WHY GO BACK THERE?

A couple of months ago, Randy and I took a quick trip back to Oklahoma where we were raised. It was a spontaneous trip, planned in about 24 hours, complete with flight, rental and hotel, to see OU play football.  While there, we spent some time going back to revisit all the “haunts” where we grew up, taught school, had fun times, where family resided years earlier.  We visited the church where we gave our lives to Christ as children, then much later served as a ministry couple. 

This brought back many good memories but it also reminded us of all the mistakes, troubles and sin in our growing up years.  And we sighed.  What made it bearable was to realize, in grateful praise, all that God brought us through, how He saved our souls and made us whole.  Since that time, God has taken us on a journey, day by day, step by step, to follow Him no matter what’s happening around us.  We still make mistakes, but He forgives us and helps us keep moving closer to Him.  We don’t reside in that sin-place of thinking anymore.  In Jesus, we found new life and a new way to live.  We decided a long time ago, we’re not going back to where we were!  There is nothing there for us.  Sin no longer has a hold on us!  Only God, through Jesus, His Son! 

Why go back there?  Not Oklahoma, the state, but the sin that enslaves us?  We discovered you can go back home physically, but there is no reason to go back to place where sin tied us down.  We thank God for teaching us His way of life that leads to freedom.

Consider this…Imagine being given a brand-new car as a tax-free gift!  Your excitement is over the moon!  However, you still remember the fun you had with your old, present car.  You just can’t let go of the old clunker that was not dependable, full of dirt and rust in the undercarriage, and stained by all that you and your family had done to it.  Would you park the new car in the garage and never experience driving around in it, enjoying all the benefits of the newness?  Would you cling to the old car as if it was your only mode of transportation until it completely disintegrated?  Here is a better question, which one do you trust more to get you where you need to go?  New or old? 

Are we coming a little closer to understanding the difference between old and new?

Paul gave us the best explanation of all!  When we repented of our sins to Jesus, we packed up and left where sin lives.  To show this to the world, we were baptized as a witness the world that our sin was buried in the waters!  We were then raised up from the burial water alive in Christ!  We declared that we no longer live where sin is, the sin-world that separates us from God.  “We entered a new country of grace!”  Why go back there? says Paul.  Why go back to death when we can have life eternal?  Hang on to every word God says!  What God says is His best for us.  Always.  “Sin speaks a dead language.”  God speaks words of life.  I’m not who I used to be, praise God.  God is shaping me daily into all He created me to be.  I love Him heart, mind and soul.  All of me desires all of Him working in and through me for His glory. 

We cannot help but sing praises for all God has done, is doing, and will do for eternity all because of His great love for us.  He gave us Jesus and with Jesus we have a brand-new life.  Why go back there…to the old life that only leads to death when we can have life, Real Life?

And I’m singing…Resurrection Song by Elevation…

By Your spirit I will rise
From the ashes of defeat
The resurrected King, is resurrecting me
In Your name I come alive
To declare Your victory
The resurrected King, is resurrecting me

ROMANS—OUR CARE AND CALLING

Romans 6:1-14, The Message

 When Death Becomes Life

1-3 So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!

3-5 That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.

6-11 Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer captive to sin’s demands! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.

12-14 That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.

SO, WHAT DO WE LEARN?

Once sin is repented and we are saved by grace, sin no longer has a hold on us.  Don’t go back and give the old life the time of day, Paul teaches.  Give God ALL your life, the good, bad and ugly, and He will lead us into new life that is beyond our wildest dreams.  Go full-speed ahead, full-time, not part time, into God’s way of doing life.  Live in freedom with God for the glory of God.  Realize the depths of His love for us and then love others like He loves us.  Once you taste this pure freedom, you won’t want to go back!

My prayer for all of us, dear friends.

In Jesus Name, For His Glory, Amen.

The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now
The Savior knelt to wash our feet
Now at His feet we bow

The One who wore our sin and shame
Now robed in majesty
The radiance of perfect love
Now shines for all to see

Your name, Your name
Is victory
All praise, will rise
To Christ, our king

Your name, Your name
Is victory
All praise, will rise
To Christ, our king

The fear that held us now gives way
To Him who is our peace
His final breath upon the cross
Is now alive in me

Your name, Your name
Is victory
All praise, will rise
To Christ, our king

Your name, Your name
Is victory
All praise, will rise
To Christ, our king

By Your spirit I will rise
From the ashes of defeat
The resurrected King, is resurrecting me
In Your name I come alive
To declare Your victory
The resurrected King, is resurrecting me…

Yeah, I’m not going back.

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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