Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Queen Melissa

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Here's the link to todays episode of the Cinnamon Bear http://www.radiolovers.com/shows/C/CinnamonBear/CINNBEAR371212e1432-22-mono12m16sQueenMelissa.mp3

Maybe Queen Melissa could fix the broken star. She fixed an embarrassing problem for Crazy Quilt the  Dragon once before. So they head to the royal court.

I never bothered to paint and ornament of the grand flunky. He's the guy who makes sure you are presented to her royal highness with the proper attire and ceremony.  Of course as seemed to be typical of old radio shows we get another re cap song from The Cinnamon Bear in a lovely tenor voice. 

So the idea of royalty and meeting royalty is my spring board for today's post. I know it is hard for some to grasp the idea that in Jesus we become part of the royal family of believers.
1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, 
a holy nation, a people belonging to God, 
that you may declare the praises of him 
who called you out of darkness 
into his wonderful light.

So what are we supposed to be doing between the point we are saved by Jesus and the time we go to be with him in heaven. I know that many of us think that we need to become good enough Christians. We need to read our bibles, and pray and do lots good things to please God. We get the reasons for doing those things all backwards because we still think we some how have to be good enough. We can still carry the misguided notion that we need to earn God's favor. 

He has called us out of darkness into his wonderful light and as the people belonging to God we declare His praise. 

2 Corinthians 5:20
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, 
as though God were making his appeal through us. 
We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

 We step into the role of ambassadors for his kingdom. We are not out getting notches in our salvation tally belt so we can be good enough. Out heart is being changed to be more and more like the King whose people we are. He has brought us out of darkness and into his marvelous light and we carry his appeal to others that we meet in the couse of of life. Be reconciled to God. Each and everyone of us has a unique story of how we came to know the Lord and the things he has done for us. One does not have to be a bible scolar to tell your own story of God's love and mercy towards you. Many stall in sharing their faith because they are waiting to be a good enough example of a Christian so that God will not be ashamed of us. We can think that we need to be all polished and shiny before we are suitable representatives for the king of Kings. When we present that "good enough" message we are actually miss representing God's message.  It is not about you ever being good enough to stand before a holy God. Jesus is the perfect and unblemished sacrifice that is offered on your messed up and broken behalf. God already knows you are a mess. He already knows you are not enough. He already knows how broken and dirty you are. He sees you with your bar of religious soap trying to clean yourself up so you can be presentable. 

Ephesians 2:8(NIV1984)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith
and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

Galatians 5:5(NIV1984)
But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope

Sure we all want to be healed and cleaned but it is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. 

Paul who was arguably one of the most righteous of Jew before he met Jesus. Calls all his righteousness rubbish. 

Philippians 3:7-9

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

How do we live between now and eternity? We live by faith that Jesus is enough. That it is the work of the Holy Spirit to clean us up to be presentable when we stand before the King. He does that by dressing us in the robes of righteousness. Those robes are not our own righteousness but Jesus. It is faith in Jesus that we wear. All our imperfection is covered by Him and Him alone. Its like he has taken all your traffic tickets and stood before the judge and said I got this to the Judge. He turns and hands you a "get out of jail free" card. Did you earn it or deserve it? the answer is no. I bet however if you were in court of law deserving punishment and someone gave you a "get out of jail free" card you would be telling everyone your crazy weird story. 

Well I am out of time for today. Go tell someone your story about how God called you out of darkness and into His wonderful light. Tell them about his transforming work in your life. Its a journey and each and every day God's mercies are new. Each and every day you are becoming more and more like Jesus. Each and every day you will encounter people who desperately need to be reconciled to God. We are not reconciled by our good works or good behavior we are reconciled by accepting by faith what Jesus has done on our behalf. 

I apologize if I'm preaching to the choir today but I am surprised how many believers I meet that are still trying to be good enough. Maybe you are one of them. This topic seems to be one of the messages that God has given me to proclaim. He has given me a gift of creatively communicating His kingdom truths. He has given you gifts as well. They may be different than mine. So if you are sitting around feeling bad that you don't write or create or communicate like I do - stop it, already. I am just like you a very long way from perfected. From some angles I am a diamond in the rough from other angles that the Lord has worked on are pretty and sparkle and reflect His glory. He's been working on me for 30 years. I have slipped and fallen into mud more times than I care to recount. What I can tell you is that Jesus has been there for me during the good and the bad times. He is faithful - He is enough. 
I just have to tell you cause its hard for me to be quiet about all the stuff he has done for me and all the stuff he wants to do for you. So I urge you - be reconciled to God accept what has been done on your behalf and stop trying to measure up and be good enough. 

Enough said - I pray you have an awesome day. That you walk today in greater freedom because the burden of having to be good enough has been lifted off of your back. I pray you would find a spring in your step and a song of prise in your heart. Maybe you will pass this message on to someone else who is weighed down by the guilt and shame of not being good enough to stand before a Holy God. 

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