Good Morning, I just want to take a moment to preface this devotional, I know that most of us are still probably in holiday mode and I really did try to come up with a devotional that would speak to that, the joys of Christmas and the opportunities to start over with the New Year. As I reflected on this past year though, God kept bringing me back to this one thing that, I really think, will make a difference for all of us as we go forward in our Christian walk. So I did choose butterflies for all the featured photos, I love the symbolism of transformation and struggle and recreation that they represent. All of that being said, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! May your home be graced with many blessings in 2012.

Conviction or Condemnation?

This past year has been a really challenging one for me spiritually. I have been challenged by other Christians who were offended by me following the leading of the Lord in my own life. I have been challenged by opinions and judgments.

Delightful Daisy

And in wrestling with all of these things and bringing them continually before the Lord these many months I have realized that I still have a long way to go in my walk with Christ, granted I have come a great distance but there are miles and miles to go. I have learned without doubt the difference between feeling convicted and feeling condemned. Conviction hits you in the gut, it is a deep deep sense that you have missed the mark, that you are capable of so much more, that you want to offer God something better and that by His grace, He will help you to do so. You need only to repent and begin anew.

Condemnation usually comes from the outside, it says “You’re not good enough”, “Christians don’t behave that way so you must not be one”, “You will never be able to please God”, “God did not speak that to you, you got it wrong”. Condemnation gives you the sense that you can never be worthy of partaking in God’s kingdom. It throws your past and your mistakes back up in your face over and over again.

Poppy Patch

But the Bible says: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Romans 8:1 KJV) Let that sink in for a minute, do you believe that Jesus was the son of God and died for your sins? If yes, then you are “in Christ Jesus”. Do you chase after the things of God in your life? If yes, then you are walking after the Spirit. That means that you are not condemned, you are righteous and holy because of what Christ has done for you and in you. I pray that you find a deep sense of freedom and hope in this. I pray that you will recognize that when the Spirit of God convicts you of something, it is for the purpose of restoration, it is to draw you nearer to the heart of God. It is for the purpose of growing and maturing you. When you are feeling condemned it usually drives a wedge in your relationship with the Father, it pulls you away, it creates distance it your relationship with Christ. That is NOT of God, it is the work of the enemy.

Carry The Word

It is important that you deal with those feelings of condemnation, take them to God in prayer, ask Him to reveal if there is any grain of truth in them and deal with that if there is. If not, ask him to show you the root of those feelings. When the source of condemnation seems to come from those around you, take care to not allow feelings of rejection and bitterness take root. Ask God to help you extend mercy and grace, to love them just as He loves you. Then stand firm in the knowledge of who you are in Christ and continue to seek Him first in all you do.

Ingrid's Creations

Philippians 3:13-15 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

Cherry's Creations

Comments (13)

On December 26, 2011 at 11:11 AM , krafterskorner said...

Very pretty butterflies! I am working towards living out what God called me to do.

On December 26, 2011 at 11:24 AM , My Heart For Him (Jesus) said...

I agree completely.. Thank you for sharing this

On December 26, 2011 at 1:23 PM , myeuropeantouch said...

Cherry, well said...I am still a work in progress....♥
Thank you

On December 26, 2011 at 2:42 PM , Leslie McNeil of MarveLes Art Studios said...

Nice. When we choose to repent, to give up our burdens, and let Christ taken them, it's amazing who He blooms within us; taking ashes and turning them into beauty! May we nail our burdens to The Cross, and let ourselves bloom within the life he died to give us.

On December 26, 2011 at 2:50 PM , sue anderson said...

Cherry - what a wonderful way to start a New Year. I strive for that every day. I don't think I will every reach perfection in this but I get closer every year.


On December 26, 2011 at 3:03 PM , Tricia said...

Awesome word Cherry! We are all still works in progress and it is uplifting to be reminded conviction is from within, condemnation is from the world. Be blessed as you have blessed me this day!

On December 26, 2011 at 3:23 PM , bananaorangeapple said...

This is very wise advice. Thank you for sharing.

On December 26, 2011 at 8:17 PM , Ingrid Ames said...

Very nice! Thank you for sharing Cherry! I am a work in progress too. :)

On December 27, 2011 at 12:53 AM , v + s + m + i + a + c said...

Great post!! I love butterflies, too. :)

On December 27, 2011 at 7:10 AM , BonJeanCreations said...

Great words to remember for this new year. I needed a reminder of this in my walk with Christ. I love Paul's words in Philippians "I press on towards the goal. . ."
Thanks Cherry for sharing your struggles and your wise words of encouragement.

On December 27, 2011 at 7:39 AM , Angels and Everlastings said...

Very well written - Thanks for sharing -- Great topic -- I love that scripture in Philippians.

On December 27, 2011 at 9:09 AM , Luscious Lather said...

Wonderful word, Cherry!!! Romans 8:1 is one of my favorites and totally set me free! Once you realize that you are completely forgiven, loved and free, you are finally able to be close to God. You are free to grow spiritually because you have let loose of all of the burdens of guilt holding you back and clouding your vision of Who your loving Father really is. Total acceptance, lack of fear and condemnation allow for a greater ability to receive the Truth and seek the Spirit with great fervor and joy. It is transforming - just like your butterflies! Love, love, love this and the beautiful way you have worded and illustrated it! God bless you, sweet Cherry! ♥Diane

On December 27, 2011 at 10:59 AM , Rae said...

Hi Cherry!
Very well written truths. We are all being transformed from Glory to Glory!
Happy New Year with Jesus!!!

<3 Rae