Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1, 2 NIV).

Condemn–(v.) deemed unfit for use

Condemned–(adj.) the quality of being unfit for use

Far off the country road it sat, down a rambling gravel lane, almost hidden from sight. Overgrown bushes and weeds had long ago taken up residence, with no one to tend the yard, gardens, and orchards. Once upon a time, Rakestraw Road, which ran parallel to my childhood street outside Covington, Ohio, claimed the house with its address, marking it as its own.

As little girls, my sister and I were enthralled with this home, dreaming of meandering through its abandoned halls and corridors, wondering who once lived there, what stories its walls would tell.

But it also held an aura of spooky, and, had we had the opportunity to venture inside, we’d likely have done so shaking in our shoes. With broken windows and missing shingles, it was a reminder–

In the imperfection of this world, things on earth never last forever–

  • Not buildings, no matter how sturdy they’re built.
  • Not people, no matter how healthfully they live.

Sometimes, life’s imperfections even lead to a warning–


We’ve all seen the signs–posted in yards of dilapidated houses, they’re often accompanied with “KEEP OUT!” The structures present a danger, are no longer fit for use. No longer inhabitable.

Such seemed the house on Rakestraw, the dwelling that, when the corn wasn’t head-high, we could see from our backyard. Sister and I would stand on tippy-toe at the fence, that which separated our property from Alva Landes–the farmer who swapped soybeans for corn some summers. Together, we’d imagine what that old, ramshackle house might look like on the inside.

Funny. I learned recently someone bought that ol’ broken down, brick structure. Renovated. Remodeled it from floor to rafter.

And though it’s been more than thirty years since I’ve driven down that rural road, craning my neck to try and see it, the next time I’m in my hometown, I just might.

After all, it serves as a reminder. Nothing–at least, no one–is unfit for use when the Grand Architect is involved. When His plan is in play. Yes, when He builds the house.

Though structures made by human hands crumble and fall–are perhaps deemed “Condemned”–no man, woman, or child ever is. Because those created in God’s image, unlike anything else ever made, hold immeasurable value.

No matter one’s…

  • Physical appearance
  • Mental or emotion state
  • The condition of his or her heart.

Humankind’s value was stamped “Loved, Cherished, Worthy” the moment God created the world. And that didn’t change, not even when sin entered, tainting God’s perfect plan. From that moment, He set in motion the greatest rescue the world has ever known.

And the price for our salvation?

The life of His very own Son.

Indeed, Jesus did not come into the world to CONDEMN the world but to save the world, and he accomplished this through his life, death, and resurrection.

No matter our mistakes, no matter our rebellion, no matter our complacency, God, through His Son, calls us His, promising us an eternity with Him when we say, “YES” to His invitation.

By simply receiving it, Jesus claims our hearts, making us his home address, imperfect, dilapidated, broken though we may be. And then, He does the beautiful job of restoring us, rebuilding us, making us more and more like him.

What could be more beautiful?

Won’t you say yes?

It’s not scary, and there’s no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. With him, we are set free!


Won’t you trade your “Keep Out” for COME IN?

He’s standing at the door of your hearts. All you need to do is surrender and pray:

Dear Jesus, I recognize I’m a sinner and in great need of you, my Savior. Thank you for coming to make a way for me that I might be presented to my heavenly Father, pure and holy. Through your death and resurrection, you, Jesus, enable all who say, “Yes,” to you to be restored. You conquered all past, present, and future sin and death on the cross, and now I have the hope of heaven for all eternity, with you! Please come and take up residence in my heart. May it be a beautiful home for you, now and forever… Amen!

***(To read the first of a series of past posts called “If These Walls,” click the title. From the first one, you can follow the links to read the whole series.)***

Most photographs compliments of Pixabay