My upbringing wasn’t in church, nor was I brought up in the admonition of the Lord. I wouldn’t say I was brought up altogether void of God, I got some knowledge. For instance my mother would send us kids to church if we lived nearby one. John 3:16 stuck, but little else. It is a testimony of God’s grace He saved me. I had accumulated a false belief system about Him, one that was based on guilt, shame and condemnation. I carried guilt over the loss of a child. I felt shame over my past mistakes. I felt condemned and hopeless. I based these concepts on the evidence or facts of my life.
Just because I repeated a sinner’s prayer, didn’t mean I knew God. He saved me, but my misconceptions of God remained. I began to read the Bible. At first I didn’t understand a lot of what I was reading, but I pressed on, even through the dry parts. When I finished reading it through the first time, I understood a little more. I read it again. I didn’t stop, I kept on reading it again and again and again. I’m still reading it again some thirty-five years later. The Lord has used the Word to confronted my misconceptions one by one.
One scripture has stood out through the years. John 8:31b, 32. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The truth isn’t what I believe to be true but what is the scripture says is truth. How can the truth set you free, if you don’t know what truth is? The truth isn’t a thing it’s a person. It’s Jesus Christ. Scripture says He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). Jesus is the Word and His Word is Truth. He gave his Word so we may know Him.
One of the misconceptions I had was, I thought my sins were too great for God to forgive. Not that He couldn’t but that He wouldn’t want to. I felt condemnation and like I was unworthy. What does the Word say? “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool (Isaiah 1:18). “Therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)… and in Him you have been made complete…” (Colossian 2:10).
It’s not enough to read the word or to know the scriptures, you must apply them. You must believe they are for you and act upon them. Repent for believing the misconceptions, let them go and embrace the Truth.
John 14:6, John 1:1, Isaiah 1:18, Romans 8:1, Colossian 2:10
What is the Truth speaking to you today?
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Rev. Denise Much