Monday, September 26, 2016

Hope Replaces Condemnation

Excerpt from Words of Hope


Therefore, there is now
 no condemnation
 for those
 who are in
 Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1

Condemnation comes in many forms; criticism, disapproval, rebuke, judgment… Our world today seems filled with those who easily find fault in others; condemning you for your beliefs, words, or actions with no thought as to how their criticism and negative words might change the course of your life.

But, have you considered that you may be your own worst enemy when it comes to condemnation? Most likely you have heard the phrase “jack of all trades—master of none.” Those are the words that satan whispered in my ears for decades. Every time I heard a great pianist perform, an accomplished singer sing, read a fine work of literature, or saw a remarkable photograph displayed, my mind would rush to the “if only I had” focused on one thing: piano, vocal, composition, photography—“then I would not be a…jack of all trades and master of none.” Heaping condemnation upon myself became a bad habit.

Perhaps you too have played the self-condemnation game. But Romans 8:1 says “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” While we usually think of this verse in the context of freedom from sin by the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ, I would like you to think outside the box for a moment. 1 John 3:19-21 tells us that God is greater than your conscience, your thought process, or the rationalization of your behavior.

Psalm 139 beautifully proclaims God’s activity in your life before your lungs inhaled for the first time. Almighty God looked upon you while you grew in your mother’s womb. Verses fifteen and sixteen explain that before your body was formed, all the days God ordained for you were written in His book; before a single one of them came to be.

God loves you, and you are so precious to Him that rather than condemn you, when you were an embryo, in a little tight ball, He planned your days and wrote them down in His book. That does not mean we will never face trials, temptations, or sorrows but that as soon as you surrender your life to the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, you are in safe hands; no longer condemned. Sin cannot condemn you, satan cannot condemn you, and you cannot condemn yourself. 

Never again allow satan to whisper, “You are not good enough,” in your ear. Never again allow him to convince you that you have sinned too often, been too bad, or done too much wrong to be useful in God’s Kingdom. Never again allow satan to make you believe that you are “just ok” in your service for the Father, because 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our “enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Do not let it be you! Find hope in the words Jesus spoke to a woman caught in the act of adultery in John 8:11b, “And Jesus said unto her, ‘Neither do I condemn thee go, and sin no more.’” (KJV) Let hope replace condemnation in your life.

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