Do you love Me?

Hey again guys.  Time for a more serious blog of the day.  So, last night was Wednesday, which means, growth group day for us married peeps!  It actually seemed to go really well.  Andrew, my husband and growth group coordinator, was leading the group.  He expressed to me last night after we got home, that it really did not seem to go in the direction he expected, but that is still went great!   I think that it is cool sometimes when the Lord takes us past our expectations.  I still learn more and more about each group member each week we meet.  I appreciate that the group is opening up more and allowing each of us to gain a little more understanding into who they are and what drives them.  Last night, we dicussed guilt, as the message the previous Sunday was “rolling away the stones of guilt.”  Guilt can be a tricky subject to discuss, as most people will have considerably differant views and opinions as to what exactly guilt means.  However, I think the discussion seemed to go pretty well and most everyone had input in it, which is VERY encouraging to me and I know it is to Andrew.  I actually learnd quite alot last night.  With working in children’s ministry on Sunday at the same time as the service, I missed the message.  However, I actually felt I knew a little about what Eric taught and did not feel at all out of place last night, but felt very comfortable entering the discussion.  Now, if people actually understood my comments is another issue entirely(and another blog! haha). Actually, in many ways, I felt as if I HAD heard the message Sunday!  One of the main things I went away with last night was dealing with the AMOUNT of guilt that we should, or shouldn’t feel, in repsonse to sin.  I will be first to admit that many times, even though I have repented of a sin and truly turned from it, still allow guilt from that sin to eat away at me, causing me to doubt myself and who I am in Christ and doubt my relationship with Andrew and with others.  I learned last night, that we should have a certain degree of “feeling bad” when we sin and disappoint God, but that we need to see our sins as God sees them!  The Bible tells us that once we repent, we are immediately forgiven of that sin and God casts it as far as the east is from the west.  This pretty much means God “forgets” about it, never to bring it up again!  WOW!  I need to remember that more often.  Holding onto guilt for sin repented of is not seeing the Cross for what it was meant for. . .forgiveness and reconciliation!  It actually causes us to be selfish, taking our focus off of Christ and onto ourselves.  That is NOT a way to live, because not only will that hinder us in relationships with others, and in serving others, but also in our relationship with Christ, possibly causing us to miss something wonderful He has for us, because we are not completely focused.   We need to see our sin, not through “rose colored glasses”, but through Christ colored glasses.  Re-reading the story of Christ asking Peter, “do you love me?” really got to me.  This was after the resurrection, after Peter had denied Christ three times, but when Christ sat down with Peter, did he beat him down for it?  NO.  He focused on the relationship!  I think that is pretty amazing.  So let us put aside guilt we may be holding onto, because when we do, we can love Christ more and in turn love and serve others more as well, which means reaching more of the lost and disconnected for Christ!  God bless!

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