2 Timothy 1:8-9
God saved ME and chose ME to be his holy PERSON, but not because of anything I did MYSELF. God saves ME and made ME his person because that was what he wanted and because of HIS grace. That grace was given ME through Jesus Christ before time began. And now it has been shown to ME in the coming of our Savior Jesus. He destroyed death and showed me the way to have life. Yes through the Good News Jesus showed ME the way to have life that cannot be destroyed.
I have the privilege of participating on the leadership team of our local Bible Study Fellowship location. (For more info on this study that has locations worldwide and thousands and thousands of participants go to http://www.mybsf.org). The leaders meet weekly to go over the study lesson before we meet with the class participants later in the week. Challenging questions are discussed, practical leadership tips are taught. It’s an hour packed with prayer, learning and encouragement- I love it. Our leader is a kind, wise and brilliant teacher. She also has a way of speaking truth we need in a way that doesn’t shame us but does communicate truth we need to hear. Last week we needed a good dose of truth.
We were discussing a question that asked us to share an area in our lives we felt God was asking us to change. The topic was sexual sin. We’re in Corinthians where Paul gets straight to the point. The question made us all squirm.
Instead of sharing our own challenges in this area – we quickly talked about “others”, “the crazy world we live in,” etc. At the end of our sharing our leader gently took our eyes back to the question- which did NOT ask us to talk about the areas OTHERS needed change but OURSELVES. US…. the one we see in the mirror.
The one that is with us always.
The one we can never get away from.
That person in my life is ME.
Her reminder was so important for all the leaders. I can speak for my own group that met later that week and can say the focus off of others and onto ourselves was freeing. When one leader was vulnerable in sharing HER struggles and victories in this area of life the floodgates opened for others to share too. When each person felt safe to share it created a space for the Holy Spirit to rush in and comfort and encourage. You see when we fail to stop to recognize our own sin we miss the grace that Jesus has ready to pour into our lives. When we focus only on the sins of others we become numbed to the fact we desperately need Jesus as much as the ones we are focused on and are often times judging.
Today I wrote the above verse of the day inserting “ME “- where the scripture says “US” or “YOU”. I was so comforted as I thought about Jesus coming for ME, just beth. I was humbled with the reminder that my sin is so evil that the death of Jesus is my only cure. I’m so grateful and amazed that NOTHING I did prompted God to send his Son. The 100% motivation for this incredible act was our Fathers love for us. For me. For you.
Today I’m taking my eyes off of others. When I over focus on the offenses of the people around me I become self righteous and proud. When I over focus on the positive accolades of others around me I can feel shame and that I’m not enough. Today I’m looking at me. I’m planting myself at the foot of the cross. I’m trusting that I can safely share all of me and receive all that I need- straight from Jesus. What a free life indeed.
Loving you where you are and pointing you forward to where HE is,