Thursday, September 25, 2008
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”~ Romans 6:4 (ESV ~ emphasis Iris')
Iris, at Sting My Heart (http://www.eph2810.com/), has come up with a wonderful thankful theme and list today. She talks about "change." Oh, sometimes, to some of us, this can be a dreadful word! Who likes change? But think about it. If the caterpillar never underwent change, how would we be able to cast our eyes upon the beautiful butterfly? Aren't our lives as Christians similar? For all of you who have already given your lives to Christ for eternity, let's imagine the caterpillar was our pre-saved state. Let's imagine that we gained the knowledge that our life was spotted, tarnished, ugly, sinful, we were unable to change it, out of control, etc., whether we appeared to be moral caterpillars or not. Something should tell us that we were in need of a major change. So we agree that change needs to happen. Like the caterpillar goes into a cocoon, we go into prayer, asking the God of second chances to do what only He can do--change the old creature into a new one. We go into prayer one way, and like the metamorphosized (changed) caterpillar now turned butterfly, we come out another way, something beautiful, something that will never be the same as it was before, our chains of bondage from sin are gone. We've been set free. We've been rescued from death to life. We've been ransomed. Our tarnished surface is polished. Our inward stains have been washed by the blood of the Lamb.
"Thank You Jesus for change!! If it had not been so for me, I'd be destined for an eternal hell, permanent separation from You. I would be useless for the Kingdom, even now as I live on earth. Good morals or not, I could never see You face to face, as these character traits can't get me to heaven (good character is just the outward manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit because of salvation). I would have no eternal rewards. You would never be able to say to me, "Well done, good and faithful servant." Even as a moral human being, all of my good works would be counted as filthy rags. But oh faithful and good God, not so for me. Because of the miraculous change that I underwent in my prayerful cocoon, because of your loving me and pursuing me first, because I answered, because I realized that I'm nothing without You and You're everything to me and for me, some day, I will go from this life to eternal life with You. I will, like the butterfly, get to try out my new body and live eternally sinless. I will behold the beauty that is You, Lord. Thank You Abba Father." Well now, CHANGE is good!
For the sake of Iris's theme, I used change, because we are new (or changed) creatures when we are redeemed by the blood, but let's look a little deeper. Are our lives changed or EXCHANGED? In all actuality, our lives are exchanged with Christ's. We exchange our lives for His. We willingly give ourselves over. Jesus paid it all and in return, we give it all--our lives for the paid ransom. It's like an exchange done at the agreed upon meeting spot in a kidnapping--the person for the money. Picture the kidnapper shoving the person toward the person with the suitcase full of money, and at the same time or simultaneously, the person with the suitcase shoves it over to the kidnapper. "I'll give you what I have in exchange for what you have." Jesus went from life as a man to death on the Cross in exchange for our sins. He took our sins upon Himself. In exchange, we earned freedom. In salvation, we give our lives to Christ, He gives us eternity and life with Him. "Thank You Lord, for the EXCHANGE! What a gift!!"
These are the things that I'm thankful for today. What about you? Click on Iris' link above and see what others are thankful for as well.