Pursuing the Presence, Purpose and Power of a closer walk with Christ

Posts tagged ‘sin’

From Rags to Riches

Wisdom that is from God's Word is more valuable than gold, silver or rubies.

Wisdom that is from God’s Word is more valuable than gold, silver or rubies.

If someone offered you riches beyond your wildest imagination in exchange for your rags, would it give you cause to heckle and spout off? Certainly, there have been many rags to riches stories bringing the pauper and unknown fame and fortune. And whom among us would not want a dream come true life filled with the abundance of earthly things.

When I was younger, I often wished for the inheritance of a wealthy unknown relative to come to pass. But, this wishful thinking was not my reality, in fact, my life at one point was filled with despair because of my sinful heart.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. (Isaiah 64:6 NIV)

Before I invited Christ into my heart, I felt dirty, ashamed, and in need of forgiveness. The moment I asked Jesus to forgive all my sin, I was cleansed of self-reproach associated with wrongful acts I committed and filled with his peace, joy and the promise of Eternal Life.

The good deeds done before coming to Christ would never be able to make-up for the wrong. My self-righteous acts were filthy rags before God who is Holy and all-powerful. The meaning of “filthy rags” written by Isaiah in the Bible are likened to a woman’s monthly sanitary protection. Yes, it is repulsive to think of such a word picture, but that is what our self-righteousness is before God Almighty. Only Jesus is righteous, but we can be clothed in his righteousness once we’re saved.

Yet, even though we were born into sin, our Loving Heavenly Father knew we needed a spotless lamb as our Savior to become sin for us and take our place on the cross. Jesus died on Calvary to cleanse and forgive our sins. John 3:16 says it best, “For god so loved the world he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have Everlasting Life.”

It’s wonderful that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords wants to share what he has with us. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 4:19 NIV)
It doesn’t mean we will get rich because we belong to Christ, if he so chooses to do that in our life he can. What I’m referring to is spiritual and eternal riches.

I find the abundant life in Christ and His Word to be wealth enough. That is my rags to riches story. I hope it is yours also. If it isn’t, I strongly urge you to decide that you want to know Jesus and experience the love he has for you. Then, the personal relationship with Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit will help you follow him the rest of your days.

Proverbs 8:10, “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” v18, “With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.” v20, “I walk in the way of righteousness. along the paths of justice, bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.”

The wise choice is evident. Do you agree?


A Stitch inTine

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You may have seen them out on the rural back-roads these past couple of weeks. Planting season is upon us and some of us have been delayed because of driving slowly behind a tractor that was either on its way to or coming from a field.

My neighbor owns a 1957 401 Case Tractor. He obliged my request to plow a new patch of ground where I planned to plant a strawberry patch and a few vegetables. As I returned home from an errand, I heard a tractor running. I turned off my car, got out and walked around to the back of the house hoping find out why it was idling.

At first glance, I thought, “He’s hurt!” My neighbor was laying on the ground beneath the rear of the tractor near the tines. As I hurried closer, he seemed to be wrestling with the cable that we took down earlier that morning; the one I wanted to drag completely out-of-the-way so the tractor wouldn’t be encumbered. However, my neighbor thought part-way was far enough. A “stitch-in-tine” in this Case(tractor)could have saved two hours if I had pulled it back into the woods.

The cable, formally used as a dog-run, became an entangled nightmare around the tines of the tiller head. Have you ever been vacuuming a rug when a piece of the unraveling rug yarn gets tangled in the brush-roller head? I have. It can become embedded in the ends of the roller making it difficult to untangle. But this cable couldn’t be pulled free like the unraveled rug yarn from a sweeper head. The cable had to be put through one side over a tine, then pulled through to the other side again and again until we could begin to reach the horrible tangle. The wires of the cable had to be painstakingly cut through. It then required an oversized screwdriver to pry the cable loose, one wrapped rotation at a time.

Just when I thought we were making headway, we would encounter another tangle, time after time. My neighbor was more patient then I; I wanted to take the end of the tiller that held the tines off. The cable wires looked like they were melted together in some sections, but thankfully, they were not.

While working on this tangled mess, I couldn’t help but think about how it related to my personal life. My life had at times become so entangled with the things of this world that I could not get myself free. It took the patient help of Jesus to free me from addiction, relationships and sin. Many times His love would reach down and pry loose the grasp that bound me by the cable of consequences, resulting from choices that I’d made. Choices that cost time and kept me from becoming what God wanted to be.

Has this been true for you? Has the Lord been merciful to you providing you forgiveness and Grace in spite of your faults, failures or wrong choices that you’ve made in your life? If not, I want to encourage you to seek his help in untangling any cable that binds you from becoming free to serve him and live in joy, love and peace.

Heavenly Father, help us to be at the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing to Glorify You. Bless those that need your comfort and forgiveness and draw them ever closer to You.

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