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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dottie on pillow 2/23/10
Our cat Dottie, spends most of her time resting

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"No Condemnation!"

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:1,2).

Our cat Dottie is thoroughly domesticated. We picked her out of a litter born to the wild barn cat that "adopted" us after we moved to Pennsylvania nine years ago. She does fine except for two things: she sheds (through no fault of her own) and she periodically exercises her claws by scratching our furniture. When all attempts to break her of this destructive habit failed, we finally deported her to the shed last summer. But when winter hit I didn't have the heart to leave her out there. 

Soft claws
We're trying a new preventive measure and we'll see how it works.  Yesterday Brooksyne, Ester and I worked together, since it took all three of us, to glue some little plastic caps over her claws known as "soft claws". They're supposed to prevent her from damaging furniture.  We'll see how it goes!

We've raised Dottie since she was a kitten. She's kind of stuck up and, as the daughter of a wild barn cat, doesn't seem to understand the grace we bestowed upon her in taking her into our comfortable home. Every so often she demonstrates her wild roots when she's allowed to go outside. She periodically catches a mouse and proudly lays it on the doorstep.  If she's expecting Brooksyne to cook it up for dinner, she's sorely mistaken!

I think of a parallel to these dead mice in our own lives, the junk of our past that Satan will try to bring back up to the doorsteps of our heart.  We all have junk. The Biblical writers are so clear and candid.

Paul concludes his section in Ephesians on the depravity of man by stating, "All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath" (Ephesians 2:3). Notice that he used "we" as the first person plural.  Paul surely had the possibility of having lots of dead mice thrown on his doorstep!

The Apostle Paul in our daily text tells us there is now "no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."  The word "condemnation" from the original Greek means "an adverse sentence."  Because of Christ's death on the cross we are no longer objects of God's wrath, but we are His beloved children.  There could be a heap of "dead rotting mice" the devil hurls at our doorstep and yet the verdict for those who are in Christ Jesus is "No condemnation!"  Could there be a sweeter sentencing for those who at one time were objects of God's wrath!

When we come to God with a contrite heart He does not turn us away but instead delights to show mercy: "Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of His inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; You will tread our iniquities under foot.  Yes, You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:19).

"No fishing" sign
Once our sins are buried into the depths of the sea it is there that we need to envision a "No Fishing" sign. If God does not hold our sins against us we should not go fishing for troubling memories that place us under condemnation and guilt once again.

Peter boldly proclaimed, "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God" (1 Peter 3:18). Due to the resurrection we have also been raised with Christ (Philippians 3:1) to newness of life.  Hallelujah!!!

Do you believe?  Accept the forgiveness of sin that Christ freely offers, rejoice and live for Him today.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Father, in Your compassion You trample our sins under Your feet and throw them in the depths of the ocean, to be remembered no more.  And yet there are times when we have great difficulty letting go of past sins to the extent of dwelling on them and getting weighed down by guilt and condemnation.  Help us to let go of that which You have forgiven.  If we are to remember anything of our past, let it be that which brings glory to You as we share with others that which You have forgiven and delivered us from.  May the contrast of our former lives not bring up condemnation which You have freed us from, but instead provide witness that there is nothing beyond Your merciful pardon.  To God be the glory through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link (usually a Youtube video) to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"And Can It Be"  Video  

"No Condemnation"  Video
  Today's Scripture verse set to music.

"Here I Am To Worship" Video An interesting instrumental presentation with various Scriptures.  Very inspirational.

"Think About His Love"  Video  

Pets sharing pillow 3/11/10
We often hear from our readers that they enjoy our pet photos.  So here's another one.  This morning Roxie and Dottie are laying together on Roxie's bed located under our stairwell. They're good friends!
(Actually this is just one of many of Roxie's beds.)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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