Is there something in your past that haunts you?
Is there a moment of indiscretion you can't seem to let go of?
Do you struggle with forgiving yourself for things in your past you've already repented for time and time again?
On Monday, I will begin a new series for the month of January called "What Does the Bible Say About Your Identity in Christ?" We'll not only see why it is important that our identity is firmly planted in Jesus Christ, but how we can get there!
It's the how that so many people struggle with today.
I want to share with you a brief story:
The young man was raging with anger. He was just a boy really, but his anger and actions were those of someone older. A bigger boy had been teasing him and in his fun had unwittingly stepped into an area that instantly incited rage.
The fun quickly changed to fighting, and the fighting became a matter of survival for the one doing the teasing. He was warding off fists and kicks when suddenly he was thrown to the ground on his back and out of nowhere a sharp object was pointing at his heart.
Just as quickly, a man in his early 20s was standing over both of them and had the attacker by the arm, preventing him from stabbing the boy on the ground. "What are you doing?" he yelled at the attacker. "Stop this now!"
He pulled the attacker off the boy who had been teasing him. The 20-year-old was a volunteer police officer; he showed his badge and told the young man he was under arrest. The boy who had been doing the teasing jumped up and ran home.
The volunteer policeman and the attacker began walking down the street. "I am not going to cuff you or take you to the station. Instead, I am going take you to another office, and you will receive a different kind of sentencing."
They continued walking and talking. The boy shared his struggle with anger, and the officer spoke calmly and compassionately.
Instead of hearing the yelling and demeaning words he was used to, the troubled boy heard words of care and encouragement. The walk and conversation continued for a lengthy time, and to the boy's surprise, he and the officer entered a YMCA building.
The officer took the boy to the YMCA manager's office and sentenced him to one month of weekly attendance of YMCA activities.
The officer never made an official record of the attempted murder.
This volunteer police officer's act of mercy along with the kindness and positive Christian atmosphere of the YMCA were the initial steps that would lead this 10-year-old boy to life transformation.
Six years later, after this same boy gave way to another explosion of anger, a Christian leader showed him a similar act of mercy. This act of mercy led that boy to a full encounter with Almighty God, which brought him to repentance and a born-again experience.
That boy was my dad. You can read the whole post here: "When Mercy Triumphed."
You may wonder how someone could ever live with the guilt of knowing they almost took another person's life with their own hands.
Well, that is exactly what we're going to be looking at in January—the truth that we don't have to live with guilt, condemnation, our past mistakes and failures or our past hurts and disappointments.
That is why I chose the book of Ephesians as our January 30 Day Prayer Challenge.
It says so much about our identity and our role in every part of society as His children.
I hope you'll join me this month as we discover our identity in Christ and as we learn to live life through that lens, something that will truly set us free!
Rosilind Jukic, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her Bosnian hero. Together they live with their two active boys where she enjoys fruity candles, good coffee and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. Her passion for writing led her to author her best-selling book The Missional Handbook. At A Little R & R she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. You can also find her at Missional Call where she shares her passion for local and global missions. She can also be found at on a regular basis. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest and Google +.
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