Saturday, September 8, 2018

Be Yourself - Martin Wiles

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT

Her life was normal until she was one and a half years old. Then her world changed.

As a young child, Helen Keller contracted either scarlet fever or meningitis. The sickness left her blind and deaf. Anne Sullivan arrived as her teacher when Helen was six years old. At seven, Helen entered Perkins Institute for the Blind. Later, she attended a school for the deaf in New York. She entered The Cambridge School for Young Ladies when she was fourteen. At twenty, she enrolled in Radcliffe College. Four years later, she graduated cum laude—the first deaf and blind person to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Helen’s achievements didn’t stop there. She became a world-famous speaker who campaigned for civil rights, labor rights, birth control, and world peace. Additionally, she authored many books and essays on these topics. President Lyndon Johnson awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964. The following year, she was elected to the National Women’s Hall of Fame at New York’s World Fair. In 1971, she was inducted into Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame. Despite her disabilities, Helen Keller became whom God created her to be.

According to Paul, those who belong to Christ by way of asking His forgiveness for their sins are new people. Old things disappear; new life arrives. A new nature with new wants, desires, and options replaces the old sinful nature which led to nothing but dead ends.

My identity isn’t about obeying a list of rules, although some think so. Not that rules aren’t important—especially God’s rules. But some rules are manmade—not God made—and merely spring out of worn-out traditions. Being whom God created me to be is about His grace, about love and forgiveness, and about the new position He places me in.

Through grace, God gives me what I don’t deserve: forgiveness and a position in His family. Forgiveness erases the condemnation label. God now sees me in Christ, not plastered with sin.

Living as God created me to live requires believing what God says about me—not what others might label me as. When I let God form me into the person He created me to be, I experience life at its best—abundant life.

Don’t let circumstances hold you back. Ignore the labels others place on you. All that matters is what God says, and He says you are loved and valuable.

Prayer: Father, give us the courage to accept whom You say we are so we will let You form us into those persons.

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