Remade

I heard a song on the radio this morning that I had not heard before, or like many other times, I heard it, but didn’t. You know, music in the background that is there, but you are not REALLY paying attention to it. Sometimes I have the radio on and am thinking about this or that so what I hear doesn’t really sink in. Regardless, the song: “You are more.” As I thought about the lyrics it occurred to me that this song really sums up much of what we all go through and what Christ did, and does, do for us. Oh, the circumstances are different for each individual, some sins in human minds are far worse than others, but to God, all sin is sin and we are all sinners because we all make mistakes. But, through Jesus we really are more than our sins, more than our past. We, who seek forgiveness of Him are made new. Not cleaned up and polished, our dings and dents are not straightened, the broken pieces are not glued, we are made NEW!

Here is the chorus:

You are more than the choices that you’ve made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
You are more than the problems you create
You’ve been remade

Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Yes, there is far more to the Bible and to salvation than this simple concept, but the fact is that without this part nothing else would be possible. But, it all rests on the fact that he takes what we have broken and He does not simply repair it, He makes it into a new and perfect thing. Sort of like if you have an accident and the insurance repairs the damage. The car is no longer dented but it is still the same car. He doesn’t simply straighten out a few dents and replace a few parts. He makes one brand new.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

It always sort of bothers me when one professes to be a Christian, yet they see someone else who has been saved, but they continue to remind them of their sins. The supposed Christian still wants to judge and criticize and not give the newly saved person what Christ bought for them, salvation, redemption and forgiveness. But, if one truly is saved, there is a change in them, I know this personally. I have a past, but that is no longer who I am and my mind, actions and well, the very essence of my being is totally different. THAT is the power of the forgiveness and salvation we have available. If one Christian, lets call him Sam, continues to remind someone, lets call him George, who has been saved of their past, their failures and doesn’t accept them as a new creature, then Sam is still in sin and needs prayer because by constantly doing what he is, he essentially denies Christ. Whether Sam professes Christianity or not, if he does anything that does not build up George, he is trying to damage George and not help him. Now if George returns to his old ways, that would be a different situation, but if George has truly been saved and no longer is sinning, then reminding him of his past is only trying to tear him down. I guarantee you that is not what Christ wants us to do for others.

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

 

Well, I know that judging is a human thing, I suspect we have all been a little too critical and judgmental of others. I wish it weren’t so, but in the past, I have been critical of other Christians. One way that God has changed me is that He removed that from me. Instead of seeing the fault, I try to see the good changes and not focus or point out the past. I probably need to work on that more but Jesus has made a tremendous difference in that area as well as others.

Lord,

I worship Your Holy Name and praise You. I thank You for making me a new creature with the forgiveness I have been given through the sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the cross when He paid the price for the sins of my past and removed them from me and made me a new creature. I pray in the name of Jesus that You continue to refine me into the servant that You want me to be for Your glory. I pray that You remind me that others who have been saved, like me, are not who they once were but are new creatures. Remind us all that Your salvation and redemption that You give us is not conditional or partial. Please draw us all closer to You that we may all be saved and only serve You.

Amen

 

Thanks for coming by my blog. I hope something that goes through my mind is helpful and a blessing to someone. Please, try to be a blessing to someone else today too.

 

 

 

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The Flood

1280px-FEMA_-_43937_-_Flood_Damaged_Tennessee

It’s starting to get to the rainy season around here again, storms in the Gulf are pushing weather systems with a lot of moisture in the air up into our part of the country and the rains have come and there has been LOTS of rain at times. Yesterday there was so much that a lot of the creeks were full and some overflowing with flash flooding in some areas. Seeing the flooding; how it causes erosion the fields; the debris that is washed away; how despite damage from the fast flowing water there is benefit as well. The flood waters  deposit new soil that is usually very rich in nutrients and beneficial to crops; they wash away the dead, fallen trees and branches. The flooding both cleans and renews. It destroys and builds.

And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein [is] the breath of life, from under heaven; [and] every thing that [is] in the earth shall die. Genesis 6:17

Thinking on this, I also thought on how God has used flooding to serve Him. We always think about Noah and the ark; how God destroyed and cleansed the Earth to get a fresh start for humanity. He has used it to help enrichen the soil in the river plains so man could farm and the crops would thrive. He has used literal floods often but he also uses what could be considered spiritual or figurative floods as well. In my life He has used the rains and floods of life to bring joy, to purge my life of some debris, at times the rains have done things I thought were hurtful like loss of my parents. Sometimes the flood waters were slow rising, initially I was able to keep the waters at bay, but eventually the walls I built to try to keep the waters out failed or the waters kept rising, slowly but faster than I could build up the walls to try to keep them out. Other times the floods came fast and furious, sweeping over me before I could try to build up any defenses to try to minimize the damage. But, He also used the flooding, the “damage” or emotional hurt left by the ravages of what had been “washed away” to bring me to Him. God used the floods of life to lead me to Christ so I could have the forgiveness and salvation that He wanted to give me.

During the floods, when I became overwhelmed with a lot of things going on; He used that to wash away the bad things in my life and to make my heart a fertile place for His word to grow. He cleansed me of my sins with the flood of forgiveness and mercy. Oh, there was some debris left behind, but like in literal floods, that was primarily due to obstacles I had held on to that allowed some debris to get trapped, just as bits of trash get trapped in tree branches. But, even though there was some clean up to be done after the floods, I could see what I needed to remove to better prepare me for His way in my life. He washed my spirit and flooded my heart with His love, mercy, and grace that He shows me even though I was unworthy. When I repented, asked for forgiveness, He was faithful and true to give it and to allow the flood waters to recede. He left behind a cleansed landscape and has done so much in my life since then. What a mighty and gracious God we serve.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.      1 John 1:7

 

4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:4-7

 

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.    Romans 12:2

 

God used the floods of life, the various pains and sorrows we all face to one extent or another, to show me that I needed Him to withstand the torrents so I could understand I could not do it alone. He used the floods to purge me of things that kept me away from Him. He used those events to prepare my heart so I was ready to seek His forgiveness and mercy. Then, when I did, He washed away the sins, pains, sorrows. He forgave me showed me mercy and kindness, then He and filled me with His love and peace.

 

Lord, I worship You and praise You for all that You are to me. You showed me I needed You to withstand the difficulties of life. You used the hardships to break me down and prepare my heart. You used the floods of life to wash away things not needed and then washed me with the blood of Christ to make me a new person in Him. I thank You for the salvation, kindness, grace, mercy and forgiveness. In Jesus name I ask that You take the fertile ground You prepared to help the spiritual crops thrive that I may better serve You and be an example of Christ to others. I ask that You continue to bring me to better understanding of Your will for me. That I see the path that You want me to take in life to better glorify You. Draw my loved ones nearer to You, show them that they need You as well and show them Your will and way for them. Show us all what we need to do, what we need to have washed out of our lives in order to follow You and Your plans for us. Thank You for the forgiveness and redemption that was given to me through the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus on the cross.

Amen

 

Thank you all for your time today. I appreciate those who take stop to view my ramblings. I hope that they are a blessing to someone and that in some way I have been used to help others. Please have a blessed day and pass the blessing on to others.

 

 

The fish bites.

fishpic

 

Well, sometimes after travelling and time off work I have a hard time getting back into the regular swing of things, particularly so when I have been essentially off the grid while visiting somewhere with minimal to no internet. Belief it or not there still are a few places like that out there. I was up in Nome, Alaska and while I know it would not be everyone’s cup of tea, I love the place. I must confess, my visits have been in the summer time and I seriously doubt I would ever want to visit in the winter. But, as they say, there is no place like Nome. But, as I said, trying to get used to the time change, get caught up on things at home and work and deal with whatever other issues came up while I was away makes it difficult to get back into the normal flow of life. I am finally caught up, mostly…..I think. But, on to the post of the day.

During my visit in Nome I had the chance to do some salmon fishing and the silver salmon were biting GREAT! One problem I found is that salmon have bigger and sharper teeth than most of the fish I have caught in the past. And, I found out the hard way. Someone, tried to remove a hook from one fish’s mouth before LOOKING and was bitten. A salmon’s teeth are not shark huge, but they are fairly big and very sharp. I had several little puncture wounds from the bite and was foolish enough to have had fingers on both hands in the fish’s mouth. After I finished finding needle nose pliers and removing the hook I washed off my fingers and tried to avoid those teeth on the rest of the fish. As time went I find that I did not wash as well as I should have and some ended up getting infected. I tried washing them better, scrubbing out the wounds, and that sort of helped, but some still got more infected and I ended up needing to start antibiotics and some of the spots needed to be lanced and drained. NO FUN! Now they are getting better and I thank God for that.

I deal with similar issues with patients frequently where the develop cellulitis, basically infection in the skin. Other times where they develop abscesses where pockets of bacteria and white blood cells collect (pus.) Well, some abscesses are small, like the ones I had but others get pretty large. All of these skin infections require some type of damage to the skin, cuts, scrapes, puncture wounds from bug bites, spider bites, thorns, etc. One thing I have noticed, and to me it is interesting, is that the big wounds usually do not become infected. Some is due to a larger amount of bleeding that washes dirt and bacteria out of the wound but a lot is that people tend to take larger wounds more seriously and wash them carefully, try hard to keep them clean, and thereby avoid infections. But, the smaller wounds, well people tend to not worry as much about those but they are the ones that normally get more infected, the infection spreads, and can get very severe. Once treated the infection resolves and the person heals fine but even small areas of infection, if not treated, will get worse and cause loss of tissue and if let go too long, result in death.

SO…..nice you are thinking, he got some fish bites on his hands, gave us a little lesson on skin conditions and such. BUT WHAT IS THE POINT?

I got to thinking how my spiritual life is similar. The big trials, the big temptations, the BIG EVILS when they show up are much easier to deal with for the most part. They are easier to deal with in a way. One can recognize the dangers to one’s spiritual well being when they are the big issues, the temptations and hardships are much more quickly recognized and dealt with by most. Avoid those things, or if a significant hardship is encountered most of us take time to look to the scripture and pray about things for God’s help in dealing with the difficulty at hand and He helps us. But, the little things, the tiny small trials we sometimes ignore and smaller sins are the say way. We sort of ignore the little things sometimes, let them go without addressing them. Now, I realize, sin is sin.

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:10

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.    Genesis 4:7

 

There really are no big or small sins, but most of us consider some things as lesser sins. Maybe it is a little white lie, make a promise we don’t intend to keep; we make little mean comments about others, nothing TERRIBLE, but still negative comments that do not please God, treat others poorly but not really badly. Many ways we make these small sins and we ignore them. But, the small sins still impact our spiritual well being. These acts put barriers between us and God and human nature is such that once one thing is there we justify slightly more significant sins. The effects of these small sins, the progressively worse sins and the person’s ignoring them is they begin to fester. Maybe one fails to forgive someone, not forgiving someone causes the feelings of hurt and anger to remain, eating away at the person holding on to the hurt, creating more intense anger and bitterness. That anger and bitterness builds, it spreads into other areas of one’s spiritual life. It creates a spiritual infection and eventually needs dealt with in a more aggressive manner to rid one of that disease. One must drain the infection and treat it. Spiritually that requires looking to God and His guidance. Read the scripture to see what He wants us to do. As with any sin He wants us to recognize the sin, confess to Him that we have sinned and ask for forgiveness. God is good and faithful to forgive us of those sins and cleanse us. He and His word are our spiritual scalpel that drains the infection from us and the antibiotic that rids us of the sins.

But, as I said, interesting to me is that the more obvious, bigger so to speak, sins are in many ways easier to deal with overall because we more quickly recognize them but the smaller things slowly creep in, spread and cause more problems in the long run. Avoiding completely and seeking His protection can prevent problems, just like vaccinations that protect us from diseases.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Ephesians 6:10-11

 

Using protective devices, gloves when dealing with sharp items or getting vaccinations to protect ourselves are a couple examples on how to avoid infections, but spiritually we need to constantly seek the Lord and try to think with the mind of Christ, put on our spiritual armor and let God protect us.

Yeah, sin is sin, big or small, and sin is a spiritual infection, avoiding is best, but when it is present, it must be dealt with and when we deal with it, He will take care of us, forgive us, He redeems us.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 3:16-17

 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for helping me understand Your desires for me to avoid sin and if I fail to avoid it, recognize it and deal with it as You wish me to deal with sin. I know I have sinned in many ways and I ask Your forgiveness of those sins. I thank You for Your sacrifice of Your Son Jesus Christ who died for my sins. I thank You for your grace and mercy. I pray in Jesus name that You continue to help me grow spiritually, that You continue to help me in my walk and help me better have the mind and heart of Christ. Please show me how to improve myself for You and how to better serve You. Help my loved ones see their own sins, show them they need to confess the sins to You and ask Your forgiveness. Help them walk away from the sins in their lives so they may better serve You and know You and Your will in their lives. I worship You for your grace, mercy and for all that You are.

Amen

 

Thanks for the visit today. I apologize for the absence and I pray all have been well. Try to be a blessing to others today. He will bless you for your efforts.