Listen to the edition of Alive in Christ Radio: Past Mistakes Glorify God
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You might ask, “How in heaven’s name can God be glorified by my past mistakes?” Have I not broken God’s heart? Have I not disappointed Jesus? Have I not turned from God’s grace and mercy—choosing to do things my way? Have I not embarrassed the Holy Spirit? By my past mistakes (sin), have I not given God a bad name?
I ask you to think back to the worst times of your earthly life. Think about the anguish you may have caused a brother, a sister, a mother, a father, a friend, or even a total stranger. Think about the many choices you have made without God’s approval (anointing and blessing). Think about times of selfishness, self-satisfaction, self-indulgence, and self-gratification. Think about the choices and decisions that you have made that ultimately caused you overwhelming shame and unimaginable guilt. During these times, did you cry out to God? Did you kneel before His glorious throne? Did you call out to Jesus to come and rescue you? Did you ask God to deliver you from your agonizing pain and deep, dark despair? Did you pray for God’s almighty and perfect forgiveness and rest? If yes, you acknowledge your sincere repentance (changed your mind), accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, and yes, you glorified God.
By our past mistakes, we will be bitter or be better? Anything we have done (and will do) outside the will and purpose of God is sin. Sin translated means, “to miss the mark.” Thus, to miss the point of God’s perfect will and purpose for our life; to glorify His holy name.
As we struggle sin, and we will wrestle with our sinful nature until the time of Christ’s return, we must take heart that God is glorified as we come before Him for forgiveness. The apostle Paul explains to us in Romans, chapter 7, such a struggle can bring us closer to God, therefore, glorifying His holy name.
Romans 7:14-25 (NLT): Struggling with Sin: 14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
A Desperate Struggle
This is more than the cry of one desperate man—it describes the experience of any Christian struggling against a wrong desire. We never underestimate the power of sin. While Satan is a crafty tempter, we also have a great ability to make excuses. Instead of trying to overcome sin with human willpower, we have direct access to the tremendous power and love of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. And when we fall, God lovingly reaches out to us and helps us get up again.
Let’s look at the follies of those who wandered in the desert for 40 years. It would have taken God’s children only 11 days or so to reach the land of “milk and honey” (Canaan), but they chose to do things their way and not God’s way. Let’s look at the poor choices made by King David. David decided to instigate an adulterous affair with Bathsheba and ultimately had her husband killed to remove him from the equation. How about Moses and Paul? Both committed murder and Moses was fired from his position by his outright disobedience to God. How about Peter? His faith was weakened causing him to nearly drown and he literally denied his relationship to Jesus under public and religious threat. What about the first sin committed by none other than Adam and Eve which drastically cost us all. Talk about past mistakes! But, by their many mistakes, poor choices, lack of faith, lack of patience, failures, and a myriad of other self-centric decisions, we are now able to draw nearer to God because God reminds us of what they had done and what we must do to remain in close, intimate fellowship with Him, thus, glorifying His name.
God deserves all the glory. God is our protector, our salvation, our eternal hope.
Without God, our lives are incomplete and meaningless. Think about how incomplete live would be without God.
• A guitar without strings can make no music.
• A ship without a rudder cannot control our direction.
• A wheel without spokes cannot take us where we may go.
• A candle without a wick cannot illuminate our way.
• A sun without warmth cannot sustain life.
• A needle without thread cannot repair what needs mending.
• A bird without feathers cannot soar.
• A tree without branches cannot support a nest.
• A child without a touch cannot feel love.
Without God, all things in life are incomplete. Let us repent (change our minds) and give God the glory in all things. Let us praise His glorious grace. Let us turn from what we have done (our past mistakes), and keep our eyes, hearts, and minds, focused upon God. We know full well that Jesus faced the same temptations to sin that we do.
Hebrews 4:15-16 (NLT): 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Hebrews 2:18 (NLT): Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.
Let us always remember and live by the fact that Jesus “is able to once and forever to save” everyone is staggering. No one else can add to what Jesus did to save us. Jesus is with the Father as a sign that every wrongdoing we could ever commit is already forgiven.
Hebrews 9:24-28 (NLT): 24 For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. 25 And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. 26 If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.
27 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, 28 so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.
This however, is not an open-invitation or encouragement for us to continue to make bad choices simply because we can be forgiven. Remember this, “All actions have consequences.” Instead, let us receive God’s great gift of forgiveness by giving Him all the praise and all the glory.
Matthew 6:33 (NLT): Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Let us be Holy Spirit-filled. Let us stand strong and obedient in Jesus. Let us glorify God in all things. Amen.
May almighty God bless you always,
Founder, Executive Publisher
Christian Times Online