Sinner or Saint?

"We are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners." ~ Dan Cannon

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 This puts things in a little different perspective, doesn't it? And it makes sense. I mean, I'm not a writer because I write. I write because I am a writer. My pastor isn't a preacher because he preaches, but he preaches because he is a preacher. Our actions stem from who we are - not the other way around. A killer isn't a killer because he or she kills, rather he kills because murder is in his heart. What was it Jesus said? If you have unrighteous anger in your heart toward someone, you have already committed murder. If a man lusts after a woman in his heart, he has committed adultery. We act out of who we are. We don't become these things. We are these things, therefore we do them.

Frightening, isn't it? Thank God for redemption! Thanks to Jesus, we can go from being a sinner to being a saint. 

" the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace 
in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved 
through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 
not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, 
which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
(Ephesian 2:7b-10 ESV) 

So it stands to reason that people are not Christians because they do good works. Rather, Christians do good works because they are Christians. And people are Christians because God regenerates them - transforming the heart of a sinner into the heart of a saint.

Isn't God good?

Peace & Anxiety

~ by Linnette R Mullin, All Rights Reserved

"... do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
~ Phillipians 4:6-7

Though one of the most difficult commands to obey, the fruit of God's peace is one of the sweetest. I do experience it now and again. These verses have become a life line for me in many ways. The prayer that has fallen from my lips more often than any other the past year has been for His peace which passes understanding - that God would guard the hearts and minds of those I love while in the midst of their sufferings. My heart cries out for them and I strive to cast my anxiety for them on the Lord. 

It's not quite as easy to cast my personal anxiety on the Lord. I find myself waking with my stomach tied in knots. There's too much needing attending and too little of me to extend. I am beyond frustrated. I am anxious and fearful of failing those I love. I need this peace for myself. I need my heart and mind guarded from the evil one who threatens to undo me every day. I need a closer union with Jesus spoken of in John 15.

The Christian life is not an easy life, is it? Do you struggle with these issues? The day in and day out of sanctification is painful. I wonder if this peace that surpasses understanding is the only way we can truly grow and bear good fruit. The only way to keep from becoming bitter or fearful. Yes?