I have been thinking a lot recently about being bogged down by the weight of my sin. I can lie in bed at night and re-hash sins from 40 years ago and still cringe as I think about them. We are taught about confession and repentance. We are taught about the work that Jesus did to cover our sins. Yet we often overlook an important aspect of the Christian life. We often fail to receive that forgiveness and recognize that Jesus not only took our filthy rags of sin on Himself, He also gave us his clean, shining robe of righteousness. The devil loves to see us bogged down in remembering our old sins. When we give into that, we are surrendering not to Jesus but to him. I am working this week on changing those mental habits. When I wake up in the night and start rehearsing the old mistakes and sins, I am reminding myself that yes, those things happened and yes, they were bad. However I have been forgiven, and those things no longer have hold of me. If I try to do an end-run around the sin and start worrying about the people who may have been wounded or offended by my sin, I remind myself that they are in God's hands and He can handle those wounds much better than I ever could! This I am not able to do in my own power; it is only done through the power and strength of the Spirit of God. You know what? He is a part of me and has freely given me HIS strength.
I think there is a lot more that can be said about this topic, and about the shame and guilt to which we tend to surrender. I'm working on getting those words in order. But in the meantime, please remember that acceptance of forgiveness is an important part of living the Christian life.
In your prayers this week, please remember the following:
- Nancy resumes chemotherapy this week. Please pray that this goes well. Pray for strength of body and soul for her and for her family.
- Gingie, Ashlee, Cindy, Debbie, Maria, Tiffany, Sandy, JR, and Ben are also battling cancer. Please pray for each of them, not only for the health of their bodies but of their souls as well. Pray for their families.
- Baby Ava had a heart procedure earlier this week. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors, for her health, and for all her family.
- Jim, Missy, Chase, Hazel, Rose, Phyllis, Chris, Rylan and baby Lucas each have some serious health concerns.
- Please pray for the Lewis family as they adjust to life without their Baby Ava.
- Pray for the children getting ready to go off to college (and for their parents!). This is such a crucial time of life with so many life-altering decisions being made. Pray that they will not be persuaded away from the Gospel of Jesus. Pray that they will not compromise on eternal issues. Pray that they will be instruments of God's grace and mercy and peace. And please remember to pray for their parents!
- Many denominations are meeting over the summer in Assembly, Convention, or whatever your church calls it. Please pray that these men will not spend time in trivial diversions, but will focus on the work God has for them to do. Pray for wisdom, for unity, for strength. And please pray for the families back home, that God will continue to protect them body and soul.
- Pray for your pastor! Pray for your pastor!! Pray for your pastor!!! And please do not forget to pray for your pastor's family!!!!
As always, thank you so much for your continued work.
God's peace to your hearts and homes.