This is a lot of material. I’m going to go over the bulk and then leave questions for discussion that I don’t usually do because… they’re GOOD QUESTIONS. If you only have a second, close it now, and come back with a pen and paper.
So… the heart, righteousness, and practice
I spoke a little bit on the heart the other day to kind of prepare you for what’s coming. God worked on my heart for months to make me see how messy I was so if you don’t have the nasty answers to what’s wrong in your heart… keep looking. It’s in there, I promise.
So why are our hearts important? Life flows from this, ladies. If you have a broken heart, I can promise you will make compromised decisions resulting in a broken life. We have to get honest with God (don’t be scared, He already knows you lied to your husband about that package that was delivered). Get honest with God and HE will help you get honest with you. That’s why the truth is first; know the truth, let it seep through the cracks of your brokenness, and then let it flow girl but the more truth you get, the more you better guard it. The devil is waiting for the perfect opportunity- seriously just watching.. just like you are for that Victoria secret sale.. sitting on go, lemme get that 40% and a free tote. He’ll try and take your new peace and throw in some more insecurities to boot for free.
Now.. righteousness. You’re wearing the truth, getting adjusted in those new shoes and it’s that righteousness that will learn you some stuff about you. For those with their bibles out, turn to 1 kings 12:25-33. This place talks about someone seeking to adjust God’s standards to fit his personal convenience. Oh hey, these shoes are cute, but I but they’d be a little more comfortable if I could… naw, girl. We think God shoud be willing to adjust His standard to suit us; cut us some slack and His perfect standard becomes some kind of modified watered down version of the truth. Like those Victoria secret sales. Spend $125 dollars and I’ll give you a bag for free. No, no maam- you bought all of that, that bag too. We had to buy ALL of Jesus. Not just the pieces we like.
So legit righteousness is Jesus. The absolute perfect standard. That’s easy. These other two types though. Comparative and imputed. Shew, lemme tell you. Comparative righteousness. “Well me and Katie went to church today, and no sooner than she left I heard her say an ugly word. I know I’m a better Christian than she is.” YALL, NO. Even if your actions are better than someone else’s, they’re still not better than God’s. Being the better person does not make you a perfect one. I did something bad m, but she did something worse so I must be okay, let’s talk about her instead. You cannot justify sin- I don’t care how bad your grandmothers sisters cats neighbor acted last week. It don’t matter. Sorry. Stop that. Stop judging, you and I are both guilty parties. We killed a man, ladies. HE DIED FOR US. Really think about that… which brings us to the next one. Imputed righteousness. Just because we killed Him doesn’t give us the entitlement to walk around making allowances for just whatever because well hush, Jesus died for me- “all that sin of yours? We’ll just forget about all that OK?” Again, no. If someone killed someone you loved wouldn’t you want them to be accountable? I would. Yes, your sins have been accounted for but you don’t want to mop your floors clean and then track them up with dirty boots do you? Yes, I know that’s what husbands and kids are for. The point is you are clean, but be accountable for putting an innocent man on the cross. Try to STAY as clean as you can; you won’t be able to. You will stumble around every day like anybody wear new and unfamiliar shoes but try. And the more you try- the easier it gets.
So let’s practice now. “Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires and…. put on the new self, created after the likeliness of God in true righteousness and holiness” eph 4:22-24
We all have different outfits we’re wearing we need to let go of. We’re comfortable there. Let me tell you nothing about my transition has been comfortable. You have no idea how much criticism the devil will throw at someone trying to better their life for Jesus, certainly one with a past. So what. It’s been worth it. Take it off. A few things Paul says to get rid of: falsehood, keeping anger, stealing, unwholesome talk, no rage or bitterness, sexual morality impurities and greed. Take it off. But take comfort in knowing that just because you’ve gotten undressed does not me your automatically with a new closet. Putting off does not automatically mean putting on. IT IS A PROCESS. He says to get dressed with gentleness, patience, truth and honesty, kindness and compassion, FORGIVENESS AND LOVE. Don’t get caught up in trying to practice your way to perfect, practice God. Wax off, wax on y’all. He’s doing something this very minute to help you do what you otherwise could not.
The change. It starts slow. He slowly transforms your soul- gets your mind going, changes your will, and then your heart. “Putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, humbly receive the word implanted, which will save you. But prove yourselves doers, not just hearers. James 1:21-22 you know what your wrongs are, set them aside and really listen for His word. It will save you… but do. In order to move forward you have to step. We are being saved more and more each day from the person we used to be.
I’m going to tell you one more thing and just let you think on it all, it’s so much to take in. Y’all, I’ve known god my entire life, and He and I just started being friends. Just because you know it, doesn’t mean you have it. Please, please understand that- y’all I could have been dead forever, I fear so many of us are the same way. Take His friendship. With just one prayer- one time of receiving the word for what it was and not what I wanted it to be- I realized my roots were weeds. Messy, self-centered, anger-haboring just out of control- growing weeds. He softens the soil, but we have to make the choice to plant something good- then choose every single day to help it grow something beautiful.
2. Out of the things Paul said to take off? Which on is the hardest for you? What sort of problems have those things brought into your life? What would be the first step you can take this week to put them off?
3. Of the good things in bold- what’s the hardest to put on? Are you doing through something difficult right now that makes change that much harder?
I’d love to hear from y’all, help y’all. Whatever you need!
Love you guys!