Release from Self-condemnation

Devotions for those who are weary of feeling not good enough, regardless of the source of those feelings.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Just Two Things to Remember...

You are not under the law, with its inexorable Do,
but under grace, with its blessed
 Believe what Christ will do for you.
–Andrew Murray[i]

We get balky when we feel we have to do something or abstain from something in order to gain favor with the Lord. And so the enemy makes it his business to convince us that we are surrounded with forbidden fruit and lists of rules.

Now of course, of COURSE we are not to lie, cheat, murder, covet, commit adultery, worship false Gods or created things, or dishonor our parents. We do need to remember the Sabbath day and not use the Lord's name as an expletive.  But because of Christ our salvation no longer rests upon human ability to keep the law.  And we have great freedom within the parameters of obedience.

Here I am at my all time chubbiest with a first place prize from
a contest held at our church.  This photo reminds me that
fat or thin, God is with me. He has given me a wonderful
prize that I don't deserve - the free gift of salvation through 
Christ.  He loves me, is acting on my behalf, and isn't going
to let me (or you) go. Blessed be His Name!  
Satan doesn't usually waste his time trying to get us to break one of The Ten Commandments--he does something both simpler and more devious; he gets us to set up rules for ourselves and then sits back and watches as we assign holy significance to our self-imposed "shoulds." The enemy is delighted as we bask in the bitterness of self-condemnation when we fail.  I should be thinner. I should be a better manager. I should be more organized.  I should eat right. I should exercise more. I should do a better job with ... (fill in your own blank here).  

Jesus gave us just two laws to follow:  we are to love God with everything we've got, and we are to love others as He has loved us.  

Transformation comes, not as we work harder to achieve our own goals, but as we learn more of God's great love for us.  Every permanent heart change begins with God's love for us and is expressed when we extend that love to others.  

Two things to remember. Love God, love others.   

And though some other things might be better to avoid (as in eating all of the remaining Easter chocolate in one sitting), our right-standing with God does not depend on it but upon the shed blood of our Savior.   

Sometimes there is a long period of struggle, oppression, sense of being trapped by circumstances, or by our own inability to change our negative behaviors. God has a purpose for these times. If we have placed our full trust in His power to save rather than in our own power to save ourselves, these times can be endured without despair.  


[i] Andrew Murray, Abide in Christ: Thoughts on the Blessed Life of Fellowship With the Son of God (Philadelphia, H. Altemus, 1895) p. 30.  Digitizing sponsor: The Library of Congress. The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright restrictions for this item.  Available online

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