Living upside down?

As Told by the Ginger is teaming up with Letter to the Shepherd's Field! Here's this month's newsletter. God bless!!

If you ever have come across a turtle upside down, what is your first thought?  This is not the way a turtle should be, and although it struggles and works and flips its legs, it gains nothing. All this effort is to no avail, and the results end in death.

The turtle needs help, for something it can’t do on its own. Yes, I could stop and look at the turtle and keep going. However, if I come along and pick it up and turn it right side up, would that be great for the turtle?

 This is what grace is: something done with assistance because it can’t be accomplished by oneself.
 I use the turtle for illustration purpose. We, too, are turned upside down, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). When things are reversed like the case of the turtle, they don’t work very well—if at all.

Let me give an example:
If I walk five miles, it should be not a problem to walk the distant upright, but if I try to walk five miles on my hands, I could not do it. We were made to walk upright, not upside down.
Imagine what the turtle thinks when it’s upside down. How will he live? Living in sin was not the way that God intended when He created us.

I might help the turtle right side up, and he will be on his way. The question is if I am upside down and I can’t right myself, who will help me? Hold on: this grace is provided for us “in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8b).

It is Jesus Christ, out of his love and grace, who has come and righted us. He is God’s grace to us. He did something for us that we could not do for ourselves:
"He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” (Ps 40:2, KJV).

Once the turtle is right-side up, do you think the turtle wants to go back to being upside down?
What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life (Romans 6:1-4).

Our goings ought to be established now in our new life in righteousness by the power of the Holy Spirit. If we are living upside down, we will not be ready to share all the goodness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, our Lord. If people see us walking upside down, what might they think? It is very important to know that actions speak louder than words because we represent Christ; therefore, we should live like Jesus.

When you turned the turtle over, he got life back the way it was intended. When Christ turned us right side up through forgiveness, he gave us a completely new life. The question now is which should control us: the old life living upside down by sin or our new life, living right-side up by righteousness through fellowship and the power of His Holy Spirit—the way God intended us for us?

We live now in Christ. If we live in Christ, we operate by the Holy Spirit. I want us to understand Jesus operated by the Holy Spirit, not from self. He was in the Father. Living in the Spirit is the power to know and do right decisions through forgiveness and fellowship with God to live holy lives.

Being flipped over, living in sin, my goings won’t be very far: we have no future if we are constantly spinning in our-shells (selves). It’s not the life God intended for us. We need to be upright with our goings established in forgiveness by the blood of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Take an example from the turtle when you turned him upright. It was like bringing him back from the dead to a new life. Now he can go in the right direction towards the water.

Sin will always make us upside down. Should we live by what makes us upside down?

Let us walk in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, receiving power from the Holy Spirit to walk upright with fellowship the way God intended. God did not intend the turtle to live on its shell upside down, and God did not create us to live upside down in sin, for “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9).

He always has grace to forgive and upright us. Amen.



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