The past few weeks I have been so challenged by the book of Romans. The more I read it the more I discover just how hollow the false grace message is. Does the cross provide grace? Yes. Of course it does. But grace is so much more than covering our sin only to return to it over and over.
Why would God redeem us from sin only to have us continually returning to it? Why would He rescue us from the pain of sin only to have us return to it?
Sin = pain, does it not?
We simply cannot claim to be Christians and not change.
The night is far gone and the day is almost here. Let us then drop (fling away) the works and deeds of darkness and put on the [full] armour of God.
Let us live and conduct ourselves honorably and becomingly as in the [open light of] day, not in reveling (carousing) and drunkenness, not in immorality and debauchery (sensuality and licentiousness), not in quarrelling and jealousy.
But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus (the Messiah) and make no provision for (indulging) the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts).
Romans 12:14 Amplified
Paul was talking to the church here. And he wasn’t just talking about actions, he even referred to putting an end to thoughts that gratify the flesh. Even thoughts of jealousy.
The scriptures are many in this book that take away any and all doubt of the lives we are meant to live as believers. But it also makes so so clear that we are all sinners.
Reading through Romans has brought me back to my Bible College days, looking at Romans road and the fact that we are all sinners in need of a Saviour. THE Saviour, Jesus.
We ALL have sinned. The only difference between me an unbeliever is that I choose Christ.
I remember when I was a fifteen year old slowly walking away from the Lord. I loved Him. I believed that His word was 100 percent true.
I wasn’t partying, I wasn’t living immoral, wasn’t sneaking around behind my parents back, wasn’t sneaking out at night.
But my heart was hardening. I was thriving off of thriller movies not realizing that I was sowing fear into my life. I was becoming increasingly angry because of wrongs that were done to me. I was sinning in my anger. I was not a fun teenager to live with.
I was broken.
I had a great excuse for not going to church – I had a part time job that had me working most Sundays. For a town that was extremely religious (not even 8000 citizens and 28 churches), that at the time was a dry town (could not sell liquor), yet I worked Sundays as a waitress.
And it was at this point that we moved to Ontario. It had been a hard few years prior to that including me having a boy my age suspended from school due to some pretty inappropriate behaviour. After that I lost a lot of friends – and yet found some pretty amazing real friends.
I don’t want to bring up the past a whole lot here, but the point is that when we came to Ontario I was a broken, angry fifteen year old. God plucked me out of my circumstances and brought me to a place where I could find healing. If you want to read that part of my testimony click here.
Reading through Romans reminds me that there is no way that I would want to go back to that place in my life. My mind was a mess. The fear was overtaking me. At times I couldn’t sleep. The anger was growing. My parents saw me through this with unconditional love and a whole lot of prayer.
I wouldn’t want to still be living in that kind of fear and anger. I’m so thankful that the Lord did not save me only to leave with that baggage. I’m so thankful that He came and gently pruned away, and is still pruning away. I’m ok with being pruned for life.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
Jude 24 NKJV
We need HIM to keep us from stumbling. We have to stay hidden in His presence, we have to keep junk out of our lives, just as we don’t want to sit around drinking pop and chips all day if we want to be healthy, we need to be smart and cautious about what we watch, what we read, what we listen to and even the company that we entertain.
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
1 Corinthians 15:33 NKJV
And just as much as we need to stop filling our mind and spirit with junk, we need to feed it the right things. Reading His word. Being in fellowship with other believers. Praying and fasting. Having worship on. Being a part of a Spirit filled church.
You know the thing about believers? We all have a past. We all have things we aren’t proud of. But we can’t stay there. How are we supposed to help reach the lost and hurting if we are just as lost and hurting as they are?
It’s time. Time for freedom. It’s time for YOUR freedom. Whether you are a believer today or not, isn’t it time to let go of the past? Isn’t it time to walk away from the lust of the flesh and the pain that you have been holding onto? Isn’t it time to live a life of freedom and peace and joy?
All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:27-28 NKJV
If you haven’t surrendered your life to Jesus yet, and want to, you can say a prayer like this:
“Jesus, I have lived my own way and isn’t working. I need You. I believe that You died on the Cross for my sins, I believe that You alone are the way to Heaven. Wash away all my sins, make me new. I want to live life with Your peace and Your joy no matter what life brings. Make me Your disciple. Heal my heart, make it clean, and help me to live for You. In Jesus name, amen.”
If you said that prayer and meant it, I would love to hear from you! Get plugged into a Spirit filled Church, and get your hands on a Bible. If you’re needing a suggestion on a Bible, I would recommend starting with the New King James Version. Here’s an example on amazon (I am not being paid to promote this Bible on my blog). I suggest starting with the book of John.
Again, if you said the prayer above and meant it this is a brand new day, a new season for you and I’d love to hear from you. Right to me below or leave a comment. Be blessed!