February 24, 2010
"I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago" (Psalm 77:11 NIV).
Friend To Friend
Sometimes it is easy to read about Adam and Eve's failure in the garden and wonder how they could have been so disobedient. But in reality, this is not Adam and Eve's story alone. It is our story as well. We make decisions daily that dishonor God or honor God. We disobey, take charge of our own lives, and become Lord of our own ring. Then like Eve, we try to cover up our shame and even attempt to hide from God.
Do you know the first question God asked in the Bible? After Adam and Eve cowered in the bushes, hiding from God, He asked - Where are you? God knew exactly where they were, what they had done, and how the enemy had tricked them. However, He decided to remain in relationship with them and begin the process of restoration which was completed on Calvary's cross. He asks us the same question today when we attempt to hide … Where are you?
I think "but God" are two of most beautiful words in Scripture. The Bible says, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). When did we become sinners? The first time we sinned? No, we were born sinners and that sin is what separated us from God. While we were yet sinners, He became the perfect sacrifice for us, not to cover our sin, but to cleanse us forever - once and for all. Salvation Army Officer, John Allen once said, "I deserved to be damned in hell, but God interfered." God interfered, intervened, and intercepted our death sentence. He sent His Son, who paid the penalty for our sin and all we have to do to receive the pardon is to accept His wonderful gift.
How do we receive the gift? "If you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus as Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). When you accept Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior, you are freed from the penalty of sin (spiritual death and eternal separation from God) and He gives you a new living spirit. Someone once said, "Salvation is moving from living death to deathless life."
"All this is from God who reconciled us [joined us back together] to himself through Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:18 AMP). Once there was a Christian group who sang a song with a line that said, "There's a bridge to cross the great divide." However, when they were recording, someone sang, "There's a cross to bridge the great divide." Suddenly, they realized that they had not made a mistake at all. We were separated from God because of sin, but He sent His Son to die on Calvary's cross to bridge the great divide.
Why did God do this for us? "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16 NIV). The Greeks had three words for life: bios (life of the body), psyche (life of the soul), and zoe (life of the spirit). Guess which word for life is in John 3:16? Zoe - life of the spirit! When you become a Christian, your spirit is reborn and you become a brand new creation. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV). We were crucified with Christ and now we no longer live, but Christ lives in us (Galatians 5:20 NIV).
What about those glaring needs that cropped up as a result of Adam and Eve's sin in the garden? What about feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy that so many struggle with today? Here's what the Bible says: "So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so, through one act of righteousness, there resulted justification of life to all men" (Romans 5:18, 19 NASB). All were condemned because of Adam's disobedience and all who accept Jesus are freed because of Christ's obedience. At the moment of your salvation, everything mankind lost when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden was returned to you in Jesus Christ. Once again you have:
Significance because of who you are in Christ.
Safety and security because of what you have in Christ.
A sense of belonging because of where you are in Christ.
Your glaring needs have been fulfilled and transformed into your glowing attributes. The question is, why don't we act like our needs have been fulfilled? Why do we continue to struggle with feelings of shame, fear, loneliness, and rejection? Why do we continue to try to get our needs met by our own means? Because even though our spirits are changed in an instant, our minds must be renewed, our wills must come under the control of the Holy Spirit, and our emotions must be reprogrammed.
It's a process and that's why Girlfriends in God even exists. We are learning, growing, and reprogramming our minds together. And as we do, we grow more and more spiritually beautiful every day.
Dear LORD, all through the Old Testament, the patriarchs told the Israelites to "remember." Today I stop and remember all that You have done for me. I remember what I was like before I came to Christ and I remember all that You have done to bring me to Yourself. Thank you, Father. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Holy Spirit. May the remembrance of Your mercies be new every morning.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
Sometimes, when you have been a Christian for many years, you forget just how amazing the gift of salvation really is. Today, I'm not going to ask you any questions, but I do want you to go back and reflect on the verses in this devotion. Write out your own prayer of gratitude for all that God has done to bridge the great divide that separated you from Him.
More From The Girlfriends
Have you ever felt this way: "If I'm a new creation, then why don't I feel like one and why don't I act like one?" If so, then perhaps you need to read. Becoming Spiritually Beautiful - Seeing Yourself Through God's Eyes by Sharon Jaynes. (This book was previously titled Experience the Ultimate Makeover.) In this book you'll discover the secrets to spiritual beauty and to becoming a radiant Christian woman. It also comes with a Bible Study guide for those who want to spend extra time at God's spa!
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Wednesday, 24 February 2010.