Monday, May 4, 2009

Princess School

From the Word

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Hebrews 10

Key Verse:

For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.
-Hebrews 10:14 (NLT)

"I have to walk on my tiptoes," my daughter told me when I met her at the school bus stop. "I'm going to Princess School and this is how a princess is supposed to walk."

As we walked home, she explained that her new library book was called Princess School and she was officially training in all things princess. She's been very committed to this plan all week, insisting on wearing dresses and paying lots of attention to manners because "princesses are very polite."

As I've watched her practicing her princess skills, it reminded me that I too am a princess. Because of my faith in Jesus, I have become a child of God, the Daughter of the King of Kings, and the bride of Christ. Royalty.

How very un-royal I feel at times! It is easy for me to slip into condemnation mode and to wonder if I'm ever going to get things right. But the truth is, whether or not I pass Princess School or get an A+ in Royal Manners, I have already been made a princess. That can not be taken away from me.

The struggles I have to overcome sin in my life do not and can not take away from who I already am in Jesus. I had a counselor help me understand this with this analogy. He said:

When a prince or princess is born, they are immediately a part of the royal family. They already are a prince or princess. Then they spend the rest of their lives learning how to be royal.

That's how the sanctification process works for us. When we turn our lives over to Jesus in faith, at that moment we are positionally perfect. God sees us through the lens of justification. We are already made perfect, even as we are being made perfect or holy.

Throughout my lifetime, God will be making me into the image of his son. I will be learning how to be royal, but I can rest in the knowledge that that work is already completed. I am his. He promises to finish the work he began in me, so condemnation and discouragement have no place in my life. I need to lift my head up in confidence and start walking like the princess I am.

Personal Application:

Do you ever doubt your salvation? Do you find it difficult to believe that you are forgiven and free? Replace the lies with truth by confessing your false beliefs and replacing them with scripture that tells the truth.

This royal position does come with responsibility. There are warnings throughout the Bible to not treat this amazing grace cheaply. It is our responsibility as a princess to bring honor to our King. We should strive for holiness. We should try to win people to Him by our goodness and by our example that Biblical principles really do work. The difference is in our hearts. We are motivated by love and gratitude, not because we think we can earn our salvation or because we are afraid of His wrath.

After you are aware of this amazing gift, how terrible it would be to throw it all away. The end of Hebrews 10 can be scary and appear to contradict what the beginning of the chapter says. It does not! I think Matthew Henry did a great job of explaining it in his Concise Commentary, so I'll let him explain:

The exhortations against apostasy and to perseverance, are urged by many strong reasons. The sin here mentioned is a total and final falling away, when men, with a full and fixed will and resolution, despise and reject Christ, the only Saviour; despise and resist the Spirit, the only Sanctifier; and despise and renounce the gospel, the only way of salvation, and the words of eternal life. Of this destruction God gives some notorious sinners, while on earth, a fearful foreboding in their consciences, with despair of being able to endure or to escape it. But what punishment can be sorer than to die without mercy? We answer, to die by mercy, by the mercy and grace which they have despised. How dreadful is the case, when not only the justice of God, but his abused grace and mercy call for vengeance! All this does not in the least mean that any souls who sorrow for sin will be shut out from mercy, or that any will be refused the benefit of Christ's sacrifice, who are willing to accept these blessings. Him that cometh unto Christ, he will in no wise cast out.

This is a final throwing away of God's grace. We know from Jesus' story of the prodigal son that there is always hope that someone like this will come home and a grand reception of forgiveness and love will be waiting when they do.

Dear Father,

I'm overwhelmed by the beauty of this truth. From the time I was a little girl, I dreamt of being a princess. You have made me a princess. You forgave my sins, made me right before you, and are now molding me, shaping me, and training me for this royal position. Thank you for redeeming me and for forgiving me. Thank you for the hope of eternity with you. Thank you that I get to enjoy the benefits of your Kingdom even now. How good you are! How amazing your grace and love!

In Jesus' Name I pray,

More of God's Word:

1. Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. -Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

2. But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. -1 Peter 2:9 (NLT)

3. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. -John 1:12 (NIV)




B.D.Riehl said...

Wow! Thanks! A hard thing to remember at times, and so, so important. Thank you for writing this. Perhaps you should add a devotional book to your list of writing accomplishments? :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Becky:

Oooo - I like this. May have to work this in when I speak to the Ladies Day. I know I will be using the other stuff you sent me, especially Psalm 37.

Did I mention that I'm American, but I live near London, England and most of the ladies to whom I will be speaking are British?

Thanks again for your help,
The Other Becky :-)

Rachel Beran said...

Princess Becky,

Wow. your words just knocked me off my feet! I know that this is straight from the Word of God, yet it seems so hard to remember this in our everyday lives.

Like you, I feel so "un-royal" at times. I get into that "condemnation mode" that you wrote about. I also tend to get sidetracked and forgetful of who I am in the Lord...a joint heir with Jesus! How awesome is that?!

I must remember that I'm just a princess who's still in training. That doesn't make me an less of a princess.

How beautiful! Thank you for sharing this today. I needed to hear it.

Mom said...

Awesome comments! Good job Beck. Mom

Kimberly said...

I came by and read this last night, but knew I needed to come back to comment. I was too tired to be able to write anything coherent. :)

But I really do love this. I was still thinking on it this morning. I love the reminder that the fact that I am a princess is just that...a FACT. I may not feel like one or always act like one, but I am. I am a daughter of the King. And I love looking at sanctification as me learning how to behave like a princess. :)

Thank you so much for sharing this!

Happily Enrolled in Princess School,