Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Handcuffed By Our Past

Too many of us are handcuffed by our past. God has called us, equipped us and put us in place but we fail to rise up to our calling because we continue to limit ourselves according to what we were or what we have done. We are afraid. I am not sure that we are afraid of failing or if we are afraid of being called impostors. We know that people know our past so who are we to try to be anything different, especially so radically different? We can say with David:

For I know my transgressions,    and my sin is always before me. (Psalm 51:3)

Now imagine if your past was known throughout the world. Imagine if people in the Body of Christ had suffered at your hands. Imagine if thousands of people blamed you for the lose of their home, for being forced to move away from family, for having to learn new languages, new customs in a new country. Now imagine you were told by God to go to these same people to encourage them with the gospel. Would you do it, or would your past handcuff you?

Perhaps we can begin to understand the faith and obedience apostle Paul had to show by doing this. It is different then going to those who harmed you. Giving forgiveness is one thing, seeking it is another. It takes a lot of confidence in God to face those you have harmed and be God's representative to them. The world and even some in the Church would say you are disqualified, but not God:

For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. (1 Corinthians 15:9)

There was always this sense in Paul that his sin was always before him. It is not that he did not accept God's forgiveness nor that he did not forgive himself, he just always remembered what he was saved from. It kept him humble and appreciative of God's grace. However, he also knew the value of that grace and would not allow his past to prevent his present:

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)

It was by that grace that Paul was able to stand before those people he had sent to flight during his persecution of the Church and to minister to them by the Spirit. We hope it was also by that same grace that they forgave and accepted Paul and the message he bore.

It is this grace that allowed Paul to say "I am what I am". There is the key to those handcuffs. By the grace of God I am what I am. Paul said that he did not deserve this but he found himself in this position because of God's grace. We deserve death not life but by God's grace we have life in abundance. We deserve to be kicked to the curb because of our past but by God's grace we are more than forgiven, we are also called to serve. We can't do anything about the perceptions of others who know our past but we can know who we are in Jesus today. We are who we are because of what Jesus has done, not that we deserved it but we have received it by his grace.

You are real, you are authentic, you have been called by God, you have received his grace. Your past is real but it is now forgiven so allow it to remind you of God's grace but today live in his love, forgiveness and power to do what he has called you to do. No excuses are accepted. You are what you are by the grace of Jesus Christ.

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Salviano Adão said...

VERY GOOD! BEAUTIFUL BLOG! I believe that God created the
man and left the instruction manual? a, a 'B? BLIA
SACRED!? The B? BIBLE? reveals the divine? the word
of God and does the canned goods, I usually say
that: • People need to stop eating everything
that d? o. And eat? Air to question! ? Someone? M listening
something from someone? m, and speaking out, without
questioning, wondering if? true or not? o. The
People need to ask! Being? that my
cren? to this according to the law of God? Being? that
the religion? what I was born I was always told the truth?
When a person dies it goes to where? It
back? The b? BLIA supports homosexuality? Who DOES NOT
inherit the kingdom of God? What should I know about
idolatry, images and sculpture? What should I know
about? single baptism? Being? which has a single one? AGENCY
to save? it? Who do I confess me, who
can you forgive me? Religion? Saves someone? M? These and
other questions and answers:
You? can tell, I j? I am saved? m! Let's atr? S
who DOES NOT this one? If you? want to get along with
world is hip? crit, but if you? want to get along
It has to be true!? Share this site
because:? Behold v? m days, saith the Lord Jehovah? in
will send a famine on earth, no? the famine of p? the,
nor a thirst for? water, but of hearing the words of
Lord. And go? The bums at a sea? another sea,
and at the north? the east; run? throughout the
to seek the word of the Lord, and n? to the
find? o. "(Am? s 8 see Chapter 11 and 12) Tell
others, why? n Lord? the delays
his promise, as some t? m by late: but
? long? nimo to you, no? the willing that any
lost, sin? that all should come to repentance.
? (II Peter chapter 3. See 8) and 'What does it all
men to be saved and come to the knowledge of
truth. Because h? a s? God, and an s? Mediator
between God and men, the man Jesus Christ. (The I
Tim? Teo cap 2 see 5 and 6) Whether you b? BLIA, cat? Lica
or evang? lesson here you? will take your questions.
Know the truth and the truth shall make you free
(John? 8 See chap 32) If you? have the courage to
ask, b? BLIA have? courage to reply!

Pastor Paul said...

I am sorry Salviano, but your translator program did a poor job of translating you. I cannot understand what you have written here.

Ma said...

Thank you,

I really have enjoyed reading your blog, I needed to hear this today. Especially today.

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