Convicted But Not Condemned
I am so excited on this Wednesday. We are between two blessed Sundays. This past Sunday, I had the honor and privilege of baptizing Kenya Gregory and Sophia Speaks and we, this great and growing church, Zion Memorial Missionary Baptist Church, collectively, welcomed them into the Body of Christ. And, on this upcoming Sunday, we, collectively, will celebrate our mothers on Mother's Day. Right now, on this Wednesday, we are right in the middle of seeing God's glory past and God's glory to be revealed as we anticipate a message from Anita "The Boss Lady" Dean-Arnette of The Light radio station. I hope and pray that you will come and fill God's house with family and friends to celebrate our mothers together on this Sunday.
As we move from glory to glory, when the celebration is over, when the shouting grows faint, we have to deal with life as it comes at us. And, in us dealing with life as it comes at us, we sometimes struggle when we stumble and even fall.
Let us be real. Sometimes we mess up in ways that we know disappoints us and we may believe disappoints God.
I want you to know something. God did not make you to be perfect; but, through His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, He made you to pursue perfection.
How do we pursue perfection? Trial and error.
We try to do right. We get it right sometimes. And, sometimes, we mess up.
And, when we mess up, we have a choice - condemnation or conviction.
When we mess up and choose condemnation, we say that our mess up is the best that we were, are, and ever will be. We see our failures as evidence that we are just not good enough. We see our setbacks as reminders of who and what we will never be.
But, child of God, I have a message for you.
Romans 8:1 tells us, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
What? You mean that we can mess up and not just be a mess who cannot get up. Yes, I do, child of God. You mean that we can fail and not be failures. Yes, I do, child of God. You mean that our past is not our destiny but truly a foundation for our future. Yes, I do, child of God.
You see, if you will choose to reject condemnation as a condition that no longer fits you because you are a child of God, then, and only then, you can make room to choose something else, conviction.
Conviction brings you to the point of recognizing that your mess ups, failures, and setbacks are truly mess ups, failures, and setbacks; BUT, as a child of God, you have an opportunity to use each as an opportunity for transition and transformation.
You see, conviction in God should lead to repentance, not simply feeling bad or sorry for yourself. Everybody likes a party. But, nobody likes a pity party.
The condemned, pitiful in the absence of God in your life you says woe is me.
The convicted, powerful in the presence of God in your life you says I have got to put my woe behind me.
If you will embrace your conviction that yields new life versus your condemnation that only echoes defeat, then you will find that you can also embrace repentance that will have you changing your mind, changing your thoughts, changing your moods, changing your words, changing your actions, and changing your life so that you can glorify God and help to lead others to Him.
It is a choice and, if you believe God's word, it is a truth that will set you free.
Beloved, if you are a child of God, you should be convicted but you should never be condemned.
Live your truth and accept your freedom.
I look forward to seeing you on Mother's Day; but, I look forward even more to seeing you tonight at HOPE Wednesday as we continue our journey in prayer.
You come and invite someone to come with you. For those with children, we have some of our young people helping to watch them so that you can enjoy our time together without worry or excuse.
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!