Monday, April 25, 2011

the one about no condemnation

i hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend!! the weather was gorgeous here and it was so nice to be outside in the sunshine. i have many pictures to update you with later but here's just a snapshot of our day yesterday...beautifully green and sunny :)

i am blessed to attend a church (the Summit) that i love! i love the way we do everything - discipleship, small groups, serving, leadership, kids/student/college ministry, community outreach, missions...and i love even the way we are structured with different campuses. what i love most is that i know i can bring someone to any church service at any campus and they will hear the Gospel, preached by our pastor JD.

this past weekend, rob & i attended the noon Good Friday service and also attended our regular saturday night service at 6pm with some of rob's family. one of the greatest things i heard/learned this weekend was on friday...and it was so beautiful that i got to hear it then because it changed the way i celebrated and worshipped all weekend. i wanted to share it here first before i share all my pictures/stories from the weekend :)

the past couple weeks, ive been having a lot of internal struggles - in my mind, i demand perfection from myself and am really hard on myself when i don't reach that. of course i know the Truth - what God says and claims over me (see below for more)...but there are times when i reject it. JD has said in the past that whenever we have condemning thoughts in our minds we know that those are not from God. ive always agreed, knowing that God is loving and good...and wants good for me. JD brought this into a new light this past weekend though when he preached that God is not simply loving...but He is just. And that is why He cannot condemn me. Jesus has paid for my sin and i am FREE from condemnation not just because God loves me, but because He is just and unable to condemn me for my sin. hallelujah!! "therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (romans 8:1)!!

that changes everything for me. and it was incredible to celebrate the cross and resurrection again in that new understanding. i encourage you to listen to JD's two sermons from this can find them here.

one last quote i wanted to share from JD. it speaks about what our heart says about us vs. what God says about us:
God speaks to sinful, screwed-up people and declares them righteous and whole through the cross. We know our reality to be sinful, corrupted and dysfunctional. But when we believe His words, through His power of new creation we become those very things He declared of us.
That means that when someone (or Satan or my own heart) tells me I am a failure, or worthless, or sinful, I have a choice. I can believe what they say and become what they say about me, or I can believe what God says about me and become that. God says that in Christ I am a new creation. He says I am clean and forgiven. He says I have a future and a hope. He says I was chosen to be incredibly fruitful and a world overcomer. He says goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, that nothing can separate me from Him, and that no weapon formed against me will prosper.
I believe Him.

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