ABOUT‎ > ‎Our Team Leader‎ > ‎Chris' blog‎ > ‎

Our Church Identity - Part 3

posted Aug 9, 2012, 8:30 PM by Chris McRae   [ updated Nov 5, 2014, 5:15 PM ]

Isa 55:6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 
Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

We begin this exploration of God’s purpose for us by encountering His delightful presence.
In His presence we discover our own glorious identity. From this, we go on to receive His mercy for all the places where we are not yet who He calls us! (Rom 4:17)

As we encounter the presence of God, and discover who He has called us to be, we become acutely aware of all that we are not - all the ways we fail to live up to the ‘new creation’ that He says we are. We discover the many places of selfishness, foolishness, ignorance and fear that lie against the righteous standing we have already been given in Christ. Confronted with our failures, the response of many of us is to flee. To hide in shame and fear, like Adam and Eve in the garden. But the invitation of God is to do the opposite. As we dare to come to him, we discover to our amazement that instead of getting what we deserve:

We are safe to fail (6) God does not despise those who are overwhelmed with a new awareness of their own failures. He does not withdraw in horror as we discover about ourselves, what He always knew about us! Instead He invites us to call on Him while he is near! The scripture assures us that God is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Ps 34:18 

We are empowered to change (7) When we run to God at the recognition of our failure, He empowers all who call on His name to change. (Acts 2:21) We are divinely enabled to put aside our former wicked actions and thought patterns and turn to God for help - to not only avoid these things once or twice, but to forsake them completely and permanently. Shame (I am to bad for God to forgive), pride (there is nothing wrong with me, or I can change myself thanks), and fear (God must be so disappointed in me), have no place in a house of mercy. Humbly calling on God for help is our starting point.

We are forgiven (7b) We experience God’s forgiveness – not because we deserve it, but because of who God has chosen to be – the one who freely pardons. Having received forgiveness freely, we also offer it freely – to those who are undeserving, to the ones who most annoy us, to those who don’t even understand that they have hurt us.