Monday, January 19, 2015

Miss Goody Two Shoes

Our church is doing a sermon series on the book of Galations, and the small groups are simultaneously doing a Bible study using Tim Keller's book, Galations for You, which I referenced in my previous post.  A quote from the book that bares repeating says, "He (Paul the Apostle) shows us that we must have the courage to be vulnerable and speak personally about what the Gospel means to us."

As was taught in our Bible study last week, the Gospel, in a nutshell, is contained in John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, will not perish, but have everlasting life.".  But... the Gospel, in a Christian's life,  isn't  just that moment when Jesus is accepted as Lord and Savior, it begins before birth and continues until arriving in Heaven's Glory to meet Christ Jesus face to face.    "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born I set you apart.  Jeremiah 1:5;  "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me."  Philippians 1:21-22  "But our citizenship is in Heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself."   Philippians 3:20-21.

My Gospel story...

Growing up, I was basically what most would call a "Miss Goody Two Shoes".  I was a "good" person with a guilty conscience that would stop me from doing most things that I shouldn't.   I never had a desire to smoke, drink or do drugs.  I was a good student.  I loved being a daughter, granddaughter, and eventually wife and mother.  I considered myself a loyal friend.  Integrity and honesty were important to me.  I certainly had shortcomings, but to the outside world, I was a "good person".   I don't say all of this to boast about what a wonderful person I was - quite the contrary...  I share this to show the workings of the Gospel in a life that didn't have "major sins" by the worlds standards or by her own standards, but indeed by God's standards, "For whoever keeps the whole law, yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it." James 2:10.

Some of the most moving testimonies of salvation I have heard are from those who were rescued out of the pit of destruction, from addictions or very bad life choices or life situations.  To me, these stories showcased God's incredible love, mercy, forgiveness and redemption.  I would actually struggle sometimes wondering "was I truly saved??" since I didn't have this epic rescue story or profound moment of salvation
.

In God's mercy and love, He met this "Miss Goody Two Shoes" quietly in her anxiety and worry, her insecurity, selfishness, vanity, complaining, criticizing, self-centeredness, bad temper, impatience, gossiping, slandering and a multitude of other sins.   First a co-worker shared the Gospel which I mocked.   Then, as we were looking for our second home, "circumstances" prevented us from getting the house we wanted essentially "forcing" our decision to pick the house we live in now.   And it was here, that I would eventually meet two neighbors.  One who gave me a Bible to read and said God would speak to me, but when I read it, "He didn't speak to me" - my heart was still hardened...  Another neighbor moved in and through her example, I saw something that I wanted to share in - my heart was softening...  She eventually introduced me to a woman who invited me to do a Bible study about the Apostle Peter which addressed anxiety and worry - the biggest struggle of my life!   I agreed to participate.  The more I read God's Word as part of the Bible study, it was then that I finally understood what the first neighbor meant when she said, "God will speak to you through his Word".

 I don't know specifically what date it happened, but I know that I received the Holy Spirit when the Lord Jesus came into my heart.  How do I know this?   Because this "Miss Goody Two Shoes" didn't see herself as "Miss Goody Two Shoes" anymore, but as a sinner desperately in need of a Savior.  Suddenly, God's Word lept off the pages, and I finally understood them.  My behavior and actions changed to one of a Christ follower who desired to live for Him.

 It is always such a blessing to look back at all circumstances in my life, even the ones that were difficult or "didn't go the way I hoped it would", only to see how God's "ways are higher than my ways". Isaiah 55:9b  I can say that as a "Miss Goody Two Shoes" who didn't recognize my need of a Savior for the first few decades of my life, I am filled with so much gratitude that the Lord blocked the purchase of the house I had hoped for and used my struggle with anxiety to ultimately draw me to the Him.

Stay tuned...  My Gospel story is continuing...


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eLivefree Thursday,Everyday JesusSDG GatheringInspire Me MondayTell His StoryTitus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays




5 comments:

  1. Hello Karen - was led to your blog through FOCB and I am thankful I found your blog! I look forward to reading more about you and about God! God bless!

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  2. Thank you for your kind words. Praising God for An opportunity to share His grace and mercy.

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  3. I can relate to what you wrote. As a teenager I wanted a "story." I was at church before I was a week old. I knew God, had accepted God's salvation at an early age. But that's boring and how I wished for a "He saved me out of..." story. Now I'm thankful I don't have the scars of sin to deal with. I'm also thankful that regardless of how we come to Him He loves us and offers salvation to all. Looking forward to hearing more of your story.

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    1. Thank you for sharing "your story". :-)

      It has been a blessing to have you visit!

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