Christianity happens when men and women accept with unwavering trust that their sins have been not only forgiven, but forgotten, washed away in the blood of the Lamb. Thus, my friend archbishop Joe Reia says, “A sad Christian is a phony Christian, and a guilty Christian is no Christian at all.” ~Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long: we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Romans 8
Oh beloved, it is true. We are so willing to say Yes to the things that will not help. However, in saying yes to the things that hurt us, we become unable to receive the things we so desperately need.
In saying yes to bitterness, we shut off the flow of forgiveness from Him.
In giving the nod to self, we miss the opportunity to find our true identity in Him.
In listening to the anger others point towards us, we miss His still small Voice.
In giving into doubt, we disengage the power of faith.
In believing the lies of the Liar, we forsake the only Good Truth.
In wallowing in our sorrows, we deny the strength or relational joy in Him.
In yielding to the flesh, we deaden our soul’s ability to connect with Him in spirit.
In surrendering to fear, we lose the freedom of obedience to one of His great commands to fear not.
In wishing for people to worship us, or fill us up – we dam the flows of Living Waters flowing from within.
Can we see it? There are a whole bunch of things we need to say NO to in our lives. But the reason is not behavior modification or trying to make some god happy. No, in saying yes to all the things that don’t work, we miss the greatest Yes there is: G_d Loves you. And He Loves you (and this fool of a writer) beyond the forces of physics and time and space and everything else.
So, what is it that you need to say NO to tonight? Just do it.
Written by Makala (Mak) Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of God, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, God’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 113; Proverbs 22
Daily Quote: “The walk of a disciple is gloriously difficult, but gloriously certain.” ~Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You
In a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters
They shall not come near him.
You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalms 32:6-7