From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh.
Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh,
we regard him thus no longer.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
All this is from God,
who through Christ reconciled us to himself
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself,
not counting their trespasses against them,
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ,
God making his appeal through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin,
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
(2 Cor 5:16-21)
Because Jesus makes us new, He makes us ABLE to humble ourselves and seek forgiveness. He makes us ABLE to forgive. He makes us ABLE to love others. In our natural state, we are not humble, we are hard hearted, we are lovers of self.
So often I want to go back to that natural state. Serving Self seems to be the easier way. It is the familiar way. But it is the way that separates us from the Father. It is the same journey taken to the Pigsty by the Prodigal Son:
A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.
When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, “At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.'” (Luke 15:13-19)
As soon as we find our way back to the Father we see Him ready to embrace us, put a ring on our finger and celebrate our return. We are prone to wander. He stays put. We are tempted and give in, but He never gives up on us.
Any sense that we might find peace apart from God is a lie. And lies that we live it must be brought to the light and exposed because the Lord has so much more in store for us. Jesus reminds us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (John 101:10).
Do you want more of the how-to, when it comes to living life abundantly?
Do you want to learn what God’s plan is for our parenting, our marriages, and friendships?
Do you want more peace in your relationship with God?
Do you need closure in your broken relationships?
Do you want to leave guilt behind?
Find these answers and more in Prodigal Confessions: 10 Principles That Lead Us Back to the Father (amazon link).