Posts Tagged ‘Joy ’
by: Staci Stallings
Revelations 21:5 says this:
“And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
Behold, I am making all things new.
Please note that Jesus did not say some things, things that are good or things that are bad, things that need tweaking. He said he is making ALL things new!
And “things” is not just grandma’s gravy boat with the chip in it.
2 Corinthians 5: 13-20 says it this way:
13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
I want to pull this whole section apart piece by piece but not necessarily in the order it’s presented here because these verses explain what happens when we finally realize we need a new operating system, that the old shame-and-fear operating system is NOT WORKING, and we let God “renew” us by putting a whole a new operating system in.
For one second, let’s go back to MY old operating system (computer) that had been utterly corrupted by viruses installed by hackers. Eventually, the corruption shut the computer down completely. In short, the computer DIED. And I had to choose to get a whole new computer with a whole new operating system.
When I did, the old, corrupted operating system was no more. It literally went into the trash, and it ceased to exist. It does not affect this new operating system. Those viruses are GONE.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that all of my programs were gone too! (My documents, thankfully were backed up, but a lot of them didn’t work because the program that ran them was gone.)
And what happened next is a pretty good picture of what happens when God takes a wrecking ball to our old operating system of shame and fear.
I had to literally DECIDE what to take with me going forward. I had to evaluate what I needed and what I didn’t.
I had to decide what online sites I wanted to “stay friends with.” Which ones uplifted me, and which ones were dragging me down.
This has not been an easy or a fast process. But it was necessary.
So, in case you are still deciding about if it’s worth it to let God install a whole new God operating system in your life to replace the one that’s going to crash your system at some point, let’s look at 2 Corinthians 5…
We’ll start with verse 17: ” Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
If you have accepted Christ’s love beyond your Good Friday junk, if you are willing to swap your old operating shame-and-fear system for being a NEW creation, then the amazing good news is that the “Old is gone, the new is here!”
It doesn’t say, “Oh, you’ll get a new system if you somehow limp along until you get to Heaven.” The old is gone NOW! The new is here NOW!
THIS is the crux where we find Grace.
“Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.”
Let’s for a moment be VERY clear here…
You do not deserve God’s love. After what you did to Him, first in the Garden and then at the cross, you do NOT deserve for Him to love you.
You are not worthy of God’s love. You have not and cannot earn God’s love. You absolutely have sinned, and you absolutely have fallen WAY short of Heaven.
And that is VERY GOOD NEWS!
Because remember God IS love. Fundamentally, through and through God is love. And His fundamental being does not depend upon you–your goodness or your badness!
His love is there whether you accept it or not.
His love is there no matter what you have done… or not done.
His love is the constant in the relationship.
In fact, your relationship with God, regardless of your effort, behavior, attitude, accomplishments or mistakes, is ALWAYS AND TOTALLY BASED ON HIS LOVE!
Woohoo! Now THAT is INCREDIBLE NEWS!
YOU are a new creation in Christ because of God’s love for you which never fails and never dims! It never takes a holiday, never gives up, never leaves–no matter what! You showed up at your worst, and He loved you anyway.
You gave Him mistakes and imperfections, anger and fear, jealousy, hate, and rejection, and He loved you anyway.
You gave Him your absolute worst, and He forgave you for all of it, and then He loved you anyway!
This relationship is based on His love for you, not on what you have done or haven’t done.
None of that even matters!
What God says and keeps saying is simply this, “Let Me love you! Let My love come in, make things new, and set things right in your life. Let My LOVE be your operating system, your new operating system, completely and totally replacing the old one. The old one is GONE. Let’s start working with the new one!”
Anybody else think this might actually be a FUN way to live?!
Oh, and it just gets BETTER from here!
by: Staci Stallings I got to thinking after my last post that some of you might break out the bludgeon on yourselves over the word “thoughts” while kind of missing the word “entertaining.” So today I want to make something VERY clear. Having thoughts is not the same as entertaining thoughts. We all…
By: Staci Stallings Don’t you just love God’s sense of humor? I’ve been planning for this article for several days, and boy, have I been using this one today! After running here, there, and yonder with my son on Tuesday (shopping, Sylvan, and gymnastics), I took three of us to get body tune-ups…
by: Staci Stallings I’m sure my last post I sounded like Debby Downer–telling you how easy it is to hurt someone with your words and asking if you’d ever used words to hurt someone out of stress or anger or fear. Well, before you completely stop using words (I know, right?!), I want…
by: Staci Stallings Now most of the time I come here to encourage you and give you insights into what has worked for me so maybe you can see a little light and move toward it. At least that’s the goal. Don’t know how successful I really am at that sometimes. Well, at…