Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night (Revelation 12:10).
And even when you were dead (in) transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he brought you to life along with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions; obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims, which was opposed to us, he also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross; despoiling the principalities and the powers, he made a public spectacle of them, leading them away in triumph by it (Colossians 2:13-15).
And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us (Romans 5:5).
Hence, now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed you from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2).
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the violence of the wicked (Psalm 17:8-9).
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come (2 Corinthians 5:17).
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We all have days where it seems we are under attack, either from outside or inside. Maybe something we said was misunderstood, causing people to question our motives. Maybe we made a big mistake and we can’t stop replaying it in our minds. Or maybe we are just feeling downcast and having trouble looking beyond our sins, weaknesses, and shortcomings. When you hear voices tearing you down, remember who you are in Christ through his Cross and resurrection: a beloved son of God the Father, who always looks at you with love, pride, and affirmation.
Jesus stands with you when Satan, the “accuser of our brothers,” tries to wear you down (Revelation 12:10). Jesus sees the good in you, not just the bad. He doesn’t fall for the malicious whispers of the devil. He can see through Satan because he has already defeated him on the cross, making a “public spectacle” of his conquered foe (Colossians 2:15). He will always stand with you. He will always speak words of encouragement to you. He will always turn aside the accusations of the devil—always!
It can be so hard for you to believe—in our natural, fallen minds, that is—that Jesus is as good as the Bible says he is. But it is true: When we come to him in humble surrender, he doesn’t remember our sins or rebellion. Instead, he looks at us with love and compassion. He has sympathy for us when we suffer, even if the misery is of our own making. You don’t have to earn this kind of compassion. You don’t have to straighten yourself out so that you deserve it. He promised it to you before you were even born. So run to him! Don’t be afraid to go to Confession and meet Jesus there. Receive his forgiveness and cleansing. Accept his love and compassion.
Remember the prodigal son, whose father ran to him while he was still far off, and threw his arms around him and kissed him. This is what God the Father wants to do for you! This is why he sent his Holy Spirit, who is the love of God (Romans 5:5), to dwell in you—so that he might always be able to minister his healing and forgiveness to you. We have such a good God!
So the next time you feel misunderstood or think you can’t be forgiven, look to the Scriptures and see what the Lord says about you. Remember that in Christ, you are free from all condemnation (Romans 8:1). Remember that in Christ, you are the apple of your Father’s eye (Psalm 17:8). Remember that “whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). With God’s word behind you and his presence and love within you, you can be completely assured that you are worth far more than what the devil or your circumstances may want to tell you! After all, isn’t this what this Easter season of grace is all about?
“Father, I come to you today and humbly ask you to fill me with your life and love. Help me to focus on your goodness and compassion, not on my sin and weakness. Lord Jesus, thank you for never forsaking me. I surrender my life completely to you. Through the power of your cross and resurrection, I can stand against all of Satan’s lies and live in the glorious freedom as a beloved son of your Father! I know that I am a new creation in you.”
Maurice Blumberg was the founding Executive Director of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men (http://www.catholicmensresources.org/), and is currently a Trustee. He is also the Director of Partner Relations for Partners in Evangelism, (http://www2.wau.org/partners/), a Ministry to the Military and Prisoners for The Word Among Us (http://www.wau.org/).
[Many thanks to The Word Among Us for allowing us to adapt material from daily meditations in their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission.]
Questions for Reflection/Discussion by Catholic Men
- Take a few minutes to reflect on the Scriptures at the beginning of the article. What do they tell you about who you are in Christ through his death on the Cross and resurrection from the dead?
- In what ways have you experienced Satan as the “accuser of our brothers” (Revelation 12:10)? How have you responded to these accusations? Why is knowing who we are in Christ so important in recognizing and overcoming them?
- The article presents God the Father and Jesus as loving, kind, generous, merciful, and compassionate towards each of us. What obstacles do you have, e.g., your view of your earthly father, that can get in the way of seeing God the Father and Jesus as they truly are?
- In 2 Corinthians 5:17, we hear these words: “whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” What does it mean to be a “new creation” in Christ?
- If you are in a men’s group, take some time at the end of your meeting to pray for one another that each of you would give your lives more fully to Christ and come to recognize and experience, in a life-changing way, who you are in Christ. Use the prayer at the end of the article as the starting point.