Black + Red = White

Marnes Nel of Abundant Grace Ministries once said that the blood of Jesus is better than Omo. Omo, for those readers living outside of South Africa, is our country’s most well-known laundry detergent.

When your clothing gets soiled Omo does a great job of cleaning it. But…after the next use it needs to go back into the wash to be cleaned all over again! This cycle repeats itself all the time – there is never a point where you can sit back and know that your garment is permanently clean.

“The blood of Jesus is better than Omo.” If we believe in the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross all our sins are cleared and we become white as snow (Is 1:18). The world needs to know that this cleansing of our sins through His blood is a permanent wash. It is not an action that needs to be repeated over and over again. The Word says His blood cleanses us and keeps us cleansed. We don’t have to struggle with condemnation, we can just turn to God knowing He did a completely perfect job.

“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].” 1 John 1:9

“For by a single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy.” Heb 10:14

No part of our salvation is left for us to clean. He wiped away every trace of darkness and sin. His single offering was enough to forever cleanse every part of our sinful nature. We are perfected in Him.

5 MINUTE FRIDAY: OPPORTUNITY

Time to tune in to 5 Minute Friday, with The Gypsy Mama. Every Friday readers write for 5 minutes about a chosen topic, but they are not allowed to edit their work, back track or over think it. Today’s topic is Opportunity, so here is my 5 unedited minutes:

OPPORTUNITY

Go:

God was the first to take the opportunity to reach out. He looked at my lost soul and decided that I was worth the life of His only, perfectly blameless Son. He made it possible for me to reach into the depths of the holy of holies – to literally step in and know Him intimately. He gave me the opportunity to live with Him for all eternity, and all I had to do was to believe in His Son’s sacrifice.

I grabbed hold of this opportunity given to me with both hands. It is completely undeserved – receiving complete pardon of my sinful nature by only believing! What an incredible exchange!

Now I will endeavour to see God’s goodness in everything. It is all around me – I can literally taste and see that the Lord is good (Ps 34:8)! I will take every opportunity to think upon His goodness and provision, and be filled with His life and peace.

All that remains is the opportunity to love Him, because He first loved me. There is no effort in our relationship, just grace.

Stop.

Worry-warts

It is something we all are guilty of on a daily basis – some much more than others. Go take a look at two previous posts on Fear and the process of Letting Go…this post will tie in well with them.

Every situation we encounter in life has the potential to go in two directions: either positive, or negative. Compulsive worry-warts (like me, especially when it comes to our baby) see the danger, the potential problems arising a mile ahead of the event itself. Taking the baby on an outing, I worry that he will cry inconsolably. Feeding him, I worry that he isn’t getting enough milk. During the day, I worry that he isn’t getting enough sleep. Although it is hard for me to admit this, this process is a huge waste of my time and efforts. Not only is it unproductive and, like fear, based in the non-existent future – it also leads to sickness and sadness.

So Jesus tells me the following today:

“So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.” Matt 6:34

I need to let go of the aspects of any situation that are beyond my control, and focus only on living in the moment. His grace is sufficient for anything that could come my way. I must only focus on His provision, not the potential problem.

“But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully];” 2 Cor 12:9

Without worry, we will experience abundant joy and light living. Our minds will be filled with peace. Some last encouraging words if we let go of our own yokes and trust in the abundant provision of Jesus:

“For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.” Mat 11:30

5 MINUTE FRIDAY: PERSPECTIVE

Time to tune in to 5 Minute Friday, with The Gypsy Mama. Every Friday readers write for 5 minutes about a chosen topic, but they are not allowed to edit their work, back track or over think it. Today’s topic is Perspective, so here is my 5 unedited minutes:

PERSPECTIVE

Go:

His vantage point is different from mine. When I look at me I see brokenness, fragility and sin. I see everything that should keep me away from His presence, and all that should exclude me from His grace.

What He sees is a completely different picture. When He looks in my direction, He sees a body that has been made whole by His Son’s death. He sees a strong woman, holy and unblemished. Instead of the faults that cloud my vision, He looks into the face of Jesus – and all He can see is my righteousness. No effort is required from my side other than to believe in His sacrifice. This washes me once, forever and perfectly.

Stop.

Letting go…

Why is it so difficult to let go? To forget about our own plans and ways of doing things and just let God take over?

I don’t give Him enough of a chance to actually show me what He can do in my life. I hold onto this urge to control every aspect of my life so tightly, that He cannot be the God who is able to do more than I could ever dream or imagine (Eph 3:20).

“God is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]” Eph 3:20

God has all the solutions you will ever need. Every answer you need is wrapped up in Jesus. If we just allow Him to set the pace and guide us in our everyday lives, we will be amazed at the results!

“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

If we give our worries to God and allow Him to take care of us, we will experience a peace that far transcends all understanding. Suddenly our lives won’t be governed by this inexhaustible need to control every detail, but we will rather experience a wonderfully liberating joy and peace.

I need this in my life!

Fear

Why do we give so much authority to an inanimate concept? We go about our daily lives, many times basing decisions on the presence of fears. Fears are like mirages. They seem bigger and more imposing than they actually are. We don’t fear something that has already happened – we fear the thought of something that might happen. Fear is always based in the future, so if we fear, we don’t live in the moment. Jesus said:

“Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life.” Matt 6:25

Try this today. When you find yourself getting anxious about the possibility of something bad happening, choose not to give in to the fear. Remind yourself that fear lives in the future, and all you are guaranteed of is this moment, and the fact that you have a God beside you every step of the way. If we continually give in to fear, we will miss out on some amazing opportunities and experiences along the way. If you fear failure even before you start – you will never know what could have been. Don’t be uneasy any more. Start to live boldly, and see what God can do in your life!

The Israelites were struck with fear when they saw the Egyptians pursuing them in the desert. They saw the possible torture and death waiting in the future instead of the miraculous salvation God would bring in that moment. Moses told them:

“Fear not; stand still (firm, confident, undismayed) and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians you have seen today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.” Ex 14:13-14

God proceeded to miraculously open the sea for them, and the Egyptians were indeed never seen again.

When fear strikes you, counter with a firm confidence and boldness in God. Stand still – don’t let fear move you into the opposite direction. God will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.

5 Minute Friday: Identity

I recently came across a lovely inspiring blog – The Gypsy Mama. Lisa Joe’s words have been tremendously encouraging to me, especially as a new mom in a new world. Every Friday readers write for 5 minutes about a chosen topic, but they are not allowed to edit their work, back track or over think it. Today’s topic is Identity, so here is my 5 unedited minutes:

IDENTITY:

Go:

My identity is not determined by my performance. I am a child of God – this does not change if my actions are not perfect. He died for me on the cross in order to make me righteous – this does not change if I don’t live holy enough. Through His death my old nature has been buried and I am now a new creation – alive in Him.

This means that my old nature does not exist any more. It has been buried. Covered completely by His blood. It cannot be dug up or brought into remembrance by anyone. Never think God will remind you of your past – it simply does not exist the moment you believe in the sacrifice of Jesus. I am brand new. Every second of every day is a fresh start – in His eyes I am righteous, holy and blameless.

Your true identity can only be found in Him. You are hidden with Christ in God. You will never be truly satisfied in the world without Him, and no matter how hard you search – your identity can never be found apart from Him. When you believe, you are forever ingrained in Him. A part of His divine nature. Once again – a new creation. If you spend your time caught up in His embrace you will experience live in abundance. Your identity will come forth naturally as you live and breathe in His presence. It cannot be made up, it cannot be changed, it cannot be faked. You are born of incorruptible seed.

Stop.