September 2012

Our purpose at aboundinglove.org is to proclaim God’s love and forgiveness to the world.

“He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1

“And I will forgive their wickedness and I will never again remember their sin.” 2

Getting Off Life’s Treadmill…

We are loved and forgiven by God, declared righteous in God’s eyes by virtue of belonging to Christ. That is, if you are a believer in the finished work of Christ.

Faith in Christ takes us off the performance treadmill, relieving us of the need to measure up to the standards of God and others. Some of you have spent your life trying to measure up. You may hear the guilt of failing to fulfill the unrealistic ideals of your parents, teachers or bosses. The resulting anger and pain from the hurt and frustration may be driving you insane or left you addicted to drugs, sex, food or other vices.

But God accepts you just the way you are. He doesn’t expect you to be perfect. He knows you can’t do it alone. For this reason, He provides the grace or ability and direction we need to build a new life.

Building a New Life…

A treadmill can be dangerous to run on if you try to get off without slowly turning down the power. Similarly, getting off the world’s treadmill involves slowly evaluating your faith. The apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians, saying,

“Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is in you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.” 3

Genuine faith knows that Christ lives in us to do what we can’t do in our own ability. Genuine faith says:

“When God our Savior revealed His kindness and love, He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of His grace, He declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” 4

A New Life of Faith…

Our problem has been that we put faith in the promises of this world rather than in the promises of God. The world offers instant gratification, but without reward compared to the kingdom of God, which provides love, righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too.” 5

In the 60’s, I was trying to gain approval from my peers in the Manson family. I was unable to see that God and others can only be pleased through faith in Christ’s finished works.

“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.” 6

Resting in Christ’s Victory…

Here I am in 2012, no longer an approval seeker for I am made accepted in Christ.7 I rest in God’s love and acceptance. I’ve been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, forgiven of my sins, “…according to the riches of God’s grace.” 8

Still, I am challenged by thoughts of regret concerning the crimes I committed over four decades ago, and the victims’ great loss due to my disobedience. I stand accountable to those I have so deeply harmed before Christ.

If I did not rest in God’s love and forgiveness, I would have drowned in guilt, pain and sorrow long ago. In Psalm 27:13, David declared:

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

Today, I overcome the trial of my faith by staying focused on God’s grace. It is the power of the blood, the power of the resurrection, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

“For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” 9

A Prayer For You...

Heavenly Father, I realize that I can only get off this treadmill I am on by faith in your Son, Jesus Christ. I need ever increasing faith that only you can give. I pray that you will increase my faith for salvation. Your word says if I confess I’m a sinner, You are faithful and just to forgive my sin because of Jesus’ blood, and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. 10 I am a sinner, and I confess the Lord Jesus Christ with my mouth. I believe that His blood cleansed me from all unrighteousness at the cross. I believe in my heart that You raised Him from the dead for my salvation. “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” 11 Thank you for my salvation in Christ. Amen!

Scripture References:

1 1 John 4:10b
2 Hebrews 8:12
3 2 Corinthians 13:5
4 Titus 3:4-7
5 Romans 14:17, 18
6 Hebrews 11:6
7 Ephesians 1:6
8 Ephesians 1:7
9 1 John 5:4, 5
10 1 John 1:9
11 Romans 10:9, 10

Acknowledgement: A special thanks to Evan for transcribing this months view!

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