Thursday, September 8, 2011

No condemnation

I love it when God "layers" lessons for me. This happens pretty often and I still am amazed at how purposeful God is in how he teaches and guides me. I'm so thankful that He does it in a loving and gentle way.

One example of this happened on Sunday. I go to the worship service during the first hour and the sermon was on the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15). I went to my Sunday School class after worship and what do you think the teacher said that the lesson was on that day? You guessed it:  The Prodigal Son from Luke 15. It was so cool to have the background of the sermon so fresh in our minds and the teacher did a great job leading the discussion to build on the whole experience of the morning.

One theme that came out was the truth that in the parable, and in our lives with God, the Father, when we have trusted Jesus as our Savior (are "in Christ"), there is no longer any condemnation for sin. If you know the story from Luke 15, you remember that the father in the parable never had condemnation for his son, but instead showed him abundant grace and compassion. Our teacher even read Romans 12:1-2:
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death."
As a Christian, if you really stop and think about those verses and the truth of them, you can't help but have gratitude and appreciation for God's gift of grace. That means that the only ones left doing the condemning are Satan and ourselves (to ourselves and to others).

I was reminded of these verses from Romans again in my Jesus Calling devotion:
"Enjoy the warmth of My Presence shining upon you. Feel your face tingle as you bask in My Love-Light. I delight in you more than you can imagine. I approve of you continuously, for I see you cloaked in My Light, arrayed in My righteousness. There is no condemnation for those who are clothed in Me!" (p. 262)
And if that wasn't enough, God gave me one more layer through another blog/devotion that I read called "Encouragement for Today." I love how God does that! And I'm pretty sure He'll keep doing it, since He knows me better than I know myself and knows that I need the reinforced lessons. He's good that way (among many!).

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