"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, September 7, 2012


2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV 1984)  "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

Last month I sat across the table from a young gal who is leaving a life and heritage of alcohol, drug addiction and hopelessness.  

I shared Christ's redemptive love with her and His desire to bring wholeness to her brokenness and healing to her past.  She is pursuing Christ, reconstructing a new life and building on the solid foundation of Christ.  

She wants more in life.  More peace.  More grace.  More growth.  More love.  More purpose.  Her longing for more, echoes the emptiness that aches to be filled.  Filled by the One, who is more than enough.  

She wrestles to embrace how God could forgive ALL she's done.  My struggle is no different than hers.  It is a natural forgone conclusion for those who acknowledge Christ's death as payment for their sin.  

When we understand the depth of our depravity and hideousness of our rebellion against a holy and righteous God can we then conclude, we don't deserve anything.  Until we recognize our sin for what it is, we won't even see a need for Christ. 

Truthfully, we deserve punishment and death.  God's grace is truly the beauty of the cross.  The Divine whispers, "I am enough.  My love is bigger than ALL your sin.  I became the wrath you wrestle to release.  Let it go."  

2 Corinthians 5:16 reminds us "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."  God had wrath that needed to be poured out because of our sin and He cannot turn a blind eye to rebellion.  God is both just and the Justifier.  He poured out on Jesus the wrath our sin deserved.  Christ was our propitiation, meaning, that Jesus pacified and turned away God's wrath through His death.

God can forgive ALL we have done . . . because of ALL Christ did. 

The enemy wants us to doubt God's ability to cover our sin.  Satan desires to hold us captive to our past.  When we question God's redemptive power in our lives we give the liar a reach into our hearts.  It is vital that we stand firm in the power of Christ's death to cover our sin.

The deceiver would like to use the sin in our life to keep us in bondage.  We can choose to hold and dwell on the past or overcome through Christ's power.  Bringing our past to the cross allows us to experience Christ's redemption in turning all things for our good and His glory. 

We may not forget our poor choices or hold off the consequences of our sin, but we can courageously move forward with God's promise that His blood is sufficient.  Sometimes, we can get so fixed on "forgetting our past" (dwelling on sin that entangled us) that we forget to see our past in light of where God is taking us, to remember His faithfulness and to walk in present victory.

Many times we allow our failures and past wounding to have too much influence in our lives. By holding onto our history we inhibit our future. When we cling to our past like a comfortable cloak of shame and guilt, it renders us ineffective for victorious living. We remain stuck in a pit of desperation, isolation and disappointment.

The resurrection power that raised my life of sin and baggage to a victorious life in Christ is the same resurrection power that heals ALL our sin and shame.

Accepting Jesus' death as payment for our sin means we receive it, approve it and believe it is enough.  When we neglect to do this, we are telling Christ, His blood is not able to wash us whiter than snow; that the cost of His sacrifice was insufficient to pay our debt.  

Until we break free from our entangled heart we will fail to experience the true victory available through Christ's authority. Otherwise, our pain and shameful past will fester and create more ache, rendering us ineffective for the abundant life Christ desires for us.

He will always be . . . more than enough.  Believe it . . . Receive it . . . Embrace it . . .

Heart Work:
God is in the business of delivering people from bondage and bringing redemption and wholeness to their lives. Do you actually live like you believe this? Consider your thoughts and actions. Do they really communicate this victory available in Christ?

Heart Exam:
Are you on the verge of falling apart?  What seeks to shatter you emotionally, spiritually, mentally or physically?

What sin or shame from your past do you struggle to let go of? (affair, divorce, abortion, addiction, abuse)

Do you believe Christ's blood is truly more than enough?  How do you question God's willingness and ability to cover your sin?

How can your struggles deliver the hope of Christ to others?

Heart Changing Word:
Psalm 32:5 (NIV)  "Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.  I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord' - and you forgave the guilt of my sin."

Psalms 34:18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

Psalm 40:2-3 "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord."

Psalm 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

Romans 3:22-26  "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.  God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood.  He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished  - he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to to just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."

Romans 8:11 "The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you."

Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose."

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all lour troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."

2 Corinthians 1:10b-11a "On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers."

Philippians 3:12b "I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Copyright 2012 by Hester Christensen. All rights reserved.