Remove the Veil

 

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” II Corinthians 3:17 NKJV

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II Corinthians 3 speaks of two Covenants:

A. The covenant of the law, the Old Testament, though glorious, was a covenant of condemnation and death. When Moses came down to the people after receiving the commandments his face shone with the Glory of God. He put a veil over his face so the children of Israel could not behold the Glory of God, lest they die.

B. The covenant of the Spirit, the New Covenant, is a covenant of life and liberty, freedom in Christ. Jesus takes away the veil! As we behold the glory of the Lord through Jesus we are being transformed into the image of the Lord.

Both of these covenants are revealed by the glory of God, yet one brings life and one brings death. When we become believers we choose life.

The GLORY of God demonstrated in the ministry of righteousness (the new covenant- based on what Jesus did for us) is more glorious than the ministry of condemnation (the covenant of the law/death-based on what we do).

The covenant of the law was necessary to expose sin. (Romans 4:15 tells us … “for where there is no law there is no transgression.”) But, the law was unable to do what grace can do, which is to transform us!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord, that I no longer have to approach You through a veil of shame! Thank You that the new covenant has the power to transform me into the image of Your son, Jesus. Thank You for setting me FREE from the power of sin and liberating me by Your spirit.

Chief of Sinners

“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” ‭‭I Timothy‬ ‭1:15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

IMG_1538Unless we are willing to see our spiritual condition for what it is we cannot recognize our need for a savior.

Paul was a man who persecuted the followers of Christ before he encountered Christ in an undeniable way on the road to Demarcus. Why did God choose Paul? Perhaps because He knew Paul would serve Him with the same zeal he had demonstrated to Judaism.

There is so much to learn from this scripture.

A. In order to surrender to Christ, I must first see my spiritual condition and recognize my need for Him. We live in a society that is more concerned with protecting someone’s self esteem than confronting them with the consequences of sin. If I compare myself to another person I might look pretty good, but when I compare myself to the sinless life of Christ I see that my righteousness looks like filthy rags! (Isaiah 64:6)

B. Regardless of my past, God can use me. When Paul gave his life to Christ, the transformation was undeniable! He did an about face and everyone who knew him knew that only God could have done that. What a testimonial. God can do the same through us. While we must recognize our condition before Christ, we don’t have to continue to live in shame over our past. The redeeming power of Christ has set us free.

C. If God can save Paul, He can save anyone! If there is someone in your life you believe is beyond God’s reach, take comfort. They are not. Yes, God gives us free will, but He will moves mountains to win their heart. NEVER stop interceding for them. We are called to stand in the gap for the lost.

PRAYER:
Father, I am so thankful that You came to call sinners, of whom I am chief. Without You, I would be lost, without hope. Help me to always remember that You are the true measure of righteousness. I cannot rely on my own righteousness to save me. My salvation rests solely in the completed work of the cross. Thank You for paying a debt I can never repay. Thank You for removing the shame of my past and replacing it with purpose. My life is Yours, use me to bring others to You, Lord.

Father, I know that every person in my life is there for a reason. Help me to never give up on those who have rejected you. Give me a burden to intercede for them with passion. Enlighten their hearts, Lord. Help them to see the truth, just as You revealed Yourself to Paul on that fateful day on his way to Demarcus. Remove the blinders. Soften hearts of stone. Heal broken spirits. You know exactly what is needed in each of their lives. Protect them from death without You, Lord. In the mighty name of Jesus I pray, AMEN

Transformed

IMG_1391The life I live today is very different than the life I lived when I was younger. While I often focus on how far I have to go, occasionally God reminds me just how far I’ve come. There are many people in my life who know “the old me”, the BC ‘before Christ’ me. They are a witness to the transforming power of God in my life.

One of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received was while sharing my story with someone who only knew the ‘after Christ’ me. After hearing some of the details of my past, she said, “I just can’t see you doing that.” 

God’s Word tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that we become a NEW creation in Christ. Many times I struggle with the dead man of my past as I fight through the process of transformation. Some people are blessed with instantaneous deliverance. Most, I believe become a new creation through the renewing of the mind.

What does that mean? Paul,tells us in Romans 12:2, “don’t conform to the patterns of this world.” Patterns represent the values and customs of society. We cannot rely on culture to determine our standard of living. Unfortunately, we cannot rely on religion either. Even within the Christian faith there are many denominations. Sometimes your acceptance there is dependent on conforming to ‘their’ particular belief system or doctrine.

Don’t misunderstand, I am not advocating abandoning the church. The church is not a denomination. It is a body, made up of those who follow Christ. As a body, we cannot function alone, we need each other. Our goal should be to be transformed into the image of Christ. He alone is our example. His Word sets the standard. We renew our mind by digging into God’s Word for ourselves and allowing His Word to transform us. Hebrews 4:12 tells us:

For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Pray: Father, thank You for transforming me through the power of Your Word. Thank You for renewing my mind and molding me into the image of Your son, Jesus Christ, my Lord and savior. When I am confused by the values and customs of the world around me, remind me that Your Word is my standard.