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.

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.

Walking in the Spirit

“But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).” Gal 5:16

To walk in the Spirit is to walk with your eyes fixed on Jesus.  In John 6:48 Jesus tells us that He is the bread of life. He confirms that to dwell in Him (walking in the Spirit) is to be aware of the sacrifice and what His flesh and blood accomplished:

“He who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood dwells continually in Me, and I [in like manner dwell continually] in him.” John 6:56

Promises that we can trust if we dwell in Him (feeding on, or being aware of His sacrifice) include the following:

“He who dwells in the secret place of the most High shall remain under the shadow of the most High…He will cover thee with His pinions and under His wings shall you find refuge…Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place, there shall no evil befall you, nor any plague, nor any calamity come near your tent…” Ps 91:1,4,9-10

The Father, Spirit and Son are one, so to walk in the Spirit is to walk with God. To dwell with Him is the most natural, easy thing for man to do. Think about Jesus’ sacrifice in every situation you encounter. If you are sick, realize that His sacrifice brought healing for all. If you feel condemned, realize that His sacrifice made you blameless before God.  Be aware, constantly, of how His sacrifice changed everything around us. It will give you life in every situation.

Flawless and perfect

As born-again Christians we become part of the bride of Christ. We step into an unconditional love that cannot be separated from us through any human interaction or event.

The book Songs of Solomon is a representation of the love that Christ feels for His bride. There are specific verses that you need to take to heart in order to comprehend how He sees you. Contrary to what many of us think of ourselves – He thinks we are perfectly unique, without any glitch or flaw.

“[He exclaimed] O my love, how beautiful you are! There is no flaw in you!” Song of Songs 4:7

We are really wasting time when we complain about our flaws and shortcomings, because nothing we can say or do will ever change His mind about us. He is ever ready to believe the best of us (see post: The characteristics of Love).

“So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless].” Ephesians 5:26-27

We have already been washed clean and forever perfected through his sacrifice. We are now perfectly faultless and without spot or wrinkle. There is no flaw in us! If only we could always remember this…

The unconditional love of God

I want to share something amazing with you. God loves you, and He is definitely not angry with you. We might hear this many times – but listen to this as if it is the first time you are hearing it.

“In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10

Through this verse it becomes clear that there is one thing that is even more important than our love for God: His love for US! He has so much compassion on us – we will never be able to comprehend the depths of His love and endearment towards us. Another verse that confirms this:

“…as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I will not be angry with you or rebuke you. For though the mountains should depart and the hills be shaken or removed, yet My love and kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace and completeness be removed, says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.” Is 54:9-10

God’s love is unconditional. He loves all the world like He loves His son Jesus. This is what God said about Jesus: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3:17). Because you are in Christ, you must hear these words as if they are spoken directly to you. God is well pleased with you!

We need to realize how much God loves us – focus on this today and it will change your life.

The obedience of Christ

In most churches today the emphasis is placed on the believer’s responsibility to obey. Instead of focusing on our own efforts at holiness, we should be looking at Jesus’ obedience, and what that means for all believers!

Christ was obedient on our behalf. He paid the ultimate price – He was obedient unto death. None of us can compete with this, no matter how hard we try in our own effort! Adam’s disobedience caused all men to become sinners. Jesus’ obedience caused all believers to become righteous.

“For just as by one man’s disobedience (failing to hear, heedlessness, and carelessness) the many were constituted sinners, so by one Man’s obedience the many will be constituted righteous (made acceptable to God, brought into right standing with Him).” Rom 5:9

Jesus paid one amazing sacrifice, and this was enough to change our stance before God FOREVER.

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

If we testify about HIS obedience we bring Him more glory – instead of glorifying in our own obedience (and looking to our own efforts).

Lastly, in a normal human marriage the wife does not love the husband more because of His obedience (or vice versa). Love increases through relationship and trust, not obedience. In the same way God won’t love you more if you are more obedient to Him or love you less due to disobedience – He looks at you through Jesus (also see post: How God sees you).