A friend texts me and tells me some latest news about friends that we haven’t heard from for a long time. Then, she proceeds to tell me of the story of our friend who had an accidental meeting with the one who was a part of my dark, old life and the conversation that ensued from it. I discern that there is an underlying malice in my friend’s mentioning of it. I try to ignore it and don’t reply this particular text. But this friend continues to tell me about the conversation of our friend and that one, prodding me. I politely answer her that I don’t want to talk about such things then change the subject.
After this text conversation, a whiff of sadness passes through my heart. No, it isn’t sadness because I was reminded of the past. It is sadness for people who still don’t know and understand the gift of salvation that the Lord Jesus Christ freely gives to whosoever will gladly receive it.
Did the enemy of God really think that he could strip me off of my peace and joy? Did he really think that by doing so he could expose my “nakedness” and shame and I will find myself fleeing into a corner, swimming in self-pity and misery? He couldn’t be farther from the truth!
How could he strip one who has been dead and now lives ONLY by the Lord Jesus Christ her Redeemer?
For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. (Rom. 6:4 NLT)
They may talk malicious things behind my back. They may think unpleasant things about me, letting these thoughts play in their mind with all malice. But, they are not doing it to me. They are doing it to the One who BOUGHT me. Why? Because I AM NOT MY OWN (1 Cor. 6:19)! I do not belong to myself. I belong to the One who bought me and redeemed me with the highest price – the blood of Christ!
They may think and say all manner of malicious things against me, but these are not what and who I am. Their thoughts and judgments about me are not what define me. These are not what give me my identity, but what the Lord did for me and in me.
Saved. Redeemed. Cleansed. Renewed. Restored. Changed. Healed. Reborn. Loved. Cherished. CHILD OF GOD – this is my true identity.
But my sadness for them remains. Truly, there are still many people in the world who celebrate Christmas with much gusto, but it’s real meaning is lost in them. They prepare for Christmas for weeks on end – planning, shopping, making sure everything is perfect, but forgetting the most important thing: preparing their hearts for the coming of the Savior.
But we continue to offer prayers for these lost sheep, that the glorious Gospel of salvation will shine on them and will be received by them.
Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace. (Luke 1: 78-79).
Below is a song I love singing to the Lord: I’m Free. I pray you’ll be blessed by it.
My gratitude list – I thank the Lord for:
~ a most blessed, glorious Sunday worshiping Him!
~ the many amazing testimonies I heard again today of His wonders and miracles: diseases healed and lives changed
~ the three Nigerian nationals who were saved while being detained at Camp Crame but are now free and are worshiping God and testifying of His goodness; one of them singing “I’ve decided to follow Jesus…” Oh, Yes! We’ll follow You, Jesus!
~ just all the singing and praising and rejoicing in the Spirit. Beloved Sister Teth leading the whole congregation in singing “I’ve got a joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart… and I’m so happy, so very happy, I got the love of Jesus in my heart…!” and I was just thinking that the foundations of the earth might soon be shaken with all the glorious praising!
~ the “mighty sound” of the powerful moving of the Holy Spirit throughout the whole congregation as the Jesus Finest Generation Choir sang – speaking in tongues, trembling and weeping as worshipers were filled with the Holy Ghost.
~ the altar call that always holds me in awe, how they come in droves: the sick and the very sick, both in soul and body. They come weeping, sobbing, surrendering their broken lives – Oh, the glory of being found at last by the Shepherd!
This post is linked to Sharing His Beauty, Multitudes on Monday, Time-warp Wife, Domestically Divine, Women Living Well, Women in the Word Wednesday, Proverbs 31 Thursday, Brag on God Friday, Spiritual Sundays