So yesterday he read some verses from Romans 6 and then proceeded to share the last year or so of his life. He shared how he let God be in control-and how that meant moving back to Morgantown. Moving from a stable job in Charleston to a much shakier one here. Moving his family from a community of friends and family to a new place. One of the verses that he shared was Romans 6:4 "We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life." And Ben asked--are you walking in newness of life or just saying it. Are you living like Christ gave you a fresh start or just paying lip service to Him?
And I froze. I froze because I knew my answer. I knew that the last year or so of my life, I let circumstances overwhelm me, I let my priorities get all out of whack. I was saying all the right things but not living with JOY.
But, I was encouraged too. I love that God does this to me all the time. I am both terrified and motivated by Him. So Ben's challenge was to say what is it that God is wanting you to do? You are where you are for a purpose, there is a reason. Pray hard, expect a lot. Cause life with Jesus is FULL. It is not boring. It is an adventure. (P.S. I am putting the book Lion and the Lamb on my list of books to read cause Ben read some passages from it and it sounds awesome).
So this week (and every week hopefully) I am going to focus on walking in newness. Believing that I am forgiven for past sin, knowing that Christ died for me and when he rose he conquered sin and death. I am not my mistakes--nor am I my successes. I am His. I am new.
This is heavy stuff and if you know me feel free to talk to me about it. My blog is not theological-and I don't want it to be. But when I am overwhelmed by God (which happens a lot lately) I want to share it.
I want to end with a Prayer from a book called Valley of Vision ( a book of Puritan Prayers recommended by Chelsy (I'll be Brief)) that I read everyday during my quiet-times. It was SPOT on today (as usual)!
The Broken Heart
No day of my life has passed that has not proved me guilty in thy sight.
Prayers have been uttered from a prayerless heart;
Praise has been often praiseless sound;
My best services are filthy rags.
Blessed Jesus, let me find a covert in thy appeasing wounds.
Though my sins rise to heaven Thy merits soar above them;
Though unrighteousness weighs me down to hell,
Thy righteousness exalts me to they throne.
All things in me call for my rejection,
All things in Thee plead my acceptance.
I appeal from the throne of perfect justice to they throne of boundless grace
Grant me to hear Thy voice assuring me:
that by thy stripes I am healed,
that Thou wast bruised for my iniquities,
that Thou hast been made sin for me
that I might be righteous in Thee,
that my grievous sins, my manifold sins, are all forgiven
buried int he ocean of Thy concealing blood.
I am guilty, but pardoned,
lost, but saved,
wandering, but found,
sinning, but cleansed.
Give me perpetual broken-heartedness,
Keep me always clinging to Thy cross,
Flood me every moment with descending grace,
Open to me the springs of divine knowledge,
sparkling like crystal,
flowing clear and unsullied
through my wilderness of life.