Monday, September 12, 2011

I've Got My Process, You've Got Yours

Reflecting on our sins and weaknesses is a tender endeavor. Each of us is in a process of self discovery that is sometimes painful, sometimes shameful, sometimes consuming, sometimes tempting to ignore or down-play and sometimes overwhelming but always necessary and always with the potential to be freeing and refreshing.

I've known some people who seem to spend very little time considering their need for forgiveness or help. And I've known some others who can't seem to get it under their skin that Jesus would have died to save them even if they had been the last person on the earth. They find it hard to receive their forgiveness so they live in the grip of shame, fear, confusion, fatigue and frustration.

I don't know where you land on that spectrum today but I'm trusting that you'll find a review of certain truths encouraging in some way. I'll admit, I started writing this post for some friends who are struggling with the grief of sin — stuck in shame, self-loathing and a sense of defeat. Even as my heart was breaking for my discouraged friends today, I was getting impatient and frustrated with my own lack of progress in many areas. That's when God started putting some favorite verses about sanctification on my mind. These verses always encourage me when I get impatient with my own transformation process but they also inspire me to be patient with others because I'm reminded to respect that each person's process is different and equally precious to God.

If you are someone today who is needing encouragement from God about the process you are in, please join me in reflecting on these (emphasis is mine):

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-22

Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. Acts 3:19-21

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13

And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16

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