In essence, I could write about the Nature of several things :) But this was particularly of interest to me, and I hoped it would bless you too!
As believers, it is our responsibility “to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.” (2 Peter 1:5-9). Having increasingly tried to have an increase in each of these qualities, I would say I long to progress in each step, in which I find myself currently is adding knowledge to my goodness and then self control to that knowledge so that I may increase in perseverance from which more of the godliness of the Holy Spirit’s guidance will be lived out in my life through mutual affection and love. All of these, too, encourage and strengthen my faith, that I may add goodness to it and continue to grow, and so forth :)
The Walk is always growing, evolving, increasing - doing away with what isn’t correct in my thinking, understanding, or current place in time and replacing it with what is pleasing and correct in terms of my thinking, doing, believing, and then sharing as well. It is a profoundly exciting journey, and I look forward to each minute of the day now more than ever before, looking for those things with which the Lord uses to speak to me, teach me, and share His love to and through me. This is a blessed life.
My Aunt Renee recently, being the incredibly beautiful and sweet person that she is, sent me a care package to say “thank you” for helping my younger cousin Taylor with some of her essays, and such. I’d love to do it anyway, but it was such a wonderful gift in return! Inside the care package, alongside a card, a gift card, two lovely magnets which light up my fridge, and two awesome book marks, was a devotional by Oswald Chambers called My Utmost for His Highest. At first glance, I wasn’t sure about how this reading would integrate into my life, but being a devotional, I simply began with the day it arrived, and have read a passage for each day since. In short: revolutionarily sound and intriguing.
I’m not sure if he intended (though I think he did) to thematically group his topics, but the past three entries have been on “The Nature of Degredation, Regeneration, and Reconciliation”. Profoundly insightful. So I wanted to share one that I really enjoyed with you :)
“The Nature of Reconciliation
Sin is a fundamental relationship - it is not wrong doing but wrong being - it is deliberate and determined independence from God. The Christian faith bases everything on the extreme, self-confident nature of sin. Other faiths deal with sins - the Bible alone deals with sin. The first thing Jesus Christ confronted in people was the heredity of sin, and it is because we have ignored this in our presentation of the gospel that the message of the gospel has lots its sting and its explosive power.
The revealed truth of the Bible is not that Jesus Christ took on Himself our fleshy sins, but that He took on Himself the heredity of sin that no man can even touch. God made His own Son “to be sin” [by becoming human] that He might make the sinner into a saint. It is revealed throughout the Bible that our Lord took on Himself the sin of the world through identification with us, not through sympathy for us. He deliberately took on His own shoulders, and endured in His own body, the complete, cumulative sin of the human race. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us…” and by so doing, He placed salvation for the entire human race solely on the basis of redemption. Jesus Christ reconciled the human race, putting it back to where God designed it to be. And now anyone can experience that reconciliation, being brought into oneness with God, on the basis of what our Lord has done on the cross. [Amen]
A man cannot redeem himself - redemption is the work of God, and is absolutely finished and complete. And its application to individual people is a matter of their own individual action or response to it. A distinction must always be made between the revealed truth of redemption and the actual conscious experience of salvation in a person’s life.”
After reading this, I found in me an even wider appreciation for Christ’s act of becoming a man that we might find life in Him after He conquered death by death. The one part of this devotional (and I do hope you enjoyed it, that it made you think, that perhaps you’re now questioning yourself and any preconceived notions…) that I did not necessarily agree with was the part about the gospel having “lost its sting and its explosive power”. I do believe that Satan has taken his time, trying to marr the image of the gospel and the true meaning of Christianity. But I know that the Word of God and Jesus Christ are still working miracles all over this planet. It’s evident in all of the lives that are changed - and not just changed like sometimes you’re nicer and you’re enjoying the thought of going to heaven (though those things are beautiful :) ) - but the hard changes. The “I know for a fact that I could not be where I am today had God not come in and rescued me from myself and the enemy of my soul” changes. I have experienced several of these radical changes in my life - as I continue to grow as well. And as I daily hear testimony after testimony after testimony of God’s GREAT love, healing power, and the desire for a personal relationship with us… I am just all the more moved and willing to seek Him and trust Him with every part of me. That is my reasonable sacrifice, to give Him my whole life, as He gave His for mine.
As always, I truly pray that you, if you have not already, will seek to find the Lord and at least give yourself the opportunity to taste and see of His goodness. It does take belief and effort on your part… but God has a way of speaking right to you. To let you, out of a room full of people, know exactly that He knows who you are, and He knows where you’re at - and most of all, that He loves you, and will never leave you (and has never), nor forsake you. It is a profoundly incredible insight to have the assurance to know that the God of all the universe knows your name and Loves you intimately as His child. It is a priviledge, and a grace unlike any other that you will find on this planet. And in that… I see the truth of resting in Him and hoping others will find His goodness as well :) I pray you will, if you haven’t already.
Love you! and God bless you in Jesus’ name <3