Paul who wrote most of the New Testament in the Bible was someone who enjoyed seeing Christians be killed.
Moses was a murderer.
Peter betrayed his friend 3 times, when his friend needed him most.
King David was ‘only’ a shepherd, a murderer, an adulterer… and the list goes on of people who were ‘tainted’ by their past.
The truth is we all have been haven’t we? I’m sure all of us can look back to things in our past and see things that we aren’t proud of… some of us may even feel shame.
But like the people in the list above God can use YOU and often use your past to create a future that you can be proud of.
Shame… it’s like a rotting corpse that has this pull that keeps us from seeing our own bright futures because of our own dark pasts.
But here’s the thing “We are NOT our sins… and we are NOT what others have done to us!” – but you will need to be honest, own what is yours and change what can be changed… don’t let the guilt and shame rob you of who you were created to be!
You can’t change the past – but you (and God) can change the future…
The problem is we can’t fully know God if we are to hold on to the shame of our past… you need to give it to him.
And the hard thing may be leaving the past where it belongs… in the past.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) –“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
Scripture is like a kaleidoscope
Have you ever read a scripture and thought “that’s nice but it’s not really for me… or where I’m at” but then you read the same scripture again in a different light and you think “wow… that’s EXACTLY where I am at”?
Thats the thing I love about Gods word… you can read it again and again and it will seem different as God reveals a new part of it.
It’s like a kaleidoscope… the more you turn it in your mind and focus on different parts of the scripture the more you see in it… and the more God reveals to you.
It’s a real testament to God the author who inspired the writers thousands of years ago… and still illuminates The Word through the same spirit today.
Sometimes we can read Gods word through our own tainted lenses and only see the things that are focused on the part of the scriptures we like or feel comfortable with… but God wants us to be in wonder of each of different parts of that… a Holy wonder at the ‘small’ things.
But it’s too easy to stay focused on the stuff we already know… isn’t it?
Gods character in The Bible is described 100’s of different ways… each character giving us a glimpse of a small part of who God is… and it still doesn’t even touch the surface… and so it would seem to me that Gods scripture would be the same. In fact in Jewish tradition the Rabbis says that sacred scripture has 70 faces.
In Eugene Peterson’s book: “Eat this Book – a conversation on the art of spiritual reading” he writes this.
“The words printed on the pages of my Bible give witness to the living and active revelation of the God of creation and salvation, the God of love who became the Word made flesh in Jesus, and I had better not forget it. If in my Bible reading I lose touch with this livingness, if I fail to listen to this living Jesus, submit to this sovereignty, and respond to this love, I become arrogant in my knowing and impersonal in my behavior. An enormous amount of damage is done in the name of Christian living by bad Bible reading”
Read Gods word…
RE-read Gods word…
EAT this Book…