"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Friday, June 28, 2013

Into the Woods: Falling Branches

I found this branch in the woods after yesterday's thunderstorm....

It had broken off from the very top of the tree on the left....
You can see in this photo from the color of the wood that the branch was quite alive before the wind twisted it off....
I have to face it.  Our woods are already starting to get messed up again.  The clean-up was not a once-for-all-time project, obviously.  This is exactly what happens to us when we are "cleaned-up" by Jesus Christ's death on the cross.  We are given the status of "forgiven," but we soon need to ask for forgiveness again--not because the original clean-up did not take--that was forever, as long as we don't quench the Holy Spirit in us--but because, like the fallen branch, our new sins are cluttering our path.  Asking for forgiveness and for God's help not to commit it again, removes the guilt we might be tempted to heap on ourselves or from accepting what others may try to put on us.  

Guilt is like the tangle of fallen branches and brambles that kept us from enjoying our woods.  Guilt keeps you from experiencing the joy of your salvation and keeps you from being at peace.  Worse than that, though, it keeps you from serving God out of a sense of love.  What you do for Him will never feel like enough if you do it from a guilty conscience.  And if you do and do and do and still can't find peace (and you won't that way), it can cause you to resent God's grace freely bestowed on others since you feel you've earned it.  Can you see why guilt after you've asked for forgiveness is not good?  Once you've asked you can be assured it has been given.  Then, looking to God to help you overcome the weakness that led you into sinning against Him, you can then grow in His Grace because God gives grace to the humble.

Father, You have warned us to be careful lest we fall into temptation.  Thank you for this reminder that just like what happened to that branch a storm can blow in at any moment and mess up my life, but You are there to help me mend and clean up the mess.

Link to scripture:  Romans 3:24

Take action:  Dealing with Guilt

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