Focus Verse: 2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
I’m guessing many of us have a few “if only’s” in our lives. Mistakes we’ve made that have left lasting impressions. Decisions that have impacted others deeply. Scenes from our lives that scream, "things would be different, if only this!"
Maybe the mistakes feel grave, in a forgiven but not forgotten way. Or maybe the mistakes are smaller but repeated. For others, secrets buried long ago, before we ever really loved Christ, have a way of taunting us now. And sometimes, even though we have the warmth of his grace, those secrets still somehow creep into our memory, triggering a little shame and doubt.
The season of Jesus is coming upon us quickly. The season where we celebrate his birth at Christmas and celebrate the holiness of Good Friday and Easter. It can be difficult to focus on the glory and triumphant power of Jesus, when we have clusters of shameful memories haunting us. But we can move on from that shame and intentionally take time to cleanse our hearts and our souls of those memories.
Paul understood there was always still work to do in that area. He said in Philippians 3:13-14 - I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
We can let memories taunt us, or we can boldly climb the mountain to glory.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says that if we are in Christ, our old things have passed away. Not just bad habits and poor decisions, but our memories too! No longer can we look to the shame of our guilt to absolve us. Instead, we are reconciled to God through Himself in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Put behind you that which is dead in you and be expectant about the work that Christ can do in you. If you find yourself frantically searching the bible for the right verse to give you some solace, try this instead: Open the Word of God and let the Holy Spirit search your heart, touching it exactly where it needs. Read and pray for peace and transformation. Read and pray for wisdom. Open your heart to let the story of Jesus reconcile you back to his Father.
Before we get swept away into the midst of the season, open your heart to the Holy Spirit and God’s word in order to prepare yourself to understand and appreciate the gift of this very Holy Season. don't let anything get in the way of fully loving and appreciating Jesus this Holiday!
May God Bless you this Holiday Season. I give thanks to the Father for Mary and Joseph’s faithfulness and to Jesus, whose sacrifice reconciles us and to the Holy Spirit who intervenes on our behalf. I pray that my heart is prepared to give thanks in a way that honors him in a way that truly recognizes the gift of the season.
Kass Fogle is a Contemporary Christian Author, Speaker and Blogger who lives with her husband and two teenaged children in South-Central Illinois. She is working on her first novel, Ruth's Garden and when she is not working the day job you can find her at the local coffee house writing, or at home baking, hanging out with family or causing trouble with her tight group of girlfriends. Kass is also a raging Football Mom.
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