Monday, October 10, 2011

Loved by the Lord

"have become new"
2 Corinthians 5:17

I bought a new purse the other day.  I've been using the same purse for a couple of years now, and the handle is tearing, so even though I loved my old purse, it was time for a new one.

Actually, I bought a new one a few months ago, but I didn't like it.  I know this is not an unusual problem for women.  It's such a personal item, that you carry with you everywhere.  But sometimes you don't realize until you've used it a few times that it's not going to work.  There's too many pockets, or not enough.  It's too big, or not big enough.  The handle is too long, or not long enough.  I'm sure you men out there have the same dilemma with your, I don't know, briefcases, or your gym bags, or your sports equipment or something.

So after a few weeks, I decided that it wasn't going to work.  So, I just bought this one.  But I wanted to put all my stuff in it, and carry it around a little to make sure I liked it, so I took it to church with me, but kept the tag on in case I decided it wasn't going to work for me.

I just had it on the chair next to me, but anytime I took something out or put something in, I made sure to tuck the tag back in, because I didn't want anyone to see it.  Cuz that's weird looking.  And once I'd made the decision to keep the purse, I was glad to cut the tag off.  The tag had the name of the store on it, and the price, so if anyone saw it, they'd know I got the purse on clearance.  I was, for some reason, a little embarrassed about that.  I guess I shouldn't be.  Times are tough and I'm sure lots of people are doing their shopping from clearance racks.   But anything on clearance has been "rejected" long enough to still be hanging around the store.  Clearance means the store is desperate to get rid of it.

Once I'd cut the tag off, the purse was mine.  I was claiming it.  I could throw the tag away, and no one would ever know the history of my purse.  I liked it, and really, that's all that mattered.  It fits my lifestyle, and it fit my budget.

And as I cut the tag off, I thought about how God sees me.  If I had a tag on me {which I don't.  I checked.} it might say things like "occasionally lazy" or "sometimes has trouble harnessing temper".  Maybe yours would say something like "arrested for shoplifting" or "covets material things of her friends".   But once we give our hearts to Him, He cuts off that tag.  We are a new creation in Him.  When we accept His gift of salvation, and are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are given the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  One of those gifts is self-control, and we are enabled, in an entirely new way, to refuse to commit those habitual sins of ours.  And if we do find ourselves giving in to temptation, forgiveness is only a confession away.

He has purchased us, and we are His.  Regardless of what we looked like before.  Despite our flaws and failures, He loves us, and He doesn't see us by our past.  He sees us as who we are becoming, in Him, day by day.

~ "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, 
he is a new creation;
old things have passed away; 
behold, all things have become new" ~
2 Corinthians 5:17

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