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Monday, September 4, 2017

Condemnation: Listen: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Romans 8:1

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

No Condemnation!

How is that possible? Every day we mess up somewhere. Even if others don’t see our failures we do. And depending on the chastising voices we carry around within us, or repeatedly hear from others around us, we know when we falter.

Factual—measurable—life consequences.

When Job’s life dissolved around him, his friends tried to help him discover the sins that had caused such disaster. Someone had to be at fault they immediately assumed. Our instinctive response is to punish. God chooses to offer each of us redemption.

It’s a difficult concept for our hearts and minds to adjust to and accept as a reality because we each know the reprimand we personally deserve on so many levels.

Yet, God says He does not condemn. When we listen to His words and His voice we hear forgiveness and mercy undergirding the accountability we still need to acknowledge. His love and grace restore us from a life lived within the sins.

So why can we not stop condemning ourselves, and others, with the same words of grace and understanding too? Instead, we often allow the accountability to become ongoing judgment that grows distrust and fear and suspicion and often hatred. We only recognize the outward stain of sin and, from our viewpoint. We see hearts as stained forever expanding the brokenness.

God’s words. His love. His river of grace sweeps all our prejudices of blame away like shattered glass. Instead we see through His eyes and the mirror reflects back hope. New life. New beginnings. We can take baby steps of comprehension of outstanding compassion.

Because of Jesus’ life sacrifice. He paid our debts. He opens a bold path to a new understanding. To now be able to truly listen to His words and hear their possibilities.

Lives that listen to an everlasting truth.

In Faith’s Check Book, author Charles Spurgeon says, “He who has purified us with the blood of Jesus will so cleanse us by the water of the Holy Spirit. … Cleansing is a covenant blessing and the covenant is ordered in all things and sure.”

To be cleansed, led, and refined by the Spirit’s discerning grace requires a whole new perspective from our human interpretations. It’s an inside-out comprehension that can often enable us to make bold steps of faith and insight. Towards lives that encourage us to walk with listening hearts.

Lord, today, whenever a word of condemnation forms against myself or another please remind me to change it to a word of prayer by Your grace.

Psalm of Worship: Isaiah 55:8

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.”

Through this study Listen, of Romans chapter eight, we will pause to hear the Spirit’s discerning words. Powerful words that too often get buried under daily stress. Do we trust in the Lord? Are we willing to be challenged and changed? Even in seasons of silence? Job never did receive answers. When he met with God all his questions dissolved. Being with Him alone gave Job a new foundation.

Mondays we will reflect on a Scripture passage. Wednesdays consider meditative questions. Fridays respond with poetry.

Thank you for sharing in our journey. Please share as you discover your own questions and insights, prose and prayers.

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