Blood POURED out

I am so grateful that God sent his son to die; his blood covering my sins.  It is an amazingly relieving truth to know that I am forgiven.  In order for this truth to become a reality though, Jesus did have to die.  That is not a pretty sight.  It is gruesome and ugly, and yet somehow the truth of forgiveness is beautiful.

If you have ever wondered if Jesus’s blood is good enough for your sins, notice the way it is described in the bible: his blood was poured, not dripped, not leaking, not sipped, but spilled out.  If you have a bucket of paint and you pour it out over your painting, nothing is left uncovered.  Every nook and cranny is filled with the paint.  So to is your life.  Every nook and cranny is filled with forgiveness.

Okay, so maybe the forgiveness helps hide some of the sin but does it really cover it? Isn’t it still there underneath?

In an old small group that we were a part of, we did some art worship (shout our to Dan and Krissann Janowitz).  As I worshiped God with my horrendous painting ability, I learned something about forgiveness.  When I started, I want to make my colors a little darker, so I added just a little bit of black.  It didn’t take long, and every color that I had put on the page was black.  Very little shown through the black, except the things that I intentionally tried to keep the black away from (and even then, this was a hard process).

God’s forgiveness is the same way.  Forgiveness doesn’t mean that we can hide our sin, but instead that the cost that has been incurred by sinning has been payed in full.  It no longer exists. You are forgiven.

If you are struggling to know that you are forgiven,. I encourage you to read the bible and see the truth that God has shared with us.  We are more forgiven than we could ever know.

If you still struggle with knowing you are forgiven, I encourage you to talk to your pastors and start exploring what the Bible says about forgiveness with them.  Start the conversation and God will help finish it.


I’m Pressing the Reset Button Now

Reset. Start over. Try again. Do overs. I feel like this is my theme right now, and it is apply to every area of my life.

I find myself getting stuck in a cyclical pattern of personal growth where I make some progress towards growth, then stop pursuing growth which means I stop making growth (or even backtracking), and then I face the decision whether to start the pursuit again or give up. I get really frustrated when I realize that I’ve stopped trying, especially when I’m desperately trying to make growth. There are two areas where this frustrates me the most, 1) my relationship with my Savior, and 2) my relationship with myself.

One of my big pictures goals is to have self-control, while still submitting wholeheartedly to the Lord. I let things like anxiety, delicious desserts, netflix, and the enemy (who likes to use self-doubt, self-hatred, and the “you can’t do it” mentality) make decisions for me so that I don’t do what I’ve just said I’m going to do. We all deal with this! And I keep saying to myself that I’m going to stop letting everything around me dictate what decision I’m going to make.

But I have to fight this pattern several times every day, and I have to constantly be putting in the effort to make better choices. But I mess up. A lot. And sometimes, I make a string of bad choices before I catch myself. And so what happens? I have to reset. I have to stop, think, and make the right choice. I also have to forgive myself for my mistakes, and when sin is involved, I have to ask God (and often Dan) to forgive me as well.

These cycles even happen in my relationship with God as well, specifically in my spiritual practices, like daily prayer and scripture reading. It’s not that my faith is wavering, but it is my ability to put Him first each and every moment of each and every day. That is a choice that we all have to make. And even when we make the wrong choice, He is always there to welcome us back like the prodigal son.

Scripture constantly uses the word “steadfast” to describe God, which is good news to us because we are such flaky beings! We have a steadfast, unchanging, unwavering God who is not going to shift on us when we make wrong choices! I am so thankful that our God is this loving, merciful, and awesome to not be thrown off when I’m dancing around in circles instead of walking on His straight path. Now, I just have to choose to cling to Him.

I’ve had a bit of a “blog drought” and I’m hoping that this post will be another chance for me to reset here as well. Life constantly involves moments were we just have to reset ourselves so that we can get back on the path we want to be taking. I pray that He can lift me up and get me back on track so that I’m walking in His way, and I humbly ask that you pray for me as well. Thank you!