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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Label Are You Wearing?

Have you ever been labeled a certain way because of your past mistakes or poor choices you made? Maybe you have gone through a marriage that didn’t workout the way you thought it should and it ended in divorce and people labeled you as “Divorced:. Or maybe you had premarital sex and you were known as the promiscuous woman in town by the church goers or your next door neighbor. Maybe your family members never went to college and they told you that you are not smart enough to get a college education. What label has the world or the Devil put on you?

When I was sixteen years old, I was sexually abused and that experience allowed the Devil to come into my life in perverted ways. In college, I started having these homosexual thoughts enter my mind and I gave into them. I was so ashamed and had piles of condemnation heaped on top of me for many years. I would listen to religious people, even Christians say the harshest comments about people who had struggled or were even caught in homosexuality. They labeled me as “washed up”, “no good” “dirty sinner”. Yet, it seemed to me they thought they were better than me and others who had some difficult challenges to overcome. These attitudes from others caused me to sink into depression and I built walls around my life, not letting people get too close for fear they might put more labels on me! Fear became a regular part of my life. I learned that people many times judge a book by its cover but never take the time to read the pages within. In other words, people don’t take the time to discover a person’s journey of how he became who he is today. It was through this difficult season of my life that I learned some of the greatest truths of the Gospel! Jesus hung out with sinners and tax collectors and came to set them free – people pushed aside by religious leaders. He showed mercy to those who did not deserve it and offered hope and His healing hand!

Matthew 9:9-12 (Amplified Bible)
As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's office; and He said to him, Be My disciple [side with My party and follow Me]. And he rose and followed Him. And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and [b][especially wicked] sinners came and sat (reclined) with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Master eat with tax collectors and those [preeminently] sinful?” But when Jesus heard it, He replied, “Those who are strong and well (healthy) have no need of a physician, but those who are weak and sick.”

Jesus came to set sinners free from addictions and wrong ways of thinking. He came to give them life and life more abundantly by paying the price of sin through His death and resurrection. He came to empower people through His Holy Spirit to be more than conquerors. Jesus reached down into my world and pulled me out of the dumps of despair and took the label that others put on me and gave me a new label. He said to me, “You are not gay, but a Man of God and I am going to transform you into a vessel I can use to set others free!” The Bible says,

2 Corinthians 5:17 (Amplified Bible) 
Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

When I placed my trust and confidence in Jesus Christ, I became right with God and God gave me a new nature that wanted to please Him. Little by little, I began to believe the truths of the Bible that I am loved unconditionally and that God has a good plan for my life. These thoughts began to run deep within my soul and began to affect every facet of my life. I held my head up high because I knew I was loved and valued by God and that He can transform sinners into mighty followers of Him. My life was not washed up, but just beginning! He took the shameful labels off and replaced them with Child of the Most High God, More Than A Conqueror, Forgiven, Man of God.  Will you let God replace the labels that people have tried to place on you with the truth of His Word? God loves you and believes in you. He can heal your broken heart, restore your life and give you something to live for once again! Will you let Him?

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