christical

Inspired by Jesus. From a Christian. For the Christian and anyone else who bothers to listen.

To Be a Prodigal Child January 13, 2013

Filed under: God's Grace Is Enough — christical @ 10:45 am
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“Your mercy saved me / mercy made me whole / Your mercy found me / called me as your own”
–Mercy by Parachute Band

People are truly prodigals at heart. It’s in our nature to question and doubt, sometimes even to rebel. We are told to follow the status quo, except for when it would suit our own desires to do something different. Then, we are told that the status quo is always wrong because “authority gives us no freedom.”

Thus, we fight. Taking up our swords to fight a war that we are not even strong enough to finish, we jump out onto the battlefield, ready to face everything on our own!

That’s when the first arrow hits.

Sin is all around us. Everywhere we go, our humanity prowls about, wanting to swallow us whole.

Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
–1 Peter 5:8 NASB

On the battlefield, we can certainly try to hold our own. Goodness, some people do it six days a week! “Yeah, church is great,” they say, “but it’s different in the real world.” And in some ways, I’ll agree. It’s easy to remember to pray and sit up straight and read your bible when you’re in church and everyone plays nice. But when you leave, bam! Out come the pitfalls that we experience. Anxiety gnaws inside of us. Anger wants to burst out. Our tongues tingle with the possibility of giving our opinions, no matter how brutal.

But if we act on that, how Christian does that seem?

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
–John 13:35

Nobody’s perfect, though! How can God ask us to follow His commands in such an ungodly world? What happens when we mess up?

God realizes that we all mess up. Romans 3:23 states that all have sinned.

Broken, we come to God with our sin. He takes our sin, and He rips it up. God does that because Jesus died, sinless, to obliterate our sin.

If sin is mud, we’re filthy. But God is like our shower, and Jesus is the water. He cleansed us once, and He’ll do it as many times as we need his forgiveness. Isn’t that beautiful? Look at the Beatitudes. What we consider our greatest gaps in strength, Jesus considers the greatest gaps for Him to come and fill us.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

–Matthew 5:3-12 NASB

In His Love,

The Jesus Freak Girl

 

Finding Forgiveness December 8, 2012

Filed under: God's Grace Is Enough — christical @ 10:10 am
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(Twin and I arguing)
Sis: You’re not sorry, cause if you were, you wouldn’t keep doing it!
Me: (lowers voice) Do people keep sinning?
Sis: What?
Me: Do people keep sinning?
Sis: Yeah . . .
Me: What if God gave us the same reply?

Sometimes, we don’t focus on a picture clearly until we see it in a different light. I believe that through the above argument, I came a little closer to God tonight.

News flash: We are always sinners. No matter what, we will always mess up in some way or another. Try as we might, we will keep trying to walk on legs that are too weak to carry the burdens and anxieties that we bear.

What if God gave us a certain number of tries? What if we lie yet again, and we come to God asking for forgiveness, only to find that He doesn’t believe that we have truly repented? I mean, if you have the grace to forgive someone, then they should see your mercy and totally change to the “right” side for good, right? Wrong.

Forgiveness has no conditions. If you forgive someone, you are not obligated to become their best buddy. You are not obligated to pardon them from what they rightfully deserve. You are not obligated to enable them to keep sinning. Rather, by forgiving a person, you are releasing yourself from the anger you feel and the guilt from being angry. You are giving up the earthly power struggle between you and the grudge.

God has the mercy to forgive us and hold us in His arms when we come, crying, broken, and nearly dead. Perhaps it would do us well if we tried the same?

Your Mission: Who bugged you today? Think about the little brat at whom you’re still angry. You want to get back at them for their sneaky little misdeeds, make them sorry for every bad thing they did to you, don’t you (Trust me, so do I)? Take all of that emotion, look at the imaginary person sitting in from of you, and say, “I forgive you,” as sincerely as you can. Consider this: Jesus hung on a cross so you would not have to spend eternity in anguish after you died. Your sin killed Him. If God can forgive you for that, do you think you would be able to find it in your heart to ask God to help you forgive another person for the wrong they have done you?

•JFG

 

We Struggle November 19, 2012

Filed under: God's Grace Is Enough — christical @ 3:01 pm
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God doesn’t always work in the ways we expect him to work. We don’t always interpret His words the way He meant them.

The problem’s not that He’s speaking too softly, it’s that we’re not listening closely enough.

He can answer yes, no, or not now, just like we can. He doesn’t always answer right away, same as us.

I guess that we struggle to bring people together.

Struggles are what can turn a meeting of friends into a room full of people crying and hugging each other.

Admitting that we struggle is the first step that we can take toward being one with God.

I am the Jesus Freak Girl, and I struggle with sin. I am human. But I also know that Jesus gives me grace, so even though I make the stupid mistake of sinning again and again, He’ll still welcome me back.

You may be wondering why I have a picture of a tree. Here’s why: Though the seasons change with every year, and everything else with each time, God’s love and promise of salvation is a constant.

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:18, 19, 24, 25 NASB)

Follow Up: Romans 8. Romans 8 discusses how we have no condemnation as believers in Christ.

•The Jesus Freak Girl

 

It’s All About Grace! June 20, 2012

Filed under: God's Grace Is Enough — christical @ 3:56 pm
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Mood: Inspired. Perhaps even manically so. (Mwahahaha)

I’m here today to talk about about grace. So . . . Grace is very important to salvation. Check out this verse from Ephesians:

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:4-9 NIV84)

(more…)

 

 
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