In the second epistle of Peter he lists the character traits that mark a believer’s life:
He then makes an interesting point, He says, “whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. (2Peter 1:9)
Yesterday, I talked about having spiritual amnesia. And today I am going to connect amnesia with nearsightedness.
Peter says that the reason you don’t grow in ordinary, grateful obedience as we should is because we have “amnesia”: we have forgotten we were cleansed from our sins.
In other words, he is saying that ongoing failure in sanctification is the direct result of failing to remember God’s love for us in the gospel.
I have also dedicated several blogs this summer to the concept of loving ourselves.
I even had help spreading this message of self-love and acceptance from a beautiful woman, Shannon Childs the author and creator of Doodles Invigorate.
I want to take a moment here and tie these two ideas together so that you can begin to remember who you are in Christ.
If you are burdened with guilt and shame, and filled with self loathing, you CANNOT remember God’s love for you in his gospel.
But, on the other hand, if you have accepted the forgiveness that he freely offers you, and you then forgive yourself, and can once again feel love and acceptance for who you are, then it will not be a far stretch for you to feel the love God offers us freely.
If we lack the comfort and assurance that his love and cleansing are meant to supply, your failures will literally handcuff you to yesterday’s sins, and you will not have the faith or courage necessary to fight against them, or the love for God meant to empower this spiritual war.
Please don’t miss the importance of Peter’s statement.
If we fail to remember our justification, redemption, and reconciliation, we’ll struggle in our sanctification.
If you are taking an honest look at your life and it feels like your growth has been at a standstill,
If you don’t see that your faith, virtue, knowledge,self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love have grown in measurable ways, Peter says it’s because you’ve forgotten the gospel.
Christ died to cleanse you from sin.
Have you become near-sighted?
Can you only see those things that are right in front of you?
How can you expect your faith to grow when all you can see is the failure of your past?
Are you able to see the Savior standing right there before you?
Or are your sins blocking him from your view?
I began this summer writing about SURRENDER.
Then I moved onto Self Love and humility.
All of those blog posts were my attempt to bring you all along on the ride I have been on for the past four years.
That day on the playground at school when I first realized that my Savior knew me PERSONALLY and cared about my life, was the same day that I began to clear away the past so that I could begin to see HIM standing right in front of me guiding and directing my life, just as he is directing yours.
Freeing yourself from the past is NEVER an easy thing to do.
It is hands down the most difficult thing I have ever attempted in my entire life.
But, it was also the most rewarding.
Once I was able to accept that, YES, I had made mistakes.
Mistakes that resulted in the abuse of one son, and the suicide of another.
Mistakes that have left me alone to be the sole provider of four children.
Mistakes that landed me among the thousands of battered women in the world today.
I had turned completely away from God for over twenty years, which looking back was the worst mistake of them all…
I had a long and terrifying list of mistakes to hand over to God and walk away from.
The thing that made that so extremely difficult was the fact that my daily life is still being affected by those very mistakes I was attempting to forgive myself for.
Accepting the sanctification that was being freely offered to me first took SURRENDER.
Then I needed HUMILITY.
From there I had to learn to LOVE AND LIKE MYSELF again.
Once I have climbed up each one of those steps…
I found the Lord at the top of them standing there with his arms wide open and ready to receive me.
That is the gift I wish to impart to all my readers.
The feeling of being enveloped in the loving arms of your Savior, knowing that,
had you been the only person alive,
he still would have suffered all for you alone.
I pray that as you investigate and study each of these areas and commit to growing in stature, you too will gain the knowledge and acquaintance with him, because you will no longer feel unworthy or afraid to be near to Him.
I want for you to know Jesus in his love, and know that he will make you strong, and that you deserve this love and protection in your very own life.
I will leave you today with that prayer that you will take the steps necessary to reach the top where you will KNOW the love of the Savior and can then bring that knowledge out and into your outer life where you can be SALT and LIGHT for him.