Ga 6:14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
The devil and his demonic entities often love to remind the believer and follower of Jesus Christ of our sinful pasts. On the other hand, when He does the Holy Spirit will remind us of the power of the cross and how that the
Lord has redeemed every part of our lives. Not only can we walk as forgiven people. But we can live as transformed people that God has forgiven and is redeeming the things that we have messed up in our lives. I like to say that what we have messed up God can dress up. He makes all things new. The Scriptures tell us in 2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (NKJV) I love this passage in Isaiah about how God dresses up what we have messed up: Isa 58:12 “Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations.” And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
Let me give you a couple of examples. First of all, I am not bragging about the sin that I once lived in. And I am also not bragging or seeking to exalt myself. The only One that I will exalt is the Lord Jesus Christ whom as I have stated not only forgives people of the sins that we have committed, but He also brings transformation and restoration to our lives. There is a whole culture out there that is walking in sin as I once was that needs the transforming power of God to work in their lives. So that is why I sometimes share and testify how the Lord forgives our sins and changes our lives.
Not to long ago J.J. and I were at a wonderful occasion at a very beautiful place. While we were there as I was looking at the scenery, I noticed that it was very familiar and perhaps was a place that I had once often frequented when I was living in sin and rebellion against God. The Holy Spirit then began to speak to my heart. I am not the same person that frequented that place, and lived in rebellion against God. This was not a bad place. It was a beautiful place. But now I could see God’s creation as a forgiven child of God rather than as a place where I often went to medicate my pain and to seek peace in ungodly ways that only led to more pain, and more hurt.
The Holy Spirit then reminded me of how that He had given us so many wonderful friends. That He has given us so many wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ. And how that He has also redeemed the lives of many of our friends that had once tried to medicate their pain, hurt, disappointments, rejection and other heartbreaks in the same way. God is so good! He is a loving, holy, forgiving, redeeming, and transforming God.
All of us that have been born again can rejoice in the power of the cross. We have been forgiven of our sins! Every demon that is at the disposal of Satan has been defeated and they have no authority over us. When then enemy comes with his voice of lies we can rejoice in these words from Col 2:13-15 “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” And if you have not been born again God is ready to forgive you, transform you and restore the broken places in your life.
I would like to share one more example of how God redeemed and restored in my life. I pray that it will encourage you in some way in your journey with Christ. Yesterday I was at Wal- Mart here in Hamilton. As I was at the checkout counter the cashier complimented me about my class ring. It gave me an opportunity to share how the Lord has redeemed something in my life.
When I went to college in 1968 at Jacksonville State University, I lost my high school graduation ring one night. Me and some friends were riding around and when I threw a beer bottle at a sign my ring when flying out the window with it. It is somewhere just off the highway between Jacksonville and Piedmont, Alabama. Also, I flunked out of the college that May and I was a long way from thinking that I would ever get a college degree.
When the Lord called me to preach, He called me to go back to college as well. He doesn’t do that for all people that He calls to preach, but that was a part of the journey that He has had me on. In 1996 when I was getting ready to graduate from Birmingham Southern College, I ordered me a class ring. The set is black and it has a gold cross on it. It symbolizes to me how that God redeems our past failures, sins, and mistakes. Also, in Luke Chapter 15 when the prodigal son came home his father placed a ring upon his finger: Lu 15:22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.”
So yesterday when the clerk complimented me on my class ring, I shared with here that the black set was symbolic of the darkness that I once walked in. I shared with her that the cross was symbolic of the Lord delivering me out of the darkness. Wow! The message of the cross is such a wonderful message! When we come to the cross and surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, we are redeemed from Hell. Now that is some good news! We are being transformed more into his likeness and experiencing Him redeeming and restoring every part of our lives. He turns past failures into victories for his glory and His honor. Oh, the power of the Man who died on the cross, who rose from the dead, and who sits at the right hand of the Father! Glory to the Man who fills us with the Holy Spirit the Man who one day will return for His bride. Experience His forgiveness, His love and His redeeming transforming power at the cross of Jesus Christ!
Let Us Pray
Lord we thank You that at the cross we find forgiveness. We thank You for the mercy that you have shown to us. We thank You for sending the Holy Spirit and giving us the Word of God so that we can experience the power of transformation and go from glory to glory. We thank You that You are a God that will dress up what we have messed up!
In Jesus Name
May all who read this experience the forgiveness and the redeeming, restoring transforming love of our Blessed Savior the Lord Jesus Christ ! Love you all!