Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Phrase to put a smile in your day...

"I'm Forgiven."

I was sitting at church today, listening, taking notes, trying to keep my mind from aimlessly wondering, like it wants to every once in a while. (As a side note, I am a doodle, note taker queen. I have to write down what I'm hearing in order to absorb what I'm learning.) Anyway, all of a sudden a phrase grabbed me...

"When nothing seems right, say to yourself the phrase 'I'm forgiven.' Those two words are life changing."

Wow! My listening ears became alert and my pen started writing double time...I was not going to miss this. The preacher already had my attention and I wanted to hear more.

The message ended up being about Paul. The Sunday School story of how he persecuted followers of Christ, only to be transformed into one of the greatest missionaries, after a meeting one on one with the Lord. Awesome story, but nothing I hadn't heard before. Well, that is until our speaker asked these questions:

"When do you think Paul truly realized his own forgiveness? How did he manage to let go of his past and forgive himself?"

How many times do we bring up past hurts and failures? How many times do we let the past decide our future? How many times do we cry to God "I'm not worthy!"?

Me? Too many times to count. There have been too many times I have laughed at God and said:

"You have got to be kidding me?!!!"

" Do you know who I am?"

"What I have done?"

"You couldn't possibly use me in that situation!"

Yet, if you really take the time to read Paul's story, then you realize what true grace is all about and you come to an understanding that if God can use Paul, He can use you too.

So many times I think we who call ourselves followers of Christ, forget where we came from, taking forgranted what a beautiful gift we have been given. We sometimes need to remember the past so we can understand and be reminded of what true grace is. And then once we realize that gift, let it all go, so we can be an empty vessel to be used for His glory.

I once heard that if you have nothing else to be thankful for, you can always write down "I'm still breathing." I try to keep a "thank you" journal everyday. I have been for years. It is the best way I know to keep afloat during those hard moments. I can't tell you how many times one of my "at least five blessings" has been "I'm breathing." But, I think I have a new phrase. One to lift the lowliest of spirits. It changes one's attitude. It makes me tingle from head to toe. I am going to even share it with you, for it is that special...

"I'm Forgiven."

If you don't smile after saying that, then you and I need to have a talk.

If you have some time today, you might want to read Paul's story in Acts 9. It is jam packed with soul searching drama and total forgiveness...

"But the Lord said to Ananias, 'Go! This man is my chosen instrument...'" Acts 9:15

15 comments:

momstheword said...

I love the line about not letting your past determine your future.

Awesome post. Imagine hearing about Saul and all that he did, and now you're told he has repented and been changed and is Paul now, and oh, by the way, he doesn't persecute Christians anymore.

I'd be thinking.....trap!

Yes, what use would he be if he couldn't let go of his past and let God use him. It's not like God was unaware of his past!

None of us deserve God's grace but He gives it freely!

About your job, yeah, it's an adjustment to be gone. I go through the same thing when homeschooling starts again. All of a sudden I have a "job" again and less time.

However, since I'm home I can at least toss a load in the washer or dryer.

Jim said...

Sis,
As I clicked on the comment page and begin to think about what to say, I noted that the word verification for me to publish my comment was "trofi". As I pronounced it in my head, I heard "trophy" and realized that what you had written was just that. It was trophy from the heart of God Himself, written through the instrument of one who is seeking to be a whole vessel filled to overflowing with God's truth. Well, you've overflowed well with this blog. Thanks for the reminder and challenge for me to declare "I'm forgiven", too.

Love you,
Jim-Dad

christy rose said...

Great post Mich! "I'M FORGIVEN" tHAT SHOULD PUT A SMILE ON ALL OF OUR FACES!

Pilar said...

Greats!! Thanks!!

Sharon@JoyInTheTruth said...

Wowzie. That's great.
We have been studying Acts on Sunday mornings at church for several months. It is chock-full indeed! Next Sunday we are finishing up and then going to Romans.

I love how you wrote this. I can just see you in church taking notes and then all of a sudden....

E @ Scottsville said...

Two tiny little words that WOW, yes, are soooo powerful!

Thanks for sharing that with us, Mich. =0)

Gretchen said...

And now today I'll be humming..."I'm forgiven because You were forsaken...I'm accepted...You were condemned...I'm alive and well...Your Spirit is within me...because You died and rose again."

Just read about propitiation this a.m., Mich. And you're right, not only does this bring a smile, it brings me to my knees with gladdy mc gladitude.

Heart2Heart said...

I love your line, "I'm forgiven!" Truly that should be our counteract whenever the enemy tries to throw our past back at us, like flaming arrows.

Just those two word alone along with "Jesus saves!" are so mightly powerful ones to keep in your journal and perhaps write on a sticky where you can see it on your computer.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Kristin said...

I'm so glad that I read your blog now! I love this post and that is something I need to remind myself of too.

Billy Coffey said...

This post hit me hard, Mich. Just what I needed to hear today. Thanks for perking me up a little!

~*Michelle*~ said...

oooooooooh, I really love this, Mich.

I am going to take you up on your suggestion and hit Acts 9 tonight before bed. I can't think of a better way to fall asleep than those
"Forgiven" thoughts......

thank you so much! I really needed this today. I have a lot of baggage that I lug around sometime....the enemy loves to throw your past in your face, whereas God has tossed it into that Sea, never to be heard/seen again.

xox

Amber said...

Good stuff, Sister Dear.

I always love your words and what you have to say.

Love you.

SusanD said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting. I enjoyed reading your post. It is such an awesome truth. Blessings, SusanD

Hope said...

Dear Mich,

Thanks for all the visits! I really want to get over here and visit you properly, but right this minute I have to attend to my laundry and dinner. I will be back as soon as I can.

♥Hope

Hope said...

Dear Mich,

This is wonderful! I know that when I am down, if I start to thank God for my blessings, of which there are more than I can count, then my spirit is lifted and I can truly praise God. I like remembering too that praise is a sacrifice, because it lets me know that God realizes that praise is not always easy.

Hebrews 13:15
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

♥Hope