Yeah, I’m an idiot but God loves me anyway. - Purity 907
Purity 907 12/06/2022 Purity 907 Podcast
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Today’s photo of a pink, blue, and yellow sunset over the Hudson River from the vantage point of Route 9’s overpass on the Rensselaer side of the Dunn Memorial Bridge comes to us from yours truly as I did my best to capture the glory of the moment from my rearview mirror mounted phone as I drove home yesterday evening.
Well, It’s Tuesday again, and I for one am happy to leave Monday behind because even though I was able to complete all my work yesterday, I had a serious case of the “Mondays” as I made a couple of mistakes that will forever mark the 5th day of December 2022 as a day that will live in infamy. Okay, I think I should say goodbye to you now because yesterday’s debacle may cause you to decide to look elsewhere for any advice or encouragement for the path of Christian Discipleship but if nothing else my confession this morning will serve as evidence as my intention to live a life of honesty and transparency.
Yesterday, while at work I locked myself our of my van and had to call my foreman to send some to let me back into it.
“Hey that’s no big deal, people make mistakes MT. It could happen to anybody.”
I wasn’t finished. While at work yesterday, I locked myself out of my van, twice!
Yup! Twice. Sure everybody makes mistakes, but when you do it twice in the same day people have to wonder about your mental and emotional well-being!
So let me assure you I wasn’t depressed or anxious about any on going issues in my life. I wasn’t super busy either.
In reassessing each instance of stupidity, I now see the common thread that led to my embarrassment. In each case, I put the keys down, once in the ignition & once in the cup holder, in preparations of leaving where I was but in each case I made a quick decision to “do one more thing, really quick” more or less that caused me to leave the vehicle and lock myself out. I wasn’t really in a hurry, okay. In fact it was because I wanted to be thorough in performing my work that I found myself locked out of my van.
In the first instance, even though I had been given the “green light” to leave my first job, an install for a business, by one of the staff on hand, I decided to wait until the acting manager showed up to ask where exactly their “new phone” line was supposed to go.
So when I saw a man who looked like he might be person I was looking for go inside, I called the contact number I had and ended up speaking to him. Sometimes with business customers, the staff and even management aren’t aware of what is going on with the business’ requests for service and that was the case yesterday. So when this manager said, “Why don’t you come inside, so we can figure this out?” I complied quickly but left my keys in the ignition! Doh!”
After finishing inside, I discovered my mistake, called for help, and ended up slinking back inside the business to get out of the cold. I got in undetected and hid/waited in an unoccupied space until my rescuer called to let me know he was outside. I figured why bother the staff and embarrass myself with sharing my problem and as far as the business customer is concerned, this little drama never happened, so keep that between us, lol!
Anyway later in the day, I had an “easy” trouble – to fix a customers call forwarding. They needed the calls on a particular line to be forwarded to a new number but it “wasn’t working”. I had “some trouble” programing the new number at the central office so I went into my van to call the “Testing center” who can sometimes “fix” over the phone. And I was only on the phone with them for a minute or so and they told me that they fixed it. They also pointed out that the “trouble” in the CO was due to sequence in which I performed the steps, just something to “remember next time”.
I was ready to close the job and get new work when I started to doubt. Even though the person on the phone told me the trouble was fixed, I wanted to “make sure” it was fixed. So one minute, I am about to close the job, and the next I am going into the central office to set up the call forwarding, in the proper sequence, to confirm, for myself, that the problem was indeed fixed. I figure it would only take a minute. SO I grabbed my “butt set” and frame clip and went to “get er done.”
But I only took a few steps to the door when I realized that my pockets felt a little light.
Yup, I left the keys in the cup holder of the van and had locked myself out, AGAIN!
So I called for help, and eventually got back into the van and back to the garage at the end of the day, SO GLAD, that the day was over.
As you might suspect, there was a full frontal assault of condemnation in each instance, and I credit the Lord for showing me who I am in Christ as the only way I am still not beating myself up this morning.
When you make a mistake like this, repeatedly, its hard to have any confidence that you are a capable human being. Your failures show your inadequacy and the enemy is there to accuse and to drive us into fear or depression because of them.
But luckily, this isn’t my first rodeo with dealing with condemnation and the Lord has shown me the way to overcome. Not surprisingly, the way to peace is to focus on Him rather than us and if we are being condemned by ourselves or the enemy, it doesn’t matter, we can still point to what is true about Him to restore us.
Yeah, I’m an idiot but God loves me anyway. Thank You God, Thank You Jesus, Thank You Holy Spirit.
While the world can and will rightfully judge my inadequacies and choose to reject me, the Lord accepts me for who I am, warts and all, failures and all.
While others may want to distance themselves from me when I mess up, The Lord draws closer to me.
And while bad things have happened to me, and mostly because of me, and will continue to happen to me, God is working all things together for my good. He has provided for me and given me good things in this life that I don’t deserve and, by God, for reasons I don’t quite understand and don’t want to question, He will continue to lead me into good things in the future, including His eternal kingdom.
During the processing of yesterday’s trauma, I went to my go to Bible verse to silence the voices of condemnation, if you don’t know it you haven’t been following me for long,
Romans 8:1 (NKJV) says
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
And those words reminded me that there was no condemnation for me, because I am in Christ Jesus. I am forgiven. I am accepted and loved by God. I am not judged by my performance or lack thereof. Even though I didn’t feel worthy, when I spoke it, I knew it was true.
In fact, as I received peace and joy over the reminder of who I am in Christ, I laughed and thought:
“Even though there very well SHOULD BE condemnation… There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus!
So if you have made same mistake twice in the same day, I’m right there with you, brother! And it is my prayer that you know who you are in Christ and that you know that regardless of what you do, if you are in Christ you are:
I am Including the link (https://www.ficm.org/ministry-materials/free-resources/) to the free resources page of Freedom in Christ Ministries, where you can download a copy of “Who I AM in Christ” List from FICM Today in case you don’t know, or you have forgotten who you are in Christ.
I also wanted to announce that registration for many new courses, including the Freedom In Christ Course, that l Iead on Tuesday nights in 2023, are now open at FICM. The link for that is on the blog as well: https://www.ficm.org/courses/level-1-get-started/ . Just find the course that is right for you and click on the “More Info & To Sign Up” tab to reserve your spot. Space is limited and registration closes on December 17th, so make plans to grow more and to learn more about your faith and yourself in 2023 by signing up today!
While we may always make mistakes this side of heaven, when we are walking and talking with God, we can move past them. If we fall down, God is always there to pick us up and to encourage us in the way we should go but we won’t receive His joy and peace unless we know who we are in Christ and remember to keep on walking and talking with Him.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verses are:
1 John 3:17-19 (NLT2)
17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?
18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.
19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.
Today’s verses encourage us to show our love for others by acting.
While money can be a sore subject in faith circles, let me apply a little healthy shame: Most of us have enough money to live well, and there are many in need, so let’s face it we should be compassionate and give, something!
If you are flat broke, I get it. But most of us aren’t and can give something. In fact if you are not giving regularly to your church, to ministries, or to charities, I have to encourage you to do it because verses like today’s verses indicate that a Christian should not be just one who says they care but is someone who actually shows it in action and giving is the easiest way to act.
Don’t get it twisted, I would rather you serve your church or the community at large in some manner to put your feet on the street in service to the Lord but if you can’t do that I would ask you to show your love for others by giving to the less fortunate in some way.
I look at my own life and my unwise spending and am literally ashamed at times of how badly I mismanage my life but the money I give to my church, spend on ministry expenses, or donate to charities are the expenses that I can look at and feel good about. It might not be much but at least I give something to someone rather than to myself.
Today verses tell us to enter into the life of discipleship with action, to DO SOMETHING, to share and to show God’s love in us with other people in our lives. So let your heart lead you to step out and give or to do something for someone, somewhere, for the glory of the Lord.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
The Church of Jesus Christ and Discipleship
The death of baptism means justification away from sin. In order to be freed from their sin, sinners must die. Whoever has died is justified from sin (Rom. 6:7; Col. 2:20). Sin no longer has any claim on those who are dead; with death the claim has been met and has ceased to exist. Justification from (άπὸ) sin can thus take place only through death. Forgiveness of sin does not mean that the sin is overlooked or forgotten; rather, it means that the sinner is really put to death and thus separated from (άπὸ) sin. However, the only reason the sinner’s death means justification and not condemnation is that this death is suffered in communion [Gemeinschaft] with the death of Christ. Being baptized into the death of Christ is what brings forgiveness of sins and justification and a complete separation from sin. In calling his disciples into the community of the cross, Jesus gave them the gift of justification, of death and forgiveness of sins. The disciple who followed Jesus in the community of the cross received no other gift than the believer who was baptized according to Paul’s teaching.
Although baptism requires a passive role on our human part, it must never be understood as a mechanical process. A look at the relation between baptism and Spirit makes this abundantly clear (Matt. 3:11; Acts 10:47; John 3:5; 1 Cor. 6:11; 12:13). The gift received in baptism is the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is Christ himself dwelling in the hearts of the believers (2 Cor. 3:17; Rom. 8:9–11, 14ff.; Eph. 3:16f.). Those baptized are the house in which the Holy Spirit dwells (οίκεῖ). It is through the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ remains present with us, and that we are in community with him. The Holy Spirit gives us a true understanding of Christ’s nature (1 Cor. 2:10) and of his will; the Holy Spirit teaches us and reminds us of all that Christ has said to us (John 14:26); the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth (John 16:13), so that we may not be lacking in the knowledge of Christ, and may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God (1 Cor. 2:12; Eph. 1:9). The Holy Spirit does not create uncertainty in us, but certainty and clarity. We are thus enabled to walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 18, 25; Rom. 8:1, 4), taking confident steps. After his ascension, Jesus did not withdraw from those who belong to him that measure of certainty which the disciples of Jesus enjoyed during their earthly community with him. By sending the Holy Spirit into the hearts of those who are baptized, the community with Jesus has in fact become so intimate that the certainty of knowing him is not only preserved, but increased and strengthened (Rom. 8:16; John 16:12f.).
In calling the disciples, Jesus demanded a visible act of obedience. To follow Jesus was a public act. In just the same way baptism is a public act, for in baptism we are incorporated into the visible church-community [Gemeinde] of Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:27f.; 1 Cor. 12:13). The break with the world which has taken place in Christ can no longer remain hidden; it must become externally visible through active participation in the life and worship of the church-community. Christians who are actively involved in the church-community take a step out of the world, their work, and family; they visibly stand in the community with Jesus Christ. They take this step on their own as individuals. But they regain what they have given up—brothers, sisters, houses, fields. Those who are baptized live in the visible church-community of Jesus Christ. What that means and entails must be examined in the following two chapters on the “body of Christ” and the “visible church-community.”
Baptism and the receiving of its gift take place only once. No one can be baptized twice with the baptism of Christ. The fact that this gracious act of God is unique and cannot be repeated is what the Letter to the Hebrews is trying to express in that mysterious passage about the impossibility of a second repentance after baptism and conversion (Heb. 6:4ff.). All those who are baptized are participating in Christ’s death. Through his death, they have received their death sentence and have died. And just as Christ died once and for all (Rom. 6:10), and just as there can be no repetition of his sacrifice, so do those who are baptized suffer their death with Christ once and for all. Now they are dead. The daily dying of the Christian is now merely a consequence of the one death that has already taken place in baptism, just as a tree dies whose roots have been cut off. Those who have been baptized live henceforth under the motto: “Consider yourselves dead to sin” (Rom. 6:11). They know themselves only as those who have already died, as those who have already undergone everything that is necessary for salvation. Those who have been baptized draw their life not from a real repetition of Christ’s death, which would have to be accomplished ever anew as an act of grace. Instead, their life springs from looking back again and again, placing their faith in Christ’s death as an act of grace which has already been fully accomplished in their baptism. They live out of the once-and-for-allness of Christ’s death.
The fact that baptism can take place once and only once has important consequences with regard to infant baptism. The question is not whether or not infant baptism is really baptism. But precisely because it is indeed baptism, that baptism that takes place only once and cannot be repeated, infant baptism requires certain restrictions in its use. True, it was certainly not a sign of a healthy church life when, in the second and third centuries, believing Christians postponed their baptism until they reached old age or were already on their deathbeds. But this practice nonetheless speaks of a clear insight into the nature of baptismal grace, an insight which is widely lacking today. With regard to infant baptism this means that the sacrament should be administered only where it is certain that the act of salvation already accomplished once and for all will be repeatedly remembered in faith. And that can only be the case in a living church-community. Infant baptism without the church-community is not only an abuse of the sacrament. It also betrays a reprehensible thoughtlessness in dealing with the children’s spiritual welfare, for baptism can never be repeated.
For those who were called, Jesus’ call was equally unique and unrepeatable. Whoever followed him had died to their previous life. This is why Jesus had to require his disciples to leave all they had. Both the finality of their decision and the complete sufficiency of the gift they received from their Lord needed to be clearly expressed. “But if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?” It could not be stated any more pointedly than this that Jesus’ gift was offered and received once and once only. Having taken their life from them, he now sought to give them a life that was full and complete. And so he gave them his cross. That was the gift of baptism to the first disciples.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship