"For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard.  Yet now God in His glorious kindness declares us not guilty.  He does so through Christ Jesus who freed us by taking away our sins.....We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us." Romans 3:23-25...."The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness"  John 10:10....."So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus."  Romans 8:1....."So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free."  John 8:36
 
The other day, while returning home from a church function and driving on the interstate, a group of "bikers" roared past me. They belonged to what I think they like to refer to as a "club."  I knew this because the jackets and vests they wore had emblazoned upon the back a grinning skull adorned with a motorcycle helmet, and the name, The Guilty Ones underneath it. Seeing it immediately set me to thinking, not just then, but since.  First off, I considered how they likely looked at membership in their club.  They probably saw it as a very exclusive one, with membership limited, and not easy to attain.  I wondered if they had any idea that the membership was not exclusive at all.  Every life born into this world finds a place in that club.  We are born into and under sin.  That sin separates us from Him, leaves us guilty and powerless to do anything about it.  I thought of how the deathmask on their vests, their "colors" truly did signify the state of us all.  We are born dead in our sin.

I also thought how the Father's beautiful gift of Life through grace and the giving of His Son Jesus Christ, means that no one need "ride" through life with the label, "Guilty One."  Instead, those who are His are the Freed Ones, the Forgiven Ones.  No doubt that group of riders really believed they were riding free on that interstate, but unless they had come to a saving, liberating knowledge of Him, they rode bound in unseen but very real chains of darkness and death.  So do all who ride with them on that "highway."  As His word says, it's a road that seems right to them, but its end is death.  The Guilty Ones ride through life towards only one end....eternal destruction.  Are you riding with them?

The last thing I thought of was this; there are so many who have believed upon Him, received Him as their Savior.  They no longer belong to the Guilty Ones, but the problem is, they are continuing to wear their old colors underneath their new ones.  In some cases this is because there are aspects of the old "club days" that they are struggling to let go of, but more often, it is simply a matter of continuing to think like a member of the Guilty Ones.  Though forgiven, they cannot believe they really are, so they go on trying to please Him and earn His favor and forgiveness, but no matter what they do, it never seems enough.  The club's colors continue to control them.  They have heard that they are now free in Christ, but somehow, the chains of yesterday are still with them.  They don't ride free, but remain tightly bound.  In bondage to so many things.  Their minds, emotions, hearts, weighed down with so much "baggage."  They may have taken off their outward colors, but inwardly, they remain burned upon their soul, spirit, and heart.  They no longer belong to the club, but more often that not, live and think as if they still do.  They don't know what it is to live and ride free.  They ride through life in their strength, not His.  Might you, we, at least in some way, be still riding with the Guilty Ones today?

The scriptures I shared in the beginning are truth, but truth does not become Truth to us until it becomes a very part of us, woven into the very fabric of our being.  Only He can do this for us.  Has He done it for you?  The Guilty Ones are always riding.  There is not one of us who need ride with them any longer.  He whispers our name, bids us to surrender those old colors, and live. If you have never heard Him whisper your name above all the roar of the ride, know that He whispers it now.  Leave that old road, and begin the journey on His road in His life.  If you have heard that whisper, yet somehow, some part of you continues to wear the colors of the Guilty Ones, allow Him to remove them from you, destroying them once and for all.  Come to Him.  Yield to Him.  He calls you, us, to ride free, forgiven, with Him.  The Guilty Ones, or the Freed And Forgiven Ones.  Which club are you riding with?

Blessings,
Pastor O 
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