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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Inspired by . . . a new wreath

While much of the population was hunting for Easter eggs and posing for pictures in their pretty spring dresses and Easter bonnets we were . . . ah, painting our front door?

Yes, just hours before our guests were to arrive my Dreamer and I were in our best-worst clothes painting the front door of the cottage.

We'd known for awhile that the front door needed a new coat so why the last minute rush to reshade the portal?

I had made a new spring wreath.

The blemishes had been easy to ignore until we hung the new wreath in place. The beautiful new wreath didn't cover up the ugliness - it just enhanced it!

I may be stretching the analogy a bit here but I think our Christian walk can sometimes look like my ugly door covered with a pretty new wreath.

We slap a few good deeds over our sin and hope that it makes a difference. While it may help us to feel better for a time, scripture is very clear that we are not saved by works.
yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.  (Gal 2:16)
Legalistic responses and halfhearted obedience are like putting new wine in old wineskins or trying to cover an ugly door with a pretty wreath. If you are a believer who has died with Christ then you are also raised with Christ. 

We can't expect to succeed in putting off our worldly desires if we don't replace them with virtues that suit God's chosen and beloved people.

As Jerry Bridges says, "It is not enough to pray that God will enable us to deal with a volatile temper; we must also ask Him to help us put on compassion and kindness."

Just as our door needed a new coat of paint to match the pretty new wreath, we must put on, "compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience," (Col 3:12) if we want to be like Christ in His character.

If you're thinking, "Easier said than done." That's true. But don't forget it's not by our power that we will succeed, it's by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. 
And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Php 1:6)
Even so, we have a part to play. 

First, make a commitment (and tell someone about your particular struggle or commitment if you need accountability). Secondly, like we talked about last week, be aware of the motives behind your actions, and finally, most importantly, as Bridges suggests in the quote above, PRAY!

Above all, even as we work to clothe ourselves with the virtues of Christ, may we remember that it is His blood and His blood alone that covers and cleanses us from sin.


Sharing inspiration here:
Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Faith On Fire, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments, Heart Encouragement

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June