Romans 5:8 NKJV, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
As we are peeled away layer by layer, as we become more comfortable with our God and our own humanity (who we are), we hopefully become increasingly more transparent (rather than more hidden).
And as we develop friendships hopefully we are surprised to find that there are not nearly as many significant differences between one another, as the enemy tries to lead us to believe. The need for secrets disappears.
Now if we can only learn to be as open about our failures as we are about our successes.
James 5:16 NLT, Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
Often when we hear a one-sided testimony of success with no failure, we can become discouraged…we may feel that we don’t qualify to receive what God has done for us becausesomeone has falsified the records and failed to tell the truth! They have created a false image that may cause others to needlessly struggle.
Romans 3:23-28 NLT, For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.
Wouldn’t it be nice to love and be loved by someone to the degree that we can say, This is who I am, and it is all that I am. Love me and be patient with me. There is no telling what I will become, but today this is who I am. This is not an excuse, not to get better.We should strive to get better.
Romans 6:14-18 NLT, Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. 15 Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. 17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. 18 Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.
The best me is found in Christ.
When we find someone who can see our flaws and our under-developed character, and love us in spite of it all, we are blessed. If the only way you can love me is after I have perfected my imperfections, then you really don’t love me.
God was too wise to wait until we perfected our defects. He loved us while we were unlovable so we would never have to hide our real selves.
Romans 5:6-11 NLT, When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
He has loved us with an everlasting love!
I told the kids at Christmas dinner, that in life we should have fun and be intentionally. And everyday we should learn more about God, more about ourselves, and more about the people around us, because each day is a gift.