No More Scorekeeping

Old baseball scoreboard background

I’ve decided that if I had my life to live over again, I would not only climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets; I wouldn’t only jettison my hot water bottle, raincoat, umbrella, parachute, and raft; I would not only go barefoot earlier in the spring and stay out later in the fall; but I would devote not one more minute to monitoring my spiritual growth. No, not one. ~Brennan Manning, The Furious Longing of God

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in Him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Him. ~Paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Colossians 2

Oh beloved, it is true. There is an accuser of the brethren. He is a liar. And beyond his continuous attempts to pull us back into remembrance of our failures (that we might repeat them – have no doubt about this), this liar has an accomplice.

Us.

The liar will tempt us towards the things that will kill us, and so will the desires of our flesh. And have no doubt that sin is a very bad idea. We can indeed kill ourselves in our stupidity. But worse, is that the evil one – and our religiously-minded flesh – will attempt to kill us off too.

Plus, sin takes us off of our main purpose now in Life. We have the opportunity to be the friend of G_d. This now, is never in doubt. But sin is painful to our souls, it is like poking ourselves in the eye, or hitting our finger with a hammer. It is, as the author says, “Grace is no more a license to sin, than electricity is a license to electrocute ourselves.”

So, yes, it is vital to see sin for what it is: Sin is that “self-ness” within me which is paid with death. It is such an enormous deal that Jesus Himself died to pay off the payment. It was a payoff so gargantuan that none other could have ever even come close to making this payment.

But, it is here where we miss it.

Can we see it? Jesus has bought a freedom for us that is so large, that condemnation (that of the accuser, or of our own false shame) is no longer appropriate. Jesus has given His very own blood for us. Jesus has experienced the death we could not have endured – and has triumphed gloriously over it all, that we would be free.

Free from condemnation

Free from worrying about our spiritual growth

Free from wonder about our standing with G_d

Free from the lies of the Liar

Free from my own screaming voice of shame.

Now, before you readers go off at think this is some sort of “feel good” gospel, this fool of a writer is going to ask you to do a little considering of your last failure. What helped pull you back into freedom? Was it you groveling in some sort of false guilt and condemnation? If your experience is anything like most of us, that kind of approach is just a path to further sin and pain.

However, now consider the time (hopefully many times) where you have honestly agreed with G_d that you are in need of the forgiveness, mercy, and grace He has already provided. Do you remember that sense of the weight of your failure falling off your shoulders as it is swallowed up at the foot of the cross? Yes, you may remember this, because any of us who have, are experiencing The Truth.

So, are you looking at a recent failure in your life? May i suggest something. Don’t. Because He doesn’t. Do not touch the foul thing of guilt and shame. It is a trap! It will do you no good. Tonight is your night. Time to believe you are forgiven, and loved, and free.

The word of knowledge was exceptionally sure that night, and the second minister and his wife marveled at the accuracy and truth in the prophetic word. The third couple stepped forward for ministry, and again the word of knowledge was present. The prophet spoke to the husband, revealing his past, present, and insight into his future. Then the man of God turned to this third minister’s wife. As he began to speak of her past, suddenly he paused. Then he said, “There was a very serious sin in your past.” The woman, with her worst fear upon her, turned pale and closed her eyes. The congregation hushed and moved to the edge of their seats.

Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, 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, G_d’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 21

Daily Quote: The prophet continued, “And I asked the Lord, ‘What was this sin that she committed?’ And the Lord answered, ‘I do not remember!'” ~Francis Frangipane

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Romans 8:38-39

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