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Atonement

by Margaret D. Mitchell
Week of June 15, 2014

"God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and His Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace."  -1 Peter 1:2

Sitting in my prayer chair one day, I decided to take communion. So I walked into my kitchen to gather the elements, and on my way back, I tripped over a shoe. When I tripped, a single drop of juice spilled out onto my white carpet in front of my chair. I had a sense that God was using this to get my attention. So I sat down and asked, “What is it Lord?”

Immediately, I saw the words “Redemption” and “Live.”

The revelation He impressed upon me was that every time I had tripped up in my past, He atoned for my sins through one drop of the blood of His Son, Jesus, and that all of my sins had been washed away by His gracious provision of this atoning blood.

This is a Biblical precept that I had known in my head and heart on a level, but God took me even deeper to know His truth even more about how He saw me. And it came on a day that I needed to hear from Him and hear this, and His mercy touched me deeply.

I chose not to wipe up the one drop of juice as a reminder that every time I sat before Him, I was forgiven, that my sins were no more in His eyes because of the atoning blood of His Son.

Interesting, too, we had been planning to roll up that carpet, as it had come with the house some time ago, complete with a few larger stains. And as I sat and looked at those past stains once more, which were much larger than the single drop of juice, I was reminded that, no matter how much effort I had exerted in removing them, they just wouldn’t come out. The gracious, atoning blood of Jesus does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. And only God would illustrate this precept using carpet stains. (Don’t you love that He meets us right where we are?)

To be sure, we cannot atone for ourselves, according to Isaiah 64:6…

"We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind."

And, as believers, we are under the New Covenant’s atoning blood of Jesus, which washes away our sins, versus the Old Covenant, which only covered for people’s sins.

It’s this New Covenant (better) that allows us to live in the greater freedom that Jesus died to give to us—over the impositions (stains) of our past. He made the way for us to live above reproach.

Paul tells us in Colossians 1:22…

"Yet now He has reconciled you to Himself through the death of Christ in His physical body. As a result, He has brought you into His own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault."

And so I received the communion elements that day.

God knew I needed to be reminded of this deeply, because He was bringing me out of a season of long-suffering, whereby more of my carnal flesh was dying. I knew that even though God had taught me personal sacrifice and service to the lost and broken in the world through years of working as a flight attendant in a former season, He was taking me deeper still to learn how to love more sacrificially…like He does.

God is so good. He knew that our old carpet was a short time away from being removed and replaced with new flooring—a restored, firmer foundation. So He knew I wouldn’t mind if He spilled a bit of juice to demonstrate His precept. (And yes, I would like to save that swatch of stained carpet as a reminder going forward.)

When God brings us from one season into another, there are wisdom nuggets and precepts that He impresses deeply into our soul so that we can live more fully for Him going forward for the purpose of producing more fruit through us. And His plan does not include our past stains.

We are His beloved who can live because of His provision of grace—the atoning blood of Jesus.

How do you see the atoning blood of Jesus at work in your life?

This devotional was adapted from Margaret's forthcoming book, "Enduring Grace." All rights reserved. 



And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell


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