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In Place of My Failures

Do you ever sit at the place of your failures, looking at the chaos of it all, lamenting for your short comings, and ask, “how did I get here?” I do. Often. In fact, I do so more often than I’d like (though admittedly once is too much). I feel unworthy, filthy, and I often ask “Why do you still want to use me, God?” I feel low, depressed, angry at myself, overwhelmed. And each time I go to Him, He reminds me of who He sent in place of my failures. Loved ones, too many of us seek our own worthiness. We want to present a blameless offering before God. The problem, though is that none of us have a blameless offering to give. The sacrifice of sheep and bulls and birds has ceased, most of us don’t have a spotless lamb, a year old to take our place, and, even if we did, we know we’d just have to do it all over again.

No, in place of my failures, and yours, God sent His Son to handle it. Jesus lived the life that we could not, fully God, yet He put human skin on, born of a virgin, and walked around as one of us. God became one of us. And he fulfilled our end of the covenants with the Father by walking around in complete and utter righteousness. He was righteous one hundred percent of the time, though tempted in every way. He suffered in his temptations and yet did not sin. Jesus stood in my place when the crowds yelled “Crucify,” and was beaten and scourged beyond recognition in my place, and was nailed to a cross in my place. He died in my place, and rose again on the third day so that I could go and be with Him in His place, by His side forever. So when I stand in the place of my failures, the only thing I can say is “I’m sorry Lord, that I sent you to the cross. I’m sorry for my sins, and I don’t want to do them again. I don’t want to fail again, change my mind and my heart, so I may know you fully.” And I know that He does.

1 John 2:1-17

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

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