Fixer Upper

While exploring a nice neighbourhood last week, I noticed a house with a run-down façade, and big nailed plywood sheets covering the windows. Its garden was fenced and unkept, and of course it was not inhabited. I wasn’t sure if the house was deemed condemned or was being prepared to be torn down. Then I wondered about the fate of this property. Would it be destroyed to build something new or would it be bought by someone to restore it?

A number of reasons can cause a property to be condemned: the structure is in a state of disrepair, vacant for a long period, unsafe to live in, or utilities in the place have been discontinued. Not a lot of people would consider buying such properties because it involves a large restoration cost to rehabilitate and make it livable again. There are also potential liabilities if the place was to create unforeseen problems and safety concerns, which would be a liability to its owner.

Sometimes, we see ourselves like a condemned house, unwanted, rejected––liabilities deemed with low value. We feel a sense of condemnation beyond the point of repair, and the power on the inside has been discontinued. Like that uninhabitable house, we feel that there is no one who would take the time to help us become better or new.

The good news and truth are that God does not condemn us, nor does He put a sign over us that says “condemned”.  He does not look at us with contempt, nor as someone beyond the point of repair. He sees us as worthy. He sees unlimited potential. He accepts us “as is” and does not reject us. He loved us so much that He sent Jesus to redeem us from the sin that caused destruction, decay and disrepair in our lives.

Jesus is that buyer who saw potential in us, and he paid the price with his blood to take our condemnation away, bringing us love and peace. John 3:16-17 says: ”God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Through Jesus’ death, we have been redeemed from destruction (Psalm 103:3-4). Once we welcome Jesus into our lives, He takes residence in the rooms of our hearts. He makes us new on the inside (spirit, mind, heart) and restores our lives back to its eternal state. Jesus has bought our “condemned lives” as someone who would buy a run-down house, comes in and does a major renovation making our lives new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 declares “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

In Romans 8:1, Paul urges us to understand that “there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death”.

Christ makes of our heart his abode, and the good news is that He will give us His Spirit assuring us that we are not condemned and that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:31-38). He also gives us His Spirit as the guarantee that we belong to Him, the ultimate renovator of our soul, and gives us the power to overcome negative thoughts.

Have you ever felt a sense of condemnation, shame, unworthiness, fear and guilt invading your thoughts and hearts? Invite Jesus into your spiritual house today, and allow Him to love you, redeem you, restore you and make you whole again. Christ wants to dwell in your heart.

Next Steps: How do you allow the Holy Spirit to help you renew your thoughts? Watch this series Under Construction by Pastor Dave Koop on the renewing of your mind.