by Susan Tuttle
Did you know that when you come to God you’re not perfect? Even after He saves us by grace? But aren’t we great at living in guilt when we make the same mistakes over and over.

I want to go back today to one of the verses I used last time. I want to get this in your head. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come, the old is gone, the new is here!”.  You are no longer who you were, you are brand-spanking-new in His eyes. So don't let the old you guilt you--yes, you’re still going to mess up--but now those messes belong to God and it's amazing what He can do with them!

See, sometimes when we come to God, He immediately delivers us from a habitual sin. But other times, He allows us to keep it, and work at changing that habit. I believe He has two reasons for this. One is to keep us connected to Him. The only way we can change our damaging habits is to rely daily on Him, and in doing so, our relationship with Him grows. 

The second reason is for His grace to shine through us. Paul had a great passage on this in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 as he talks about the “thorn” in his flesh. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
 
You belong to God, but you are still wrapped in flesh. You will make mistakes…maybe even more than one each day (I know, believe me). But when you do, allow yourself to feel God’s grace, to accept it. Don’t beat yourself up those times you stumble and perhaps fall.  Before, when you’d fall, you alone had to pick yourself up. Now, God reaches down His hand and grabs you with His strength. You’ll never be perfect here on this earth, but when you allow Him to shine through your mistakes, you become a perfect picture of His grace at work. And that’s a beautiful thing.



 
 
by Susan Tuttle

Do you know that you are loved? Before we can talk about healing, we need a foundation. One to build on. Love is a great place to start.

Don’t allow yourself to believe that your sin is too big for Him.  Christ knew we were sinners and yet He took on the cross for us. I love Romans 5:8, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  He knew we could not do it alone. He knew we were imperfect people…sinners. Yet His love was bigger than our sins. He died so His blood could cover our sins, and we could step into His presence. All He asks is that we acknowledge Him as Lord and invite Him into our lives.

And here’s the best part, when you do that—believe in Him—nothing can separate you from Him. Once you call on His name, ask Him into your life, nothing will ever separate you from God.  Romans 8:38 & 39 says “…neither death, nor life, neither angels or demons, neither present or future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

I want you to notice something in that passage. Among the things listed is “neither present or future”. Why doesn’t it mention our past?  Well, I want to give you one more scripture that always helps me.  2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; the old is gone, the new is here!”  The moment you accept Christ, your past is wiped clean, covered with His blood, seen no more. We struggle with that as humans, but let’s be clear—God doesn’t.  It is over. Finished. No more.  He doesn’t need to mention our past because it’s gone.

Beloved, this world is a tough place.  But God is bigger. And He loves you. Believe in that love today. Fall into it, find comfort in it. It’s where the healing can begin.

 
 
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By Marie Wells Coutu

Every year about this time, the dead flowers are removed from this flower bed at an office building near me, leaving a wide brown swath of dirt for a few days. Then some fall flowers are planted to replace the ones that don’t thrive in this spot where hey get full sun.

This year, they did add the elephant ear on the ends, which have done pretty well. But for some reason, each spring the flowers of choice are ones that really would prefer a shadier location.

Do you ever repeat the same old mistakes, year after year, month after month, even day after day? I know I do.

Sometimes I plead ignorance—I just don’t realize that what I’m doing is dumb, or wrong, or hurtful to someone I love. Other times, I know that my actions are not pleasing to God, but I choose to continue because I’m weak. Or just because, deep down, I don’t want to change.

But the good news is that God can help us avoid making the same mistakes over and over again, if we ask. King David wrote in Psalm 19:12-13, “Who can notice every mistake? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep me from sinning. Do not let anyone gain control over me. Then I will be blameless, and I will be free from any great offense” (GWT).

Not only will He keep us from sinning, but He will forgive even those offenses that no one else knows about. And once He forgives, we become sin-free in God’s eyes.

Instead of planting the same flowers in the wrong place, I’m going to ask God to help me plant beautiful flowers in the right places—in the lives of others. I trust Him to change my heart so that I want to make the effort to control my tongue, my mind, and my heart.

What repeated mistake will you ask Him to help you with today?