Tag Archives: sin

Where Did I Go Wrong?

                                        There’s this problem that I have been contemplating ; the feeling that I would be okay with God even though I didn’t pray or seek him.
I had this deluded mentality that if I did commit a sin, it was fine irrespective of the fact that I didn’t pray to God, didn’t read my bible and didn’t walk right with God. To me, it was okay to sin because I know he is a God of mercy, a God of everlasting love, he is a helping God, a God of compassion and salvation. I knew that once “I surrendered to Him and asked for forgiveness, he would forgive me” (Psalm 32:5).I felt, since I could still feel God’s presence around me, it was okay. I was okay. Life was okay. But was I really okay? No I wasn’t.
What I failed to realise was the sheer depth of the hole I was digging myself into. Not until one occasion; when a friend asked me a question and my tongue slipped so easily into plentiful delusional lies. As I was speaking to my friend and these lies were spiralling out of my mouth I couldn’t help but remember what James 3:6 says:

“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell”.

I was dumbfounded as it slowly dawned on me that I was losing my existence of who I was in Christ. It was suddenly clear how simply, not speaking to God, made me an easy target to fall into sin and temptations and become victim of the devils handiwork. I was entering the gates of darkness.
Hence the question… Where did I go wrong?
Most people do not realise that sin grows. Sin does not change however. It grows and manifests itself in different forms. As people our biggest sin; is the sin of distrusting God’s picture of us, a picture which is not pretty to make it our version of beautiful.
We are prone to think higher of ourselves than we ought to. We like to think that we are making it even though we sin, and that God’s prefect law is being met by our little effort. But these are false thoughts, delusions of grandeur that we use to disfigure our relationship with God. It is a fact that once we become stagnant and think more of ourselves than we really are. We stop living, breathing and worshipping Jesus’s gospel of grace.
Apostle Paul when speaking to the Corinthians in Romans 6:1 says “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?. 

We are fortunate to have a God that cares for us irrespective of what we do. So we shouldn’t be afraid to move closer to Him, read our bibles and pray daily.
Love Esther xxx

Are You Worthy Of Your Purpose?


During the course of my childhood and teenage years, I watched enviously as my older sister took piano lessons. Being the not-so-well-behaved child at school, whenever I asked for lessons, all I got was (cue angry Nigerian accent): “DON’T BOTHER ASKING ME AGAIN FOR MONEY TOWARDS THOSE STUPID MUSIC LESSONS. LOOK AT YOUR BEHAVIOUR. THIS HOUSE PHONE CANNOT GO ONE WEEK WITHOUT RECEIVING A CALL FROM YOUR SCHOOL….” As you can imagine, the lecture goes on. Annoyed at my sister’s lack of passion for music, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Half-way through my first year in 6th form, I dug out my sisters’ old keyboard and began to teach myself.

The last few years, I’ve mostly been playing piano recreationally with friends and, every now and then, in churches with choirs. But late last year when I started University and found a Church, I obtained a deep desire. This desire was to use my abilities to lead people into the very thing we were created to do – worship. My first reaction to this was “You are not worthy”.

In all your sinfulness and unrighteousness, you want to get on that alter and minster to people? Does God really want somebody who is victim to lust, deceitfulness, gluttony and so much more, leading His sons and daughter and worship? Furthermore, what makes you think you even have the skills to do such a thing?”

These were my words. I wish I could say that the enemy said these things to me but I would be lying. The words were mine and mine alone.For the next month I said to myself, “If you even want to think about joining the worship team, you need to fix up. You need to be less sinful and you need to practise every day!” And that is exactly what I tried to do.

As you would guess, I failed.

Epically.

Only then did I finally ask what God had to say about all this.

“If you want to hear God speak, read your Bible out loud” – John Piper.

What makes you think you even have the skills to do such a thing?” 

God interrupted me and said

You don’t”.

 I chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; I chose what is what is weak in the world to shame the strong; I chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast my presence”. (1 Conrinthians 1:27-29)

I was right in acknowledging that my skills alone were insufficient, but trying to correct them with endless hours of rehearsing was ultimately the wrong way to go about it. If I had all the right skills then I wouldn’t need Him in my life. I could lead worship and take all the credit – but I don’t. The desire to join the worship team was placed in my heart, not because I’m sufficient, but because I’m insufficient. Reason being – “So that no human being might boast in the presence of God”. If I was sufficient, I would have the right to boast and glorify myself; because I am not, I can only glorify the one who is, God himself.

Does God really want somebody who is victim to lust, deceitfulness, gluttony and so much more, leading His sons and daughter and worship? God said:

 And because of Him you are in Jesus Christ, became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord”.(Corinthians 1:30)

In other words, “YES, you are sinful but that’s why I gave up my Son for you. My Spirit, along with my righteousness, will live within you and sanctify you. When you go up on that alter, go with MY righteousness and MY sanctification so I may be glorified and not you!”

Often we desire to do the work of God in various ways; from becoming a Pastor to speaking to one of our mates about Christ. We cannot let our guilt can cloud our judgment. The intention of this post is not for you ignore your sin – as we should constantly be fighting it – but for you to change your guilt into conviction, repent and allow the righteousness of Christ to work in your life – through whatever it is you to desire to do or become.​

Rupert 🙂

The Day I Became Immune To Snake Bites

IMG_3497.JPG

There’s something about board games that makes them uber fun whether you’re five or fifty five. Just me? I think it’s that thrill of getting so close to beating someone but knowing you can’t get too cocky before your luck changes and the tables turn, and it’s you hanging onto the game with the skin of your teeth. I think it’s clear that I love a good board game, but my reflection time this week revealed the extent to which I connected with them. Mulling over the lessons life taught me this week it dawned on me that I had been treating life like one long board game. More specifically, a game of Snakes and Ladders.

Random. I know. But true nonetheless. As I reminisced on a week spent battling with my sins I discovered the root cause of my attitude towards sin and the aftermath that followed every sin I committed. For me, every time I learnt a lesson from God, obeyed his direction, was enjoying regular quiet time with him, I felt like I was playing the Christianity game the way it should be played. I was going up all the ladders and edging closer to fulfilling all God had for me. Meanwhile every sin was the equivalent of stepping on a snake, taking me a hundred steps back and making it seem impossible that I would ever live out my purpose. Sinning made me distraught and conflicted about how to act next. If I repented it would mean acknowledging that I had done wrong and accepting that I was back at square one. I questioned how far I had really come if I was willing to throw it all away so quickly at the lure of temptation.

What I came to terms with was how wrong my attitude towards sin was. There can be awful consequences of sin, I don’t need to remind you about Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt, Moses not being able to enter the promise land, the destroying of Sodom and Gomorrah and the ending of all life outside the ark. These are all valid examples of the seriousness that committing sin behold but they are not proof that every sin brings us back to the drawing board with God. The reason sin and more importantly the fear of sin had such a big impact on my life is because I has genuinely started to believe that my actions made me righteous.

And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8:28-30

We get into the mindset that our actions make us righteous so we get so disappointed in ourselves because we’ve sinned so we’re ‘no longer’ righteous but we were never made righteous because of our actions. God makes us righteous and he’s the same person whose blood washes us white as snow. We can live according to the ways of God, only through the grace of God.

Here’s a word of advice for everyone whose struggling with living with themselves after they sin.

When you sin, you must repent, and then you must move on.

Two things that set me free:

1) Guilt is not of God.
By all means feel convicted of the sins you commit, but once you’ve repented, God had forgiven you, so you’ve got to follow suit and forgive yourself. We’ve got a bit of cheek haven’t we, having the audacity to punish ourselves for things that God has forgotten all about. It may not seem fair that you can commit 100 sins a day and with one prayer of repentance God wipes your slate clean, but that is just the way it is. Simples.

2) You are what you eat.
A lot of the time we feel so bad about a particular sin we’ve committed/ keep committing that we put safeguards in place to prevent ourselves from committing the sin ever again, which is good, and can even be great when it stops us from giving in to ourselves, but are we really solving the issue? You can put safeguards in place but don’t be surprised if they don’t work when you haven’t stopped to pray about the issue and to meditate on God’s word. Our actions generally reflect what’s going on in our hearts and when we’re acting in a way that’s contradictory to what God tells us to do we have to look back at what we’ve allowed to enter our hearts and minds.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

If you have a problem with gambling it doesn’t make sense to stay up late every night and watch online gambling shows for ‘entertainment’. You’re going to end up desiring what you surround yourself with so let’s make life easier for ourselves and surround ourselves with the things of God.

Instead of living in constant guilt as I struggle to win the battle against sin, this week I will feast on the word of God and allow that to change my thinking.

Love you

Dani xxxx

How To Overcome Temptations Bigger Than Take-Aways

mcdonalds-logo

Temptation is the Achilles heel for most Christians because it usually throws people off of that ‘oh so holy‘ wave they were riding on. Once you succumb to sin you have to start the ball rolling on the ‘darn I’m not perfect, let me repent and ask for forgiveness, now I need to pick up where I left off with Christ’ ritual. We’ve seen the terrible consequences that not overcoming temptation can have (Adam and Eve: eternal damnation for all, Lot’s wife: turning into a pillar of salt) and we get scared at the very thought of what our failure could bring.

There isn’t any temptation that you have experienced which is unusual for humans. God, who faithfully keeps his promises, will not allow you to be tempted beyond your power to resist. But when you are tempted, he will also give you the ability to endure the temptation as your way of escape. 1 Corinthians 10:13.

The mere thought of being in a tempting environment can give us heart palpitations, but this scripture gives us some home truths that should help us exhale.

1) We aren’t alone in the temptation we face.

If other people have gone through what we’re going through, the chances are, other people have managed to overcome, which shows us that us being able to join them in #Team-Overcomers is possible. This also means that  there’s a wealth of advice, from our fellow followers of Christ, for not disappointing God and ourselves. Often we don’t want to share what we’re going through because we have to acknowledge our vulnerability, but being able to admit your weakness could be just the thing that saves you. I was giving my testimony on abstinence this week and can honestly say that being surrounded by like-minded individuals trying to achieve the same goal has been a massive help in my moments of weakness.

2) There’s no temptation that we’re facing that we can’t bear.

This brings us the ‘hard-to face, no excuses‘ kind of truth that we don’t really want to hear. If we are able to avoid sin then we are responsible for our own mistakes. If we can choose to sin, we can choose not to.

So, people who think they are standing firmly should be careful that they don’t fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12

Make no mistake, the fact that we have a choice, doesn’t mean we should put ourselves voluntarily into situations that are going to make serving Christ difficult for us, what  1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us is that even when we think we can’t stop ourselves from sinning,  we can.

So, what can we do?

Flee from sin: 2 Timothy 2:22-24

Pray against temptation: Luke 22:40

Remember that you can hold out. Philippians 4:13

We can’t really do anything in our own strength, but we can do all things through Christ. We mess up on so many occasions because we refused to acknowledge that we needed God to get through. We all find Christ and want to run with our new found faith but we have to make sure every step is taken in line with God’s stride. We need God in every single aspect of our lives, overcoming temptation included.

Love Dani xxxxx

What Would Jesus Do?

d4dbe03574c2dcaac645cacd04ffabc5ee030be5064184d00bc53a8d88fee610

Every Christian at one point or another is faced with the crippling choice: to sin or not to sin? When every fibre of your being desires something, how do you reject it and run in the opposite direction? Is it possible?

As Christians we know that we are called to be holy and strive to be like Christ but my questions regarding my faith are always quite practical; yes I KNOW what I am meant to do but HOW do I actually go about doing it? Unfortunately, this post won’t hold any practical answers to the above questions (sorry, maybe next week) but I do hope it sheds further light upon the character of Jesus, the man we should all be aiming to be like every single day. Yesterday I was saying to my drama group (whom I adore!) that all we can know of Jesus (with absolute certainty) is revealed in the Bible -which is why it is crucial to study and absorb the Word. How can I say that I am Christian yet have no idea what the Bible says about Christ bar John 3:16? Can we truly know Christ if we avoid reading His words?

There was a phase during the 90’s where all the cool kids wore wristbands with “W.W.J.D” (What Would Jesus Do?) written across them. In every difficult situation you were to look at your wrist and think…well…”what would Jesus do?” Wrestling with sin is something we have to do every single day so thoughts alone concerning what Jesus could potentially/perhaps/maybe on a good day do in our situation may not be enough but reading the Bible means that we can know who Jesus is and what he actually did.

For Jesus is not some high priest who has no sympathy for our weaknesses and flaws. He has already been tested in every way that we are tested; but He emerged victorious, without failing God.

Hebrews 4:15

Before reading this, I knew that Jesus cared about me, loved me and understood me but I didn’t know that he once faced the same crippling decisions I face. Like Jesus, I long to please our Father in heaven but I often fall short because, well…I’m human. Even when I do my best not to sin, it usually happens at some point. This passage reveals that Jesus is not a stranger; he is not some distant, perfect being who has no idea what I, Joy, face on a day-to-day. Rather he is close, sympathetic and understanding. Jesus faced real issues! Of course, we know that he was killed but he was also persecuted and accused; tempted, hated, misunderstood, mistreated and betrayed.

Jesus knows how we feel and what we’ve faced and because of that, when we speak to him we shouldn’t hold back because we think he won’t understand our issues, instead we should be completely open, knowing that there is nothing we can ever face that Jesus will not understand.

Lots of loving,

J xxxxxx

 

 

The Day I Got Convicted of Aiding And Abetting A Crime

download (4)

I was on holiday when  I realised I should probably stop being a faithful cheerleader of Team Sin. I say a LOT of things that I wish I hadn’t but whilst on holiday (went to the lovely land of Portugal) what came out of my mouth caused me more guilt than I’ve felt in a  long while.

I was having dinner and had just met my all-time fave waitress. She was being so friendly and we really hit it off, having a good ole chit chat about love, and life, and all things in-between. Everything was going smoothly until she told me her philosophy, which started off make a whole lot of sense, (basically treat people how they treat you) but then went on to include sleeping with other guys if your partner chose to sleep with other girls.

I never really know what to do when strangers randomly bring up sex into conversation, so I panicked. We’d really hit the ground running with our blossoming ‘friendship,’ I didn’t want to be an awkward prune and show how uncomfortable I felt. The cogs in my brain started working overtime, only for me to come out with the most ill-thought out response. There we were, a stranger laying bare what she would do in the hypothetical situation of being cheated on , and I nodded approvingly and said ‘yeah you’ve got to play them at their own game.’

What does that even mean?

Why am I condoning things I know are sinful?

For the rest of the evening I couldn’t quite believe my actions. All I could imagine was Jesus wincing, as I chose to ditch my beliefs in favour of normalcy. Here’s what I learnt from my moment of madness…

1.When Jesus say no, nobody can say yes

Disclaimer: Yes I know the song goes, ‘When Jesus say yes nobody can say no’, but I think my remix holds true. We’re so used to not imposing our beliefs on others that every so often we shift  from standing on the moral fence and end up justifying actions that we know are wrong. Wrong is wrong, it’s better to give no comment than to start leading people astray. Wanting to find common ground with someone doesn’t warrant encouraging them to sin.

 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks, or the church of God. 1 Corinthians 11:32

It’s as though we categorise sin and our attitude towards it based on what religious preferences people have. This results in us voicing our disapproval amongst like-minded Christ followers and yet sometimes  encouraging sin amongst those who don’t believe. Sin is offensive to God, period. It doesn’t matter who is committing the sin,  God would rather they weren’t. This prohibits us, as people working for God, from promoting sin as a worthwhile activity. (just thought I’d add: working for God can’t really be opted out of, you get recruited to the team when you give your life to Christ and you don’t get fired even when you’re bad at your job)

2.It doesn’t have to be dog eat dog

Most of us know that we are each judged by our own sin.

Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin. Deuteronomy 24:16.

Knowledge of this and scriptures like these has lead us to the point where its every man for himself in the struggle to; sin not, only believe. But that’s not the way it should be. I’ve spoken about our duty to help one another as brothers and sisters in Christ before, but whether people are Christian or not,  our interest in wanting to see them live right isn’t diminished. I firmly believe that soapbox evangelism might not be  a 24/7 activity, however our duty to evangelise, in general, is constant.

I remember when I first developed a passion to serve Christ. I was so consumed with the love of God and wanting others to experience that love, that I used to set myself targets of seeing people get saved that month. As I’ve matured I’ve learnt that being a fisher of men doesn’t actually come down to hard numbers, but you can see that my heart was in the right place. You are not saved so you can live a comfortable life in isolation, and everyone around you can perish. If you really believed in the Good News you claim, you’d want others to hear about it also. I don’t think it’s about finding a megaphone, God doesn’t operate on ‘who shouts the loudest must love him the most’, but it’s about finding opportunities to share what you believe.

3. Sin = death

Hold your horses before you start hyperventilating. There’s sin, and there’s sin. No there isn’t a hierarchy of sin; lying to your parents, murder, robbery, is the same in God’s eyes. However there’s sin: the things you do that are displeasing to God, and there’s sin: not accepting Christ as saviour. So you can breathe a little, we live under grace, there isn’t a gun being aimed at you every time you make a mistake: with repentance comes forgiveness etc, but that doesn’t mean we have nothing to be concerned about. I’m probably going to sound really radical in what I’m about to say so maybe you should sit down for this next bit if you aren’t already sitting.

Accepting Christ is the only ticket to heaven. It’s probably not going to spark the most friendliest of conversations at a dinner party, and it may not be the line to open with when meeting new people, but it is the truth.  The majority of you reading will live in religious pluralist societies in which, thankfully, we’ve all learnt to live together despite our differing faiths. However, being able to accommodate for someone else’s beliefs doesn’t take away the truth of the statement above. The reason that we can’t just chillax because we’ve been fortunate enough to find Christ is that a large number (billions of people in the world) haven’t yet. That doesn’t just mean they don’t get to enjoy how beautiful a life with Christ at the centre can be, it means that life after death, isn’t so rosy either. We often forget that deciding to turn from sin to Christ is a matter of life and death,  but I hope this will be the gentle reminder we all need to start taking sin seriously.

Don’t be like me, wanting to appear as ‘normal’ as possible that you encourage people in their sinful actions. Sin might be packaged in a juicy love affair or seemingly justified revenge, but it doesn’t change the facts. Sin’s may not always be criminal offences in the lands in which we all live, but they are as good as to God.

Loving ya longtime,

Dani xxxx

What I Learned After Cheating In My Relationship

Cheaters_Revamped_Titlecard

I’m not your average cheater. You know that person that has to listen to a long diatribe from Jeremy Kyle about how they don’t deserve the person they’re with and how much their cheating habits disgust him….yeah that’s not me. I’m far from being a saint but cheating is just so out of character for me, that after the… shall we call it…‘brief encounter with polygamy’ (‘affair’ sounds a bit harsh and ‘betrayal’ just too deep) I went on an emotional journey where I learnt lots about myself and about the world.

I suppose you want all the gory details! I do have some shame so you’re just going to have to fill in the gaps but I will give you some background info:

Prior to the ‘brief encounter with polygamy,’ (even I’m starting to feel like cheating is a new cool thing with that title- it totally isn’t) I’d been in an  off and on, mainly on, relationship for a long while. Average puppy love turned intense relationship as puberty came and went and my hormones finally relaxed  long enough for me to decide how I felt about things. That was me: average girl in love. I was happy! When I wasn’t happy, it was the usual breakdown in communication/ misplaced expectations that everyone goes through. What I am trying to say is…

I didn’t have a real reason to cheat.

I know it sounds cliche but one thing actually did lead to another and then BAM, I had made a mistake that filled me with regret. But hey, you didn’t sign up to listen to my sob story, I’ll get on to the useful things I learnt.

1)      Everybody can cheat

I guess this sounds like I’m justifying my actions but I promise you, that isn’t the case. After going through the whole period of regret and confession ( I had to confess; I’m a bad liar, and I knew he’d know what I’d done) I realised that I was wrong to think I was above cheating. I don’t know if I thought I was above cheating  because of the length of my relationship or because of how great the relationship was going at the time, but cheating forced me to wake up and realise that I wasn’t less likely than the next person in a relationship to make such a grave mistake.

2)      Dragging out apologies doesn’t help

So the morning after I had still had that half-sick feeling you get after doing something you regret. I was determined to make it right between us and I vowed to do everything in my power to make up for the day before… but it wasn’t the same. I didn’t know whether to say something or just carry on as normal. I couldn’t just push it under the rug because I wasn’t allowing myself to stop feeling guilty. That’s when I realised I had to address the problem.

3)      Cheating doesn’t mean it’s over

I know what you’re thinking because I’m thinking the same: I didn’t deserve to be in an amazing relationship when I couldn’t even stay faithful. I won’t try and defend myself because you’re right. However as Christians, we are able to enjoy a love we do not deserve every single day. I’m so aware that I don’t deserve the love God gave me when Jesus died on the cross.

Last week I slipped up and for a moment put a priority above God. I deserved punishment but instead he surrounded me with his love when I came to him to ask for forgiveness; I once again realised the true extent of his greatness despite how underserving I am.

I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now: I was cheating on God

We’ve all heard the analogy that John used describing Christ as the bridegroom and the church as His bride. Have you ever thought about what that means in real terms? Here’s what I realised: Amongst all the great things that come with a relationship, there are rules. You know the difference between casually seeing someone and then becoming an item? Now you have categorised your relationship , categories bring boundaries and preconceived rules about what is and isn’t ok. Unless you sign up to this new age logic which states that no-one can be faithful so we should all live in polygamous relationships, you understand the importance of staying faithful. When you entered into the relationship with Christ you committed yourself to him and him alone. We  never think of being married to Christ but it shouldn’t even be too hard to imagine. God is a jealous God. He doesn’t want to share your heart with Tom, Dick and Harry, or,  Coursework, Boyfriend, and Career.Staying faithful to God means keeping him as number one. Everything can have its proper place in your life but nothing else should inhabit your heart the way that God does; nothing else should take his place.

I hope you can learn something from my experience of cheating. You need to invest into relationships to keep them going. Also, in the same way temptation causes people to cheat in human relationships, temptations can cause our eyes to wander from God. From someone who’s been there and done that; it’s not worth it. Nothing and no-one can compare to the love that God gives you. Sin might be sweet for a night but we all have to live through the morning after. Let’s aim to stay faithful, affairs just aren’t worth the scandal.

Love lots DC X

Oscar Pistorious: Affluent. Role Model. Murderer?

Oscar-Pistorius

As far as athletes go Oscar Pistorious is pretty famous. Before February 2013 we all knew him as the man who became a double amputee aged 11 months, successful Paralympian, who won his fight to compete against able bodied athletes in the 2012 Olympics. Pretty revolutionary if you ask me. Whether or not earning £320,000 yearly makes him affluent or not is up for debate (it’s not quite successful rapper money, but it is more money that half the world’s population will ever see) as an example of someone who made lemonade, lemon pie, and lemon meringue out of life’s lemons, he’s an outstanding candidate for being your not so average role model. Now he’s on trial for murder.

We all wait with baited breath when celebrities are on trial because we want to see just how much leverage being a celeb gets you in court. I mention Oscar because in most of our minds he’s guilty of murder. His recount of the shooting, though very imaginative, seems rather far-fetched, and we’re all eagerly waiting for him to get off so that we can say justice can be purchased- an extremely problematic conclusion, shifting the Criminal Justice System  into camp corruption. Whether you’re being tried in a court in America, Britain, or Timbuktu we all share in the belief ‘ain’t nobody care if you’re a rich role model, the law is the law.’

Funny how we all subscribe to a measure that God doesn’t even take into consideration.

Gone are the days of sheep killing and sacrifices every  time you want to get back into God’s good books. We’re living in the new covenant of declaring with our mouths and believing in our hearts to qualify for salvation.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

On this basis, we can easily say ‘fairness’ has been chucked out with curtains (bit of biblical irony for you-if you know you know 😉 considering that the penalty of sin is supposed to be death. Justice would have been for us to die (sentenced to hell) and here we are being offered life (never-ending party in heaven). So where does that leave us in God’s courtroom? We see God as this all-powerful, infallible judge but we don’t realise that God is everybody in that room, lawyer, jury, best friend and all.

The most important thing I’ll say today (quite hard for me to say considering I’m one of those people who believes everything they say is important, or at least worth listening to) is that: God doesn’t want to see you fail.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  John 15:13.

I’d like you to do something for me. I know it’s early on in our relationship and it’s a bit soon to be asking for favours but I’m going to ask anyway. Don’t feel pressured to do anything you’re uncomfortable with, don’t need to appear in court for cyber-peer pressure (if that’s even a thing).

Ok I’m just going to come out and say it…

For a few seconds I need you to go on a short journey in your brain and don’t stop till you reach the door labelled ‘Your imagination’. Ok are you in? Going to have to assume you’re here. For the latecomers, when you arrive I need to you to imagine you’re in God’s courtroom.

Ok, so we’re in God’s courtroom, let’s start with God the Judge. Even people who aren’t Christian imagine God as this being (usually made of clouds that resembles an old man- similar to the guy on the KFC bucket) who sits on a throne deciding if people have been ‘good’ enough to go to heaven. My own name means God is my judge, and we all know at least one person who has ‘only God can judge me’ stamped on their arms. Needless to say we’re all on board with the idea of God as this powerful judge who holds the people’s fates in his hands. I think now is a good point to mention that the verdict is already in and God declares you righteous. Whether you helped the old lady with her shopping or called in sick to work because you ran out of your holiday allowance, the minute you gave your life to Christ, God declared you righteous. Simples.

Maybe God the lawyer will be a bit harder to imagine. I used to see God as the prosecution, gathering evidence of my sins, so he could judge me guilty. Never really considered that God was my defence. Revelation 12:10: Satan is the accuser of your faith. Satan is the one who calls you by your sin and gets you to buy into the idea that your sin is your defining characteristic. God is in your corner, wiping the sweat off your brow as you prepare to re-engage in the good fight of faith. It’s by God’s grace that we can live a life without sin, and where there is sin, his grace abounds even more (Romans 5:20). He didn’t just do you the ultimate favour by dying on the cross for your sins, he’s cheering you on every step of the way.

We can easily imagine God as the jury, deliberating our fate, judging by the inner workings of our hearts instead of our actions, but he’s also the best friend who turns up every day in court to see if we’re ok. Serving God can feel like an uphill struggle when you’re trying to go it alone. Working in all those group projects at school that made you want plan the extinction of every member of your group, cemented the ‘trust no man, if you want something done do it yourself mentality.’ However, repeatedly repenting for the same sins week in week out woke me up to the fact that I couldn’t be independent in my walk with God. Serving God takes complete dependence on that very same God. FYI- if you’re part of team Independent, you may as well give up now:

Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

God is that friend that doesn’t ever stop wanting to be in your company. You don’t have to go it alone (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Ok imagination time over. Thank you for your co-operation. That’s God’s courtroom from my eyes. God plays all the roles and fights for your innocence because he doesn’t actually want to judge you guilty. When you think of God as this guy who’s eagerly waiting to throw the book at you and sentence you to hell remember that he loves you. Everyday can feel like a trial, but you’ve missed sight of the point if you think it’s all about rules and regulations. Everything God does is because he loves you (John 3:16)

In your striving to please God remember that love is what it’s all about

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself. Galatians 5:14

As you keep up with Oscar’s trial, count your blessings that God doesn’t judge you in the way that the Earth judges. Oscar’s fate will be (mostly) determined by justice. Be glad that you live by grace.

Godbless, Dani xxxxxx