By Mary Southerland─
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV).
Friend to Friend
Dan and I have one favorite restaurant where we like to eat on our weekly date night. The food is delicious, the atmosphere is quiet, and the waitress makes us feel like we are the most important people on the planet. It is a great place to relax, catch up and make plans for the future. We go to this restaurant for us. It’s our spot.
Our grandchildren have a different spot where they love to go. It is definitely not quiet; the food is geared more to the taste of children,and finding someone who works there is often what I consider a modern day miracle. Yep … you are way ahead of me. It is Chuck E. Cheese!
But … I absolutely love going to Chuck E. Cheese! Let me explain. First, I score major points with our grandchildren. Second, it is easy to keep tabs on the kids at our local Chuck E. Cheese because it is small. Seriously, I can stand in the middle of the play area and see every grandchild. Third, there are so many games that every child can find at least one or two they enjoy playing. I like Chuck E. Cheese because it keeps the kids happily occupied for hours.
I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but there is another reason I love going to Chuck E. Cheese. I am hooked on one the games. The official name of the game is Smash A Munch, but I call it The Bam-Bam game. If you have ever been to Chuck E. Cheese you know exactly which game I’m talking about. Funny creatures pop up from random holes, and you hit them with a foam-covered bat to make them disappear. The more little creatures you hit and the faster you hit them determines how many highly coveted tickets you win.
Every time I play The Bam-Bam game, I am reminded of a spiritual truth that so many of us have so wrong. We honestly believe God plays a kind of spiritual version of The Bam-Bam Game with our lives. I’ve done it. I’ve had this perspective, thinking God sits in Heaven, holding a spiritual bat, just waiting for me to make a mistake. When I do, He laughs in delight and promptly smashes me back into the dark pit into which I have fallen.
Well, let me tell you the truth, girlfriend. That perception is a lie, straight from the pit of Hell, and smells like smoke! We need to understand who our Father truly is and how He really sees us. Grab hold of these truths!
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10, NIV).
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:14-15, NIV).
Know that the Lord is God. He made us, and we belong to Him; we are His people, the sheep He tends (Psalm 100:3, NCV).
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16, NLT).
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1, NIV).
Here it is. The almighty God, Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, Creator and Caretaker of the universe loves me and He loves you. Period.
We don’t have to try to be someone we were never created to be. We have nothing to prove to anyone. God has already settled all of that … and so much more.
Jesus came to earth and died on the cross to pay for our sins – past, present and future. His gift of unfathomable love covers it all. He is for us. He is with us. There is no condemnation – no Bam-Bam Game – in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Today, right now, celebrate the unconditional love, the unending grace, and the eternal forgiveness He freely offers.
Father, I want to thank You for loving me right where I am … just as I am. Please help me reject the lies that are filled with condemnation and blame. I choose to revel in the forgiveness I find in You. Today, I take hold of Your grace and love. Thank You, Lord, that I am Yours and You are mine.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
More from the Girlfriends
God really does have a special plan just for me. My highest act of obedience is to seek that plan each and every day.My book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, is the story of my struggle to see myself as God sees me, and in doing so, be set free from the darkness of judgment and condemnation. I encourage you to visit my online store and pick up a copy.