For God, in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ and through him God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and earth by means of Christ's blood on the cross. This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result he has brought you into his own presence and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don't drift away from the assurance you receive when you heard the Good News. Col. 1:19-23a
I am still working my way through "Jesus+Nothing=Everything" and in my time of Penuel each morning, I am reading all of the associated Scriptures. I confess, for a long time, the Scriptures have looked dull and dry to me. Now that I'm examining them through the Gospel Telescope: they are glittering and marvelous with meaning. I want to memorize them all. In every translation. However my mind is not facile enough to manage that with any alacrity....So instead I just write the verses that hit me between the eyes onto 4x6 cards and carry them around all day to keep reading them.
I'm going to make a huge statement. Ready?
I honestly do not know if I possessed conversion prior to this past week.
Now I have some reservation about saying that. I've done things in the past that were definitely Spirit empowered and prompted....Let's just put it this way. Prior to this week I was a captive. I was a captive to my sin A captive to my image of a disapproving stern God. I was a captive to my own insufficient efforts. I was captive to the knowledge that I was NOT good enough to enjoy heaven or to "merit it" (it was the thought that I had to merit it which was what was really in the way!)
NOW I know why God has not allowed me to die all these many many times, my body tried to come home. It's because there was so much more to be had. Once more Scripture is alive I don't want to do anything else but read it. It's like I never saw it before. I read these passages of amazing GOOD NEWS and I wonder, how did I read those in the past without dancing? Without rejoicing?
I never got it before....that he did it ALL. EVERYTHING necessary to make me his bride and to be presented to the Father faultless. I never got it before how the gospel can make us holy. ...how the Good News of Christ's death for me will make me clean and pure and holy if I only allow it to. I struggled and tried and stumbled time and time again against my cantankerous sinful, prideful SELF--never able to improve my sinful character....Never able to do anything positive because I could not manage to lift myself by my bootstraps
"So I say, Live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." Gal 5:16. I'd read that a million times and had no idea how to live by the Spirit. All it really means is let the Gospel have its way with you and you will not be able to do anything but become holy. There is but one possible response to this understanding.: Falling on my face at Jesus's feet, washing them with happy tears and saying ....."Thank you my Jesus. Thank you."