After being led in an old worship song a couple of weeks ago, I am prompted to write one more time in our Acclimatizing series. The song is a Keith Green tune written from Psalm 51:10, "Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me..."
As I was singing it, a little voice in me said; "Why are you singing these lyrics to me? By your faith/trust in Me, I have given you a new heart. Monique talked about this in her "car wash" post last week. In Jesus' car wash, like the car wash Monique went through, we (the car) are made clean. But there is a greater "Good News" in Jesus' car wash, His cleansing is a once and for all cleansing. (forgiveness of sin). The author of Hebrews declares this freeing truth in the passage below. (see italicized text)
Hebrews 10:10-14...For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.
See the photo on the right and visualize an ocean of forgiveness with no end in sight. This is the reality we live in as followers of Jesus, who are in Christ. We have been not only cleansed, but been made new.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21...Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses (sins) against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
You will continue to acclimatize as you submit to Jesus (trust) and allow Him to renew your mind with the above truths. Dive into Jesus' prayer in John 17 and the apostle Paul's letters to the Romans (5-8), the church in Ephesus, the church in Colosse; just for starters. Ask the Holy Spirit to walk with you in mind renewal. He will be faithful. Check out this series of messages by Andrew Farley, click here. Swim in the ocean of His forgiveness today!
This may sound kind of odd...but automated carwashes rank fairly high for me (Monique) in terms of childhood memories. This past weekend, I spontaneously pulled into one as winter driving residues were long overdue for clean up! Usually, this wash happens in the front driveway of our home...but the kid in me made a quick lefthand turn this past Sunday.
"Why can't it last longer mom?" I would ask, as we rolled the end of the washing tunnel all shiny and clean! The car-mopping always seem to happen so fast! I never wanted it to end. On this particular day, I decided to capture the moment on video. Mesmerized by twirly strips noodling all over the car and sudsy bubbles streaming down the windshield a visual simile came to mind! This is like what happened to me when I trusted Christ...I have been cleansed and made new...past tense!
As Vic started this 3-part blog series on Acclimatizing ...to living in His grace and forgiveness, I want to wrap it up with this simple short video. As you watch it, soak in the reality that in Christ we are shiny and new, precious in His sight. 2 Cor 5:17 says "If anyone is in Christ He is a new creation, the old has gone the new has come. " May we seek to affirm this in others, helping to "woo" out their new nature!
Acclimatizing to living life in the Room of Grace, as we mentioned in the previous post, takes time and I believe it begins with embracing forgiveness. Look with me at these realities of God's forgiveness as described in the Old and New Testaments.
In Isaiah 43:25 our God says;
"I--yes, I alone--will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.
In Psalm 103:12, the Psalmist says: "He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west."
1 Peter 3:18, the apostle Peter affirms these truths from the Old Testament..."For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,
Romans 6:10 - "The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God."
Hebrews 7:27 - "Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people's sins."
A great visual of the eternal expanse of God's forgiveness was given to us by pastor Rusty Kennedy on our 25th anniversary cruise. (see ocean photos) Rusty encouraged all of us to look out from the deck to gaze upon the never-ending ocean seascape. He then boldly proclaimed from the Scriptures above (others too) that we all swim in the Father's ocean of forgiveness, forgiveness for sins committed in the past, present and future. Christ died one time for the forgiveness of sin. It is finished!
What if we lived day to day with our spouses and others, swimming in the Father's ocean of forgiveness? What if we experienced the complete forgiveness Christ died for on a minute by minute basis and offered it to one another? Radical love? Radical grace? Do we really get forgiveness?
I think forgiveness sets us on a course to experience God's grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 says; "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God," Forgiveness is a gift!
We can give it away as it has freely been given us, by faith. Watch yourself begin to acclimatize by His grace when you live in the never-ending ocean of forgiveness in your marriage.
Vic and Monique
We are all about helping your marriage thrive.