Getting Off on the Wrong Two Feet

 Boy lying on concrete inside body outline made of red dixie cups, other boys looking but only their feet are visible



Two arms, two legs, ten fingers, ten toes.

Perfect!

All is good in the maternity ward.


Or so it seemed…

When will the crying end?
Why do the ‘terrible twos’ last more than a year?
Why won’t they listen to me?
How did they become friends with ________?
Teenagers!

Sometimes they grow up,
but too many of them just get older.

(Sigh)



We’re not really cute, little bundles of joy underneath those chubby cheeks. That’s what the Apostle Paul would tell us:


As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
“Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

 Romans 3:10-18


I wish I could say these verses describe a small percentage of us in this world. I even feel like they do sometimes. But they include everyone. They include those cute, little ones who turn us to mush. They include the nurses who help bring those little ones into the world. They include our friends, our parents, our spouses, and even ourselves. “There is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:12b).


According to the Apostle Paul, we got off on the wrong two feet. We came into this world several steps behind. On top of that, we are told that we exist only by chance. We are taught that we need to fight to survive. We have confused the genders. We are empowered to walk away from marriages that don’t work for us. We rally against life and well-being. And we are encouraged to raise our voice because it is just as authoritative as anyone else’s, and even more authoritative than those who lead our municipalities and nations.

We try to rise above the ills of life. We’re told that we can be whatever we want to be – that everything we need is already inside us. They say we just need to focus and work hard. For many of us, this is not the case. Things don’t always work out. Life doesn’t always go our way.


Vision, resolve, and drive are great qualities, but they aren’t really the keys to becoming somebody. If they were, we’d have a few less tragedies.


I can’t tell you why some of us do bad things to others. I don’t understand why people walk away from their families and friendships. I can’t explain why there are bullies and killings and suicides. I can’t fathom the heart of someone who sells another person to various kinds of slavery. But I can say it is rooted in our very nature.


I can also say that God has the answers to the agony in our hearts (Matthew 5:4). He understands and He cares deeply (1 Peter 5:7).


Did you hear Letitia Wright (from Black Panther) as she accepted the BAFTA EE Rising Star Award last Saturday? She told us the truth: “God made [us] and [we’re] important… God loves [us],” she proclaimed as she stood with her award, a graven mask signifying the dramatic arts in film and television. This year’s BAFTA rising star didn’t wear a mask. She “let [her] light shine.”


God loves each of us, no matter how dark our hearts or deep our situations. On this Valentine’s Day, we can rest in His love and warm embrace. If you yearn for a meaningful relationship, look to God. If you want a friend you can trust with everything, open up to God. He’s listening. He’s ready to give you the gift of faith and the joy of life.


We don’t need to let the grip of despair or defeat drag us down. When we place our trust in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we will be free to live with our heads up and our strides surefooted. Jesus paid the penalty for our two wrong feet. We just need to accept His sacrifice to satisfy our debt, and follow Him with a new lease on life. This is not a prosperity gospel. This is a relationship with God that truly frees us from our darkness.


As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world
and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air,
the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
All of us also lived among them at one time,
gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts.
Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—
it is by grace you have been saved.
And God raised us up with Christ
and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
in order that in the coming ages
he might show the incomparable riches of his grace,
expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
not by works, so that no one can boast.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:1-10

  
God is love. He is merciful and patient and He wants to welcome you into His family.


💗


If you want to know more about God’s love and how to have a relationship with Him, please email me at authordlv@att.net.


Read more blog posts here.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Comments

  1. Love these tidbits:
    "I can also say that God has the answers to the agony in our hearts. Matthew 5:4 "

    "Did you hear LetitiaWright (Black Panther) as she accepted the BAFTA EE Rising Star Award last Saturday? She told us the truth: “God made [us] and [we’re] important… God loves [us],” she proclaimed as she stood with her award, a graven mask signifying the dramatic arts in film and television. This year’s BAFTA rising star didn’t wear a mask. She “let [her] light shine.”

    So encouraged to read this words today! Thank you for your post.

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    1. Hi Peggy. I'm glad you were encouraged. God's love is pure and far-reaching. It is perfect for each one of us.

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  2. I agree with the segment that Peggy pointed out above.

    "I can also say that God has the answers to the agony in our hearts (Matthew 5:4). He understands and He cares deeply (1 Peter 5:7)." I'm thankful for all the instances of Scripture that prove this very thing. What a good God we have.

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    1. Amen, Jessica. Such a good God who planned God love even before the creation of the world!

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  3. Beautiful. Yes, God loves us. We are created by Him and we are His. What a special blessing! :-)

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    1. What a special love, it is. Unconditional, intentional, sacrificial,...

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  4. So, my kids weren't born perfect?! :>0 Thank God for His grace to parents and children!

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    1. If you ask me, without even knowing your kids, I'd say they are perfect. But praise God that Jesus met His standards.

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  5. “God loves each of us, no matter how dark our hearts or deep our situations.” So well expressed - the depth of human depravity reveals the depth of our God’s love. Humbled by this post and the love and grace extended to each one of us. Well done!

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    1. I love that: "the depth of human depravity reveals the depth of our God’s love." I imagine we can never understand the depth of God's love because we can never understand our own depravity. Glad this post was meaningful for you.

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  6. God does love us even when we will never measure up.

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  7. VERY powerful poem. Thanks and God bless!

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  8. I'm so glad God cares for us and offers Himself to us when life is hard!

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    1. Yes. God cares always, in good times and bad. Thank you for reading.

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  9. This is SO encouraging, Stephen. I love what you say -- that in spite of all this, "God has the answers to the agony in our hearts." We are important and loved no matter what. Because of that, I hope we try to be the best we can be to each other. Thank you for sharing your faith with the world, Stephen!

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    1. Thank you, Jessica. God's love reaches is when we are in agony, empty, alone, lost, in any need. It fills every void with life and joy and hope.

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  10. It certainly is hard to understand why so many horrible things happen, but I just have to remember that that's sin, that's not God ignoring us. I'm so thankful for His grace and the way He loves us!

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    1. Thank you, Emily, for the reminder that God is not ignoring us. Even in the presence of darkness, God warms us with His light.

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  11. This is a beautiful presentation of the gospel, Stephen. You wrote this so well. The hinge of that Ephesians 2 passage is so very important and encapsulates so much: "All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. BUT BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT LOVE FOR US, GOD, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved."

    Like Paul, you included yourself in the "all of us" and "like the rest." This gracious presentation of the gospel is powerful. We who proclaim this message are right in the mess with every other sinner. Paul, and you here, wrote as a fellow sinner, illustrating that there is hope for every man, woman, and child, because of what God did.

    All of us have sinned and are deserving of God's wrath, BUT GOD, who is great in love and rich in mercy, sent his Son to die for us, raised him from the dead, and now makes us alive with him, so that we may have eternal life. Without Jesus, we have no hope, but with him, we have everlasting hope. He holds out the offer. Will we accept it and entrust our lives and our futures to Jesus?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ephesians 2 is a wonderful chapter about God's grace and His gift of faith. Such compassion. Thank you for reading and for your great summary of this post. I hope and pray that God will use this post to fill some needs in the hearts that seek Him.

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  12. Replies
    1. Thank you, Ava, for reading and commenting. God bless you in your journey with Him.

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  13. I am SO grateful that Christ loves me at my worst as much as He does at my best. Such a mind blowing gift!

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    1. Hi Alynda. God's love is incomprehensible! I so agree that it is mind blowing. The more I think about His love and what He has done for us, the more I marvel at it.

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  14. Truth and grace! This is the message we need to hear again and again. All too often, we like to make ourselves believe "we're really not that bad." All the while, ignoring and glossing every moment of self-deception, self-importance, selfishness, greed, lust, jealousy, etc., etc. And all the while we minimize the sacrifice of Jesus in the process. Thank you for this post where you point our that we are great sinners, but the good news is we have a great Savior! Excellent post!

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    1. Hi Melissa. Yes, when we brush off our shortcomings, we minimize Jesus' sacrifice. That's a tragedy and a scandal. Jesus gave His all for our undeservedness. Thank you for this comment.

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  15. Wow. What you said is so true. None if us is good bUT yet God loves us. God bless and thank you.

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    1. God bless you too, Afi. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. God is so good to us and His love is beyond compare.

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