I have a devotional sent to me every day through email from Crosswalk's Girlfriends In God.
Some days the message really hits home. One of those "Ok God, I get your point!" kind of moments. Some days the message makes me think of someone else and what they might be struggling with. Sometimes I then forward the email on to them.
Today I could have written the message myself. This is an excerpt:
Today's Truth "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV)
Friend to Friend I've loved God since I was just a kid. I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior in Mr. Dunn's Sunday school class when I was just nine years old. As a teenager, I served God and grew in faith. I said "no" to the crowd and "yes" to the cross. I was a girl with convictions, a girl of strong disciplines, and a girl of high moral standards who walked the straight and narrow. Then...I went away to college and secretly entered a season of compromise.
I never meant to stray from my values. It was a new chapter in my life, and I naively thought I could handle it on my own. My rebellion was a subtle, gradual thing. I was still the same Gwen, just a compromised version of me.
During that time, secrets and compromise became comfortable to me. I wore them like a pair of faded jeans. My friends considered me to be a good Christian girl, and I wasn't about to burst their bubble with the truth that I was sliding into sinful ways. Oh, how my plastic smile served me well in those days! I could turn on the fake charm like water from a faucet.
Eventually, the compromises and choices that I'd made caught up with me and resulted in great brokenness. I couldn't reconcile what I had done with who I was, or with who I was supposed to be. My heart was broken. I felt hopeless and was horribly ashamed.
The dark days turned into weeks, which turned into months. All the while, the voice of the Accuser screamed loudly in my head. "You've messed up too much this time! You're not a Christian. God would never want someone like you." At the same time, the Holy Spirit whispered to my soul, "You are God's daughter. He's waiting for you to come home. Turn back! He loves you!"
The Bible assures us that our hope has never been about what we have done; it has always been about what Christ has done! "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Today's devotion is an excerpt from Gwen's book Broken Into Beautiful. Gwen Smith is a worship artist, songwriter, speaker, and author. For more information, visit her website at: www.gwensmith.net
Here is the song & video that she wrote: