Is there something in your past that haunts you?
Is there a moment of indiscretion that you can’t seem to let go of?
Do you struggle with forgiving yourself for things in your past that you’ve already repented for time and time again?
On Monday I will begin a new series for the month of January called “What Doe the Bible Say About Your Identity in Christ”. We’ll not only see why it is important that our identity is firmly planted in Jesus Christ, but how we can get there!
It’s the how that so many people struggle with today.
I want to share with you a brief story:
The young man was raging with anger. He was just a boy really, but his anger and actions were those of someone older. A bigger boy had been teasing him and in his fun had unwittingly stepped into an area that instantly brought rage in the one he was teasing.
The fun quickly changed to fighting and the fighting became a matter of survival for the one doing the teasing. He was warding off fists and kicks when suddenly he was thrown to the ground on his back and out of nowhere a sharp object was pointing at his heart.
Just as quickly, a man in his early twenties was standing over both of them and had the attacker by the arm, preventing him from stabbing the boy on the ground. “What are you doing,” he yelled at the attacker, “Stop this now!”
He pulled the attacker off the boy who had been teasing him. The twenty year-old was a volunteer police officer, showed his badge, and told the young man he was under arrest. The boy who had been doing the teasing jumped up and ran home.
The volunteer policeman and the attacker began walking down the street. “I am not going to cuff you or take you to the station. Instead, I am going take you to another office and you will receive a different kind of sentencing.”
They continued walking and talking. The boy shared his struggle with anger and the officer spoke calmly and compassionately.
Instead of yelling and demeaning him like he was used to hearing, words of care and encouragement were spoken. The walk and conversation continued for a lengthy time and to the boys surprise they entered the building of the YMCA.
He was taken to the office of the manager and sentenced to one month of weekly attendance at the “Y” activities.
There was never an official record made of the attempted murder.
This act of mercy by a volunteer police officer and the kindness and positive Christian atmosphere of the YMCA were the initial steps that would lead this ten year-old boy to life transformation.
Six years later, there was another act of mercy from a Christian leader, following an explosion of his anger, that led him to a full encounter with Almighty God bringing him to repentance and a born again experience.
That boy was my dad. You can read the whole post here: When Mercy Triumphed
You may wonder how someone could ever live with the guilt of knowing they almost took another person’s life with their own hands.
Well, that is exactly what we’re going to be looking at in January – the truth that we don’t have to live with guilt…condemnation….our past mistakes and failures….our past hurts and disappointments.
That is why I chose the book of Ephesians as our January 30 Day Prayer Challenge.
It says so much about our identity and our role in every part of society as His children.
I hope you’ll join me this month as we discover our identity in Christ and as we learn to live life through that lens….something that will truly set us free!
Visit this page to get this 30 Day Prayer Challenge for Ephesians!