Confession: I have not been in The Word much lately, my early mornings have been filled with interior design, and material selection for our new house project. Yes, I have been productive in some ways, but you know as well as I do, that neglecting the Living Word will leave us in shallow waters, or worse, fumbling, and parched in a dried up stream.
This morning I began anew (aren’t we blessed to serve a God that allows for this as many times as we need it?) and opened up one of my beautiful study notebooks (see: SheReadsTruth) and began again:
For every one of God’s promises is “yes” in Him. Therefore, through Him we also say “Amen” to the glory of God. Now it is God who strengthens us together, with you in Christ, and who has anointed us. He has also put His seal on us, and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a downpayment. 1 Corinthians 1:20-22
Ok, two things jumped out at me this morning when I read these verses:
- God has put His seal on me.
- The Holy Spirit that lives in me is simply a downpayment, not the whole kit and caboodle.
(Today we are going to focus on the first, Part II will follow next week.)
God has claimed me. Not part of me, not just the me on my “good days,” but all of me, Every. Single. Day. Yes, even that day when I said those things to that person that I love out of anger and fear. Or the time I did that thing that was harmful to myself, and seemed to leave a scar on my heart. He still claims me for His own. This is not a new message, but it is one that I believe some of us keep on the surface of our faith, instead of on our hearts, where it belongs.
I read an awesome fiction book this past week on vacation, it’s called “Long Way Gone,” by Charles Martin. It’s a prodigal son sort of story…
One last thing. When you get where you’re going, chances are good that you will hear a lie that is real popular these days. It goes something like this: If you don’t make it, if you don’t succeed, if everything you set you hand to doesn’t prove that you were right and that you can make it on your own, then you have lost your right to come back. Your only ticket back into my good graces is some certificate of success. That’s a lie from the pit of hell. Always has been. But it’s the end of the lie that’s the worst part. The end of the lie says that there is a place that’s too far to come back from. That somewhere in the distant future, there is something you could do or someplace you could go or some hole you could fall into that would disqualify you from ever coming home. And once you’ve stepped over that line, there’s no coming back.
Don’t listen to that lie.
Here’s the truth: No matter what happened on that stage tonight, no matter where you went when you drove out of here, no matter where you end up, no matter what happens, what you become, what you gain, what you lose, whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no matter what you dip your hands into…no gone is too far gone.
You can always come home. And when you do, you’ll find me standing right here, arms wide, eyes searching for your return.
I needed to hear this, even more than I needed solitude in the mountains, or my favorite cappuccino, or a real hug from my husband.
I needed to be reminded that my God has sealed me, not like a letter is sealed, although that is a beautiful image, but He has sealed my very being. To quote a very popular worship song, “there is no shadow you won’t light up, mountain you won’t climb up, coming after me. No wall you won’t kick down, lie you won’t tear down, coming after me!
His seal of love, glory and power will remain on me no matter how far, or how often I stray.
I hope your heart receives this brief message with joy and gladness.
Stay tuned for Part II.