When I was in high school and college, God had set me free and walked me through forgiveness toward my dad. Forgiveness truly lifted a huge burden off of me and I really felt a freedom from the control of my past. The problem was that I still suffered from shame and really didn't want to talk about my dad with anyone or how God helped me forgive. Several years ago, God used a friend to show me how hiding in shame was not allowing God's glory to be seen in my life. I had shared my story with her and her comment to me was, "Wow! I would have never guessed that you have been through such things because you seem really put together and have such a strong faith. I always assumed that you came from a stable, Christian home." In that moment I realized that people see me for who I am in the present and not for what God has done. I still don't just blurt out the story to everyone I meet; however, I am no longer hiding in shame. If I don't share how God has completely healed me from my past (and shame), no one will know the work He has done in me. God has a story that needs to be shared in every one of us; please look up Ephesians 2:4-7.
Verses 6 and 7 are worded so beautifully in the New Living Translation, "For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus." Praise God! God has raised us from the dead with Christ so He can point us out to future generations to show His grace and kindness. He loves His children and He wants others to see what He can and will do for all who are united with Christ. This unity we have from Christ didn't just mean we sacrifice our old selves, it means victory over death and to be used as an example for others to witness God's redemption and glory.
It makes me think of the standing stones that God would have the Israelites erect when He did something to remember for ages to come. The purpose of putting up a standing stone (or alter) was so that when someone came to that spot they would ask, "What happened here?" And the question could be answered with, "Let me tell you what God has done..." The beautiful thing is that we are now the standing stones. 1 Peter 2:4-5 (NLT) says, "You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God." We are God's living stones that can "declare the praises of Him who brought us out of darkness into His wonderful light," (1 Peter 2:9). We all have a story that can declare the greatness of God in our lives and it doesn't have to be dramatic. My husband grew up in a beautiful family and can declare praise to God for what he was spared. That is a wonderful story in my opinion!
Are you sharing your God-story with others?
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