Sunday, March 2, 2008

Forgiven, Redeemed, Freed!!! - Post 1 of 4

The love and forgiveness God offers is unreal isn't it? Toia’s recent entries and what we’ve been posting back and forth really got me thinking more and more about forgiveness. I believe the best example of love is absolute forgiveness, with the ultimate example taking place on Good Friday. His love & forgiveness is so unreal and unimaginable, yet it IS SO real and true and absolute. I am a visual learner (I think) --- so when I pray for forgiveness - I can literally visualize and imagine God just wiping my sins totally away. I'm new and fresh and rejuvenated after each time I ask for forgiveness even though I usually go to Him beat up, bruised and torn down because I've let the devil do that to me. Then after I've been cleansed and set free once again --- yes I mess up, but the beauty of it is, each time I come back to Him, it's like the first time I'm coming to Him with my sin. There is NO record of wrongs. On MY Heart, each time I go to Him I beat myself up about the fact that I've sinned yet again and fallen short once again and *I* remember the last time I came to Him with this same sin --- but He doesn't!! My past sin is totally wiped away in His eyes - not because of me but because the power of the healing Savior.

I know that when we allow Jesus to wash away our sins -- that those sins are completely and absolutely taken away and we are again given full access to Him. With unforgiven sin in our lives, we have a barrier in our relationship with God, but after Jesus intercedes for us, we are healed from the guilt that sin has put on us, completely! Anytime I write about there being anger, bitterness, or ugliness - I am talking about ME. It’s absolutely the truth that those things used to be what filled up the old Randi, the Randi pre-Savior. I know that so many can relate. In fact, I don't believe there is a person out there that doesn't have bitterness, anger or a history of pain --- otherwise why would we need Jesus. But I am not ashamed of the wrong I've done, I am not ashamed of the bitterness I've shown, the anger I've given, I'm not ashamed at just how much I NEED Jesus. Not anymore!! Jesus takes away all my shame. I want to do whatever I can to continually give myself and others a fresh start, all the time. Leaving no remembrances at all about the sin we've done. Wiping it away like Jesus! The reason I'm not ashamed is because it no longer exists. It's in the past...the only thing that exists right now is right now. Jesus really does totally wipe everything away. The devil is the one who keeps bringing it back to try to get us to think we're not worthy of absolute and extreme forgiveness - or to try to convince us we'll never change or never get better - he tries to define us by our failures --- but that is not what Jesus says!!

My point is that I need to ALLOW God to cover all my bad up. and cover up the bad of others in my mind! I have a lot of bad. I want NO anger, NO bitterness and NO pain to show through me - because I don't FEEL those things at all anymore - I feel a new Spirit.

I learn more and more every day how humbling my humanness is. I'm just one big mess up without Jesus. But, I have learned more than I ever knew before, just how much I need fixing - how much I need Jesus, big time. My sins, every time I fall short of being christlike, humble me so much - and make Jesus that much sweeter to me.

We need to let Him completely redefine us!! It’s not like, “yeah I asked forgiveness but I’ll always be known as the person who did xyz”…. NO that’s not what absolute and extreme forgiveness does!!! It FREES you with no remembrance of your past shame!! I feel so much freedom knowing that I am not defined by my past anymore. Like one of my fave pastors used to say, "You are a child of THE most high God. You are royalty and the devil is not and never will be again --- so he is jealous. He wants to tear you down and he will use anything. He will distort our minds so much that even scripture feels like an attack instead of an uplifting encouraging hopeful message! Don't let him have any power over you. You have Jesus in you and Jesus is an encourager, an uplifter. He doesn't tear down. He might nudge you to change and allow you to be scuffed up a bit - but He will always pick you right back up and restore you!" (well okay - that is my pastor's message translated into my words)

I know I mention this often, but since guilt was one way the devil always used to keep me from realizing and receiving Jesus' blessing in my life, I feel the need to write about it again. I have realized that guilt that leads to forgiveness is a wonderful thing - it's a *gentle* nudge from our Savior that we have done wrong and need to repent....but guilt that comes from our peers, that comes AFTER we have been forgiven - is not a good guilt. It's guilt from the devil and you need to absolutely push that away. If you do have guilt from peers..... if you do have peers that you feel just always are knocking you down..... they probably aren't even meaning to cover you with that negative or be mean at all - but that is how the devil works (or maybe they ARE trying to be intentionally hurtful - but let's just assume the best of our fellow christians and assume they don't realize how hurtful they are). I believe that when direct communication is broken between people, that is when the devil steps in big time. He will use one person's words against another - even words that were meant to be encouraging, he can twist to be ugly and hurtful! The devil plants seeds in our minds that somebody is out to tear us down - and then we assume that this person is malicious or out to get us and we blow things way out of proportion. We read into their words, their intentions and it gets all jumbled. The devil loves to cause confusion and distortion doesn't he? I will continue more of this on my next post about love & forgiveness in relationships.......

For more .... here are more of my thoughts from Easter time last year on my old blog:

http://therooksfamily.blogspot.com/2007/04/as-i-keep-reading-and-talking-to-others.html



and also Toia's freedom blog:


http://designers-original.blogspot.com/2008/02/freedom-word-fighters-friday.html


To be continued.........


4 comments:

Toia said...

Oh, Randi, my how God is using you so mightily through these words. I love the second paragraph about how unforgiveness blocks us off from having a relationship God and how you said you are not ashamed of all the wrongs you've done, of how much you need Jesus, etc. My spirit is stirred up!!

A lot of people are going to be set free from the bondage of unforgiveness.

(Now, I think I got it right.)

Candy-Faith said...

:)

Rebekah said...

This is very timely for me. As I worked last night, I was wrestling with some anger and thoughts of unforgiveness. Thank you for this.

carebear said...

Hey...remember I'm reading this from top to bottom...maybe I should start at your oldest post and work my way up! ;)
This does help me out on my thought process from before! I need to realize that I NEED other people. I've done so much in my life to make me independent that I think it has even driven me from an independence from our Savior...which I do NOT want!!! I need to rely on Him more like you have said in your emails a couple weeks ago. I am getting there...baby steps! I'm really looking forward to reading your thoughts on here...I'm so psyched up about it now!! And don't worry about posting reponses...you can email me or just leave it. If I see something that catches my eye that no one else has responded too, I'll comment. But I don't want you to have to go back several months worth of posts just to see my take on it! :) Thanks though, I know how thoughtful you are!