Hey there and Happy Tuesday Beautiful Friends! Today I have a devotion running on the Proverbs 31 website. It's called, "Once...Always." (http://proverbs31devotions.blogspot.com/2009/06/once-always.html ) Let me tell you the crazy way that this devo came to be.
I was watching CMT (Country Music Television) one morning. A video by Kellie Pickler came on. One of the lines in the song was "I've been told that a cheater is always a cheater..." Well, I know it's just a song, a country song at that...I mean many country songs have a good cheatin' story, but I couldn't get that line out of my head. Especially how it doesn't have to be true. Christ can change all that! It made me think of the times I labeled myself and those names stuck in my head. And of the times that someone else called me something and I kept repeating it in my head. Even long after the sin occurred and I had supposedly moved on, I still would hear those names. "Pathetic" "The Worst" "Not Good Enough" Sometimes the people in my life still thought of me that way. And I may never be able to change that. I've learned to be concerned with what God thinks of me. I am defined by Jesus Christ, not by what I did in the past or what others think of me.
Look at these awesome verses:
***2 Corinthians 5:17,“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ; he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (NIV)
Do you believe this verse? I hope so. The old is gone. Praise God! The new has come. Praise God again! Maybe at times I have been "pathetic" and "the worst", but guess what? I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. I am washed clean. Psalm 32:1-5 frees me from anything I've ever done. I am what I am in Jesus.
***Psalm 86:5, "You willingly forgive, and your love is always there for those who pray to you.” (CEV)
Yes, no matter what it is we've done, God forgives. And look at this verse. He "willingly forgives" and His "love is always there." Doesn't that make you feel great?
***Isaiah 43:18-19, “Forget what happened long ago! Don't think about the past. I am creating something new. There it is! Do you see it? I have put roads in deserts, streams in thirsty lands.” (CEV)
We are told here to "forget what happened long ago!" Have you forgotten? Do you still define yourself based on something in your past? Oh, let that go today! God doesn't want you living in the past. You are not what you did. He is creating something new in you...today if you wish!
Romans 3:23-24, “All of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. But God treats us much better than we deserve, and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins.” (CEV)
Yes it's true. We all have sinned. We all fall short. That's right, we don't measure up. But that's ok. Our God treats us better than we deserve. Why? Because of Jesus. Sweet Beautiful Child of God, you are free and accepted. All you have to do is claim Jesus as your Savior.
Why is it that we struggle with this so much? Can we ever let go of what we were told that we were or what we think we were? I hope so. I know for me I have to pray it and claim Scripture like the ones above for my life. I need those reminders to get me through.
Do you believe the saying "Once a ___________ always a ____________?" Do you believe it about someone? Do you believe it about yourself?
The Maya Angelou quote I referred to in the devo was actually a quote I had hanging on my refrigerator for many years. "When people show you who they are, believe them...the first time." I actually tore a card out of the very first issue of "O" Magazine with this quote on it. I saved it to remind myself that I wouldn't get burned or mistreated more than once by the same person. And I held people up to that standard. Do me wrong once and well, you are history! I won't fall for that again! I lived by that until the day came when I needed forgiveness for something horrible that I had done. I didn't want to be defined by it. I didn't want anyone to believe that I could be defined by that "the first time." No, I desired a 2nd chance. Thank God I got it. And to this day I wear a silver band on my right hand with "4GVN" engraved on it. I'll never remove it. I want to remember it always.
I pray that you were encouraged by today's devotion. In the eyes of God you are beautiful. No matter what the world tells you, no matter what skeletons you have in your closet. You are a beautiful child of God. Jesus lived and died for you and in Him there is no condemnation. You can be free. Your slate can be wiped clean.
Please share your thoughts with me.
***Keep checking my blogs, I'll be hosting a give away soon (3 copies of "The Love Dare") and I'm starting a Love Dare marriage study. See http://www.biblestudywithmelissa.blogspot.com/ for more details.