Sunday, March 25, 2012

Your idenitity and your victory is secure in Christ.

In Susie Larson's book, "The Uncommon Woman: Making an Ordinary Life Extraordinary", she tells of a time when she was walking home and was knocked down by a group of boys and beaten up by them. She was outnumbered, overpowered, and screaming for help, while a neighbor kid watched from a distance and did nothing to help her. When the boys decided they were done, they took off running and disappeared into the neighborhood. Susie says she was, "lying in a heap with dirt in (her) teeth, a bloody lip, a scratched face, snarled hair, and an extremely achy body." Read what Susie says later in this chapter as she reflects on this experience:

As I have studied the life of Jesus, the depth of His character has continually overwhelmed me. Everything He did, everything He went through, was for something. When I think back to that time on the baseball field, I remember someone who stood at a safe distance while I took a beating. When it came right down to it, he wasn't going to risk getting hurt for me even though I was outnumbered and outsized. Because he didn't help me, I believed that I would always be at the mercy of my circumstances and that no one would ever stop bullies from being bullies.

But then I picture the scene before Jesus' crucifixion; I see the Savior lying in the dirt with fistfuls of His beard ripped out and spit on His face; I imagine Him surrounded by mockers and tormentors. . . and I realize He did the much harder thing. In fact, He did for me what I could not do for myself.
He defeated my foe. He won the war. And He secured my victory. He made a way for every person who has ever been knocked down to get back up again.

Though hard times come and people are cruel, we don't have to live tormented by our fears, nor do we have to be forever impaired by our past defeats. The more we understand who and whose we are, the more we'll truly believe that God will restore every lost thing. We'll comprehend which battles are ours for the taking and when it's good just to hide in the shadow of His wing and rest awhile. Jesus loves us so much and always has a watchful eye on us. Here's what He says:

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father's hand." (John 10:27-29 NLT)
Jesus led by example; He showed us how to walk, how to live, and how to love. When He was accused, He didn't become insecure; He already knew who He was. When He was mistreated, He didn't fight back; He saw past it. When He should have turned His back on us all, He instead prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing."

What kind of change could be affected in our world if we, as Christ's followers, had lines we wouldn't cross no matter what anyone else was doing or saying? If we could remain kind while others are cruel, if we could keep from hating while others do dreadful things--are there any bounds to what the Lord could do through us?

No matter how the enemy has tried to knock you down, whether by sickness or betraying friends, by past fears or current financial hardships, God can lift you up again and make something beautiful of your life.
Pictured above:
Author of "The Uncommon Woman: Making an Ordinary Life Extraordinary", Susie Larson.

Awesome song time.

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