Thursday, April 15, 2010

Amazing Grace

Are you saved? That question makes me laugh now. Laugh at the fool I was.
I remember around 10 years ago, we were to start home schooling. As it would be, the only home school group I was at all familiar with was a Christian group. (yep, there is a story there too, maybe later) I was not a believer at that time.
The first event we went to was a picnic, I went prepared! I just knew all those pushy Christians were going to ask me "Are you saved?"
To  which I was going to reply- "From what?" or "Just what makes you think I need saving?"
Really....teeth clenched, I was ready.
NO one asked.

    Saved implies lost and I sure didn't think I was lost. My life was fine thank you.

Sure....I believed in "god".  Ya know, like goodness, the things that weren't bad. Some type of power. 
I even believed the "good" in man was god.  uhg!
James 2:19
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that- and shudder.

  The demons were ahead of me, they knew God, THE God. Like me they did not want to be told what they needed or lacked or what God told them to do, so they didn't follow him. They followed their own will, destined for hell.
Yet they shudder- tremble. They know what awaits them.
I was too arrogant to shudder.

I was lost. Lost to sin.
Lost to self. 
Lost to anger, unforgiveness.

                  Amazing Grace   how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.
                     I once was lost , but now am found
                    Was blind but now I see.

Grace found me. God's grace. THE God. The very God I shunned, the God I thought I didn't need.

 When Saul, (Paul) was saved on the road to Damascus,(Acts 26) Christ told him he would make him a minister of the good news. God would rescue Paul and send him to non believers to.....

open their eyes
to turn them from darkness to light
from the power of  Satan to God

so that they may receive.....
forgiveness of sins
an inheritance 

Those who are saved by God are kept by God, for eternity. Forgiven, loved, accepted, renewed.
God's grace is rebirth, revelation of his truth.
It is completely from him and him alone. 
It comes to those who do not deserve it
  who do not seek it
  and who can not earn it.
Without God's grace we are destined to serve sin and under the power of Satan.
I was lost and I needed to be saved. It is a good thing God didn't wait for me to get comfortable with who he was before he saved me or wait for me to figure out I needed him. That would never have happened.
God saves those who do not know they are lost.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Not perfect just Forgiven

         This morning I read a blog, what it was about wasn't as important as the comment afterward. The blog objected to the use of scripture in a particular publication, the comment that followed is one every Christian should read. 
She referenced a person that was just  mean, and a gossip, yet had a bumper sticker on her car that said                    "Not Perfect, Just Forgiven."
  Well, that doesn't surprise me. Anyone could unfortunately say something similar about me. It proves that those of us who profess Christ are always being watched. First to see if we really are different and second to see if we really are not. What we as Christians do, effects our testimony, and by the world's standards, our Christ. He does not need us to show his glory, but he has chosen us to do so and we should be overwhelmed by that!
  It is the next part of the woman's statement that is so very important. She said "When did being a Christian become and excuse instead of a motivation?"
  She is right! Just because we are sinners forgiven is no excuse to continue to sin. Now.....we will. We will never be perfect in this life, in this world, that comes with Christ's return.

Now- the world is full of sin, dying from it.
We, trapped in tents of flesh are serving ourselves. Sin.
Ephesians 4:17-32 talks of how a sinner, saved by grace must put off the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires because we have been made new, created to be like God in righteousness and holiness. No longer to be like those who are lost, darkened in their understanding because of ignorance and hardness of heart.

 The unbeliever does not have this battle. The old self rules, there is no new creation to battle with. Believers must daily  put down the old ways, the anger, gossip, lust and sinful desires. It is battle! The flesh is strong, the will of man is strong, evil is strong.
          Christ is stronger.

There is the story, perhaps you have heard it in one form or another.

An old Indian man, as a new believer in Christ speaks of the raging battle inside of him. He says, it is like two dogs fighting within me, both trying to win. One is good, it is those things like prayer and Bible reading, kindness to others, forgiveness. The other, it is my old life, spirituality, drugs, lust and anger. They fight all day, all day, all day. Someone asks the old man, "Which one wins?" He replyed, "The one that I feed."

Believers in Christ sin. Believers are forgiven. Believers do not have license to sin freely.
We have the gift of God's grace, his mercy, his guidance and power of his Holy Spirit, his restraint.
We have repentance granted by him.
Repentance in the Greek means to think differently to reconsider.
Maybe it means to feed the right dog.