(Republished with permission from Press Service International, for Christian Today Australia)
Situations beyond our control, words spoken that cannot be taken back, regrets, worries, unfulfilled dreams. People joke about going through “quarter-life” and “mid-life” crises, but for many people these really are sobering times when regret and fear can wreck havoc. They are times when we become acutely aware of our mortality, our age, and our race through life. What really matters? How should we live the remainder of our lives on earth?
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A new day in forgiveness
The sun sets but it will rise again. It is never too late to embrace a new day. I am always astounded by the power of God’s grace.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.””
(Lamentations chapter 3, verses 22-24)
The Bible tells many stories of redemption; people who made big mistakes yet experienced a complete healing and renewal of life. King David committed adultery and instigated the murder of a loyal and righteous man. Saul targeted early Christians and persecuted them relentlessly. Jacob deceived his brother, Joseph boasted that he was greater than his brothers, and the disciple Peter denied Jesus three times.
I am encouraged by these stories because they remind me that I don’t have to be perfect before God. In fact, God knows the impact of sin in our world. He knows our failures, anxieties and fears. He loves us so much that He gave His Son Jesus to wash away the stain of sin in our lives. In Jesus Christ, we are made new, made clean and made holy.
In Christ, God restores us to relationship with Him, and also gives us life in abundance! It is not anything we deserve, not based on what we do, not earned and not bargained for. It is simply, and incredibly, the steadfast love, kindness and generous mercy of God.
Knowing that God loves us this much is more than reason enough to have hope in every day!
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Renewed in mind
We are forgiven, so how do we live in this victory? I often think of the following verse:
“Create in me a clean heart, O God
And renew a right spirit within me.”
(Psalm chapter 51, verse 10)
We have opportunity each day to let the Holy Spirit renew our mind. While we are forgiven and washed clean, there is no need to keep falling into the same pits. Instead, let us cry out for a renewing of our spirit and mind so that we might have eyes to see and discern things in the world just as Christ does.
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Life gets busy and cluttered, but remember God! I have a friend who shines with this kind of first love for God. She radiates with joy, confidence and peace that no matter what, God will catch her. She trusts Him, even in the face of uncertainty with work, finance, schooling for her children and many other things. Her trust and love for God is an encouragement to me and many others!
Remember that first love. When our vision is full of God’s love, it will drive our lives. When our lives are fuelled by a passion for Christ, it will transform our world.
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Remember, and look forward
In her book “Anonymous: Jesus’ hidden years and yours…”, Alicia Britt Chole reflects on a time when God spoke to her: “… I am God who wastes no man’s time.”
God’s mercies are new each morning. He does not keep a record of our wrongs. Every day is an opportunity for blessing and life. I look back on my life and feel so grateful for the testimonies God has given me. He really has made beauty from ashes, and turned mourning to dancing.
I once volunteered at a conference where the speaker urged the congregation to ”Carpe Diem! Seize the day!” We have the opportunity to seize each day in the name of Christ, to live in the freedom and joy of knowing Him! Carpe Diem – let’s seize the day in the name of Jesus!
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A reminder that however busy life may get, there is one thing that remains in the stillness, and one thing that matters: The List (poem) – LilyoftheValleysk