Sister Remy was talking about how she needed the message of positive thinking because it’s tough to juggle between working in the Barangay Council, then teaching preschool, and then ministering to the needs of the community as a pastora.
This is A Tale Of Two Gardens, fun-sized.
As we enjoy life with Christ, it cannot be avoided that we will be overwhelmed by the demands of the world we live in. We, as members of the body of Christ, must be aware of these times, and we must respond accordingly.
What response would this be?
2 Peter 1:3-8
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Such high standards! Are we expected to reflect all these things, at all times? Outrageous!…
…Well, it’s clear we will make mistakes, but the point is not to be all these things at all times, but rather to always come from a good foundation. Verse 9 continues:
For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
Whenever we’re kicking ass, or whenever we’re feeling inadequate… if we’re feeling consistent or consistently bad, the point is, we need to keep going back to how we were cleansed from our former sins.
And Peter explains it in just a few words, but the point of my message today is to really let you know what that means:
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—
2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
In a nutshell Christ did not just take our sin, and He did not just give us His righteousness. No, at the cross there was not just an exchange, but a union.
He died, so we died. He was buried, so we were buried. He rose again, so we rose again. He ascended to Heaven, so we were reconciled with our Father.
And because Christ’s finished work reconciled us with God forever, so we are forever cleansed of sin, forever righteous, forever connected.
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
1 Corinthians 2:16
“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
We don’t just have the option of positive thinking, we have the mind of Christ.
Romans 8 says, beyond saying we are no longer condemned, that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God through Jesus Christ. On the other side of the coin, can you see how, now, everything connects us to the love of God through Jesus Christ?