When the Name of Jesus Puts You on the Blacklist

#faith #fear #grace

She and I? We've known each other practically forever, so, I wondered, "Why is she hurting me so much?"

She stood far, whispering deep thoughts to others. All I knew, was - I was getting the cold shoulder and, clearly, I was now bumped right out of her ring of friends.  When she finally did speak to me, hardly two words escaped her mouth. I wasn't sure what I had done wrong, except for I had been a vocal about sharing different perspectives. I had given words to a different path than her; I guess she didn't like it.

As Christians, there is a risk to sharing the light of faith. You can get burned.

And, even worse, sometimes afterwards, you leave with the heavy weight you did it:
A. At the wrong time.
B. In the wrong way.
C. With the wrong words.
D. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Often, when the sting of embarrassment sets in, 
we more want to run from Christ, than reflect him again.

Ever noticed?

It makes it nearly impossible to be Christ to the least of these,
when we feel like the least of these.

To walk full of love, 
when dragging a bag of shame and uncertainty.

To think about caring,
when all you're doing is caring about yourself.

A mind going bonkers, like this:
"I didn't show Christ."
"She hates me."
"I looked like an imbecile."
"I should have connected better."
"I am now the talking point of the game 'Telephone'"

Doesn't as easily dwell on thoughts like this:
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. (Psalm 34:4-5)

It is easy to let what you didn't do, become the focus of who you are, unless you let the Word of God redefine it...

Romans 8. It did it for me.

It is a stirring chapter; you can apply it to nearly any circumstance where you feel:
1.) Off Track
2.) Self-Consumed
3.) Unclear about how to proceed.
4.) Busted and left for ruin.

Do you feel any of these in your life?

Check it out. Let's Pray Romans 8:

Thank you God that there is "no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)

There is no erasing that, through Jesus, and the Spirit, I have life and am set free from sin and death. (Romans 8:2) With this, I need not fear what I have done wrong or what I am prone to do wrong. I will fail, but Jesus never can. This is my hope and this is my future. This a change-maker in me and through me.

Lord, help me to live according to the Spirit, not according to the flesh, so that I can have my mind set on what the Spirit desires (Romans 8:5).

Shift my thinking your way.
Shift my attitude your way.
Shift my love your way.
Shift my plans your way.
Shift my heart your way.
Keep my mind stayed on Spirit.

If my mind is on Spirit, and in Spirit, I will naturally shift towards life and peace (Romans 6:8). Keep me there. If I think anything else, besides, life and peace, help me wake up to the idea that I am driven by flesh. I don't want to be hostile to God or have a mindset which you, God, clearly say cannot please you (Romans 8:7,8).

Help me shift, Lord.

Let me not forget, God, the power that is in me. There is incredible power that I can access and rely on, when only I seek and submit to it, "the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit." (Romans 8:11) What is in me, has the ability to hug the rude.

Thank you Lord, that those who are led by the Spirit are children of God (Romans 8:14). Through this, I am not a slave, bowing down to fears, but I am a daughter of the most high King. He will take care of me, he will fight for me, he will love me and he will endure for me. I can cry "Abba, Father," by the Spirit and with full knowledge that I am okay (Romans 8:15).

God, help me endure sufferings, because your promise was not that we wouldn't hit them, it was just that you would bring us through them (Romans 8:17), and even more, you say those who share in sufferings, share in your glory. Give me your eyes to see this perspective and lead me. Teach me. Help me. May I submit to Spirit. May I pray continually and may I seek to love and lay down my life as Christ has. Amen.

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