I sometimes hear born-again Christians refer to someone like me as a sinner, and they include themselves in this descriptor. In their vocabulary, and one would assume in their minds, all of us humans are sinners. Believers in Christ, followers of Jesus, and miscelanious other good and decent people, we are all sinners in God’s eyes. They are quite clear about this.
Well, I disagree. I am not a “sinner” especially not since my heart and soul were transformed through the Holy Spirit. I was born anew (in 2000 as described in an earlier blog post). And God’s spirit dwells within me. He is right here to help guide and inspire my being.
You might have guessed that I resent being called a sinner. Not that I don’t sin sometimes but I can honestly say that it is the exception, not the rule. I work on improving my character because it feels right and good, and I know that it pleases God the Father. I have a deep desire to make him happy, because he makes me so very well, and complete, and joyful! It’s the least I can do.
You can imagine how pleased I was to come across a Christian spiritual teacher who uses very different language in refering to herself and others who have been re-born.
We are children of God, yes, but Jesus died on the cross to atone for our sins. He carried all of those sins on his back, feeling the emotional pain deeply, in order to take that ugliness away from us. He was tortured so that we could be free of that load. And liberated from our sinful nature. So that we could KNOW God’s love intensely within us.
Now, why would Jesus go to all that troube and suffering only for us to remain with the same sinful nature? No. I don’t think so. And thankfully, I’m not alone in feeling this way.
God transformed us when he sent his Spirit to dwell in us to help guide our daily lives. It’s what gives us real hope.
I make mistakes, of course I do. And some of my mistakes are sinful and not even close to how Jesus would behave. But my nature is not sinful by definition. Fallible, for sure, but not sinful. The distinction is important to me.
I am joyful and delighted by him and his Word. End of story. And that’s the truth… as Edith-Ann of the old Laugh-In TV show would say.
The spiritual teacher I mentioned is Rebekah R. Jones, whom I mentione in a previous post. I’ve been a member of her Heart To Freedom group for nearly four months. And I LOVE it! We are building a virtual community of like-minded women whose personal devotion and quiet time with the Lord includes Bible Art Journaling. This group was made for me!
I feel like I’ve landed at a gourmet buffet filled with top quality foods for the soul! Only none of it will go bad if I don’t devour every dish right away. No, the servings are actually best when followed by a suitable digestion period.
Dishes include Bible Study techniques and tools (mentioned in an earlier post); How to recognize God’s voice; How to relate to the Godhead in its 3 flavours: the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the son, Jesus; Preparing Bible pages for making art; all about colour and how to use it to greatest advantage; Time management to make space for God in your everyday life; Managing your thoughs and words to avoid self-sabbotage; the fruits of the Spirit; How to beat overwhelm; and the list continues. With a new course released every month, the next one on Healing, I am sure not to run out of growth oppotunities. I am in it for the long haul.
I must say that my walk with Christ has never been so dynamic and full as when I began digging into the Bible. That holy book is more than spiritual nourrishment, it’s a new adventure that has taken hold of my heart – and my soul.
As a member of the Heart to Freedom program where I get to focus on spiritual growth through, and with, Bible art journaling, all the pieces have connected.
Funny how the path to a life mission becomes crystal clear with hindsight. But at the time, the dips and detours seem independent of “the plan”. My own journey has travelled in and out of following Spirit since my teens, experienced starts and stops in creative endeavours while exploring a great variety of artistic mediums, only to land where I started more than 60 years ago, colouring with crayons and pencils! ha!
And through it all my constant companion has been migraine, with “regular” headaches on the side. Why not. But even they have played a role in bringing me closer to my core being. A good person who is growing better with God – and art – at the centre. Ahhh. It feels so right.
Blessings to you, dear reader.