy, guilt-free and blameless in POSITION?
3) Are you allowing CHRIST TO BE IN YOU? Being mended daily on the inside so that your POSITION in God's sight matches your PRACTICE in man's sight? Is Jesus truly Lord of your life? Is the Holy Spirit free to work in and through you to make you the person God originally made you to be?
Today, you can make this right by surrendering your life to His Lordship afresh and anew. You are loved.
(this blog post is taken from Living Deeper Ministries and Jena Forehand. To find out more, visit www.livingdeeperministries.com)
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