Today we are going to focus on a lesson from Romans.
Over the past 11 years I have struggled with who I am, who I want to be, and how I can get there. Over the past 4 months God has revealed to me through His word, who I am. It's not that I have never read these words, I believe it was more about His timing. My heart has been challenged and changed so much over the past few months. At times it's overwhelming and I'm forgetful, but He is faithful to remind me EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Let's compare how God views me vs. How I view myself.
I say I am.... a sinner, imperfect, worthless, a failure, never good enough. I seek my own ways, I am selfish, and unloving. I am nothing, prideful, haughty, unforgiving, and not compassionate enough. I can beat myself up all day because every single day I fall short. Heck if I'm being real, I don't think I can make it one hour without sinning, if not outwardly, then inwardly.
BUT God says that I am...
Forgiven & Redeemed (Ephesians 1:7)
Justified (Romans 3:24)
Righteous (1 Corinthians 1:30)
A Child of God (John 1:12)
Holy & Blameless (Ephesians 1:4)
Loved (1 Thessalonians 1:4)
A friend of Jesus (John 15:15)
Free from sin and death (Romans 8:2)
A new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Not because of me, but because of Jesus.
By the one man's obedience, many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19
There is nothing that I can do today, or will ever do that will earn what Jesus has earned for me. It took perfection to break the curse of sin and death over my life, and God took Jesus' perfect obedience and death on the cross as my payment. My debt has been paid in full, and now I just live. Live life abundantly, full of joy, and at peace with a God who's wrath was aimed at me (and rightly so), but paid for by my Jesus.
So who are you today? Do you claim the righteousness granted to you, by the one who paid it all? Or do you live like I often do, forgetting what he's done for you, and what it means for your life today?
Guilt and shame do not belong to you anymore. The feelings of never being good enough, being a failure, and not measuring up are a LIE. I believe a lie, when I allow myself to wallow in the feelings of despair and disbelief.
Would you really look into Jesus' eyes and say "Your death wasn't enough for me?". I would say "Never", yet that's exactly what I do when I don't believe that I am a new creature right now. We are living out righteousness today, sharing in Jesus' perfection. Yet, we live like slaves because we don't believe.
My prayer for us today is that we would better grasp the story we have heard a thousand times. The Gospel. I used to look at the Bible as a self-help manual. Trying to learn how I was supposed to live, what I am supposed to do daily to please God. I've learned that the Bible isn't about me. It's about Jesus. Every verse, every chapter, every book... is about HIM!
If I had to simplify my view of the Bible I would say that I read about my sin, and the sins of others and it reminds me that I am a sinner, with a wretched and evil heart. That knowledge points me not to reading about what I ought to do, but reading about Jesus doing what I ought to have done, and doing so perfectly. Which leads to my understanding of how great of a need I have, and how great a Savior I was given to meet that need.
Which brings me to the biggest and hardest lesson for me to grasp....
I am fallen, there is NO THING... I can do apart from Christ. Any single solitary good thing I do (if it is truly sinless) is from Him. If I share in His righteousness, then my righteousness is His, not my own.
So what can I do? What is it that I can truly do on my own? Nothing! Again it is nothing. All righteousness I experience is by God's grace and Jesus' death. Do you understand how freeing that is? I don't have to try to be good, I don't have to earn God's blessings?
I just believe. I believe His word, and even that is because of the measure of grace given to me.
So instead of trying so hard to be someone I'm not (Jesus), I am just being me, believing in God and his Son, and asking to believe more every day. Asking to love more every day, and living in hope, peace, and contentment because I know that He who began a good work in me, will be faithful to complete it. Philippians 1:6
I've found that not only do I struggle with accepting who I am in Christ; right now at this very moment, but also who those around me are in Him. When I view myself in truth, I can't help but think that it's only fair to view my brothers and sisters in Christ the same way.
Help me Father, to see the truth of who I am, and who others are as well. Help me to be free from the lies and the death that comes with them, and to live today in the freedom of the truth. Open my eyes and soften my heart. May your words bring about your glory in my life.
In Jesus' name I can speak freely and openly with you.
So I ask.... Just who do you think you are? How does that compare to who God says you are?