As we come to the end of 2007, and I prepare to publish a blog for the final time this year, or maybe ever, depending on how God leads, I am struggling with what to write about. I decided that I should very briefly recap some of what has happened in my life over the past year; not so much as stuff, but as to what I have been shown throughout the year as a lead in to a very important topic.If anything I say in my final blog makes you mad, then you can apologize to me later.
I have learned more about God this year then I probably ever have. This is what I believe a true Christian life should be. According to the Bible, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” I believe that we are to long to know God more, to hunger and thirst for Him, to seek Him. I believe that by doing this, he will bless us with Goodness, with his Love, and with His abounding joy.
Over the past year I have learned (or furthered my knowledge of the fact) that God is present and takes control over all areas of my life. I have seen this through my actions, my thoughts, and my circumstances. I have seen Him take control of relationships that he has allowed me to have, and also through relationships that He hasn’t allowed me to have. It is through this last point that I have struggled over the past year. I have always been a very guarded person and very untrusting by my nature. It is extremely hard for me to open myself up to other people and become vulnerable even for a moment. So when I am led to a new relationship whether it is friendship or otherwise, it is always rough for me based on my nature. God has given me a couple of real good relationships this year that are only growing stronger, and for that I am truly thankful. Also, God has taken one longstanding relationship away from me that I am still numb over, and I still don’t understand; and in a couple of cases there seems to be a starting of a relationship, and God snatches it away. I know that He is doing this to bring me closer to Him, to have to depend more on Him, and to remind me that it is not I that live, but Christ that lives in me.
That took a little too much of my space, and now I will stop boring you with life details. My whole point of this blog is to tell you that God is present everywhere in our lives, and He is working to show us so many things. He will make you think about your beliefs and how you must test those beliefs to see if they are really according to the Bible. An example for me is how I view true salvation. That is my lead in for my final blog topic (It is almost a recap from an earlier blog).
What is true salvation? How do we know that we are really saved? First, I will tell you what salvation is not. Salvation is not some little prayer that is prayed that after we pray it, we still are not sure…the “I guess salvation” (Did Jesus come into your life? I guess). Salvation is not believing Jesus as our Savior alone. Now, I will tell you what salvation is. True salvation is a weeping over our sin, a true desperate cry to God; a cry to God when we feel that there is no hope, that we are worthless, that are life is meaningless. God will take this hopeless life and turn it into a life filled with hope, a life of meaning and purpose. That is when you know you have true salvation – when you have hit rock bottom and have nothing left and desperately want Him. True salvation is believing Jesus as our Savior AND our Lord. There is not one true Christian that believes Jesus as Savior but not as Lord. It is not possible.
You have to turn your life over to Christ. With this, I ask the question “Is saving grace free?” A lot of people would say yes, that all you have to do is ask Jesus into your heart.
The correct answer to that question is No; it costs you your life! I am sure most of you can get that without further explanation; if you need more explanation, email me. I end with the words of Leonard Ravenhill… “Jesus will give you two things: eternal life and a tree to die on.”
That shall end my 2007 writings. I am taking time while I am out of school to truly get to know God more and to not concern myself with earthly things, only Godly things. Oh God, please help me to discern the difference!
In case this is truly my last blog ever, then God bless you all, and may you truly come to know Him! Do not, under any circumstances, be conformed to this world, but be transformed by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
I would appreciate an opportunity to lead us in a prayer for the upcoming year:
Father, I come before you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. I am so thankful for your love, your mercy, and your all knowing power. I am thankful that you loved us so much that you sent your only son to become sin and die in our place. And I thank you that the same love is never ending.
Father, as we prepare to enter a new year, give us a desire to know you more, to hunger and thirst for you. Oh God, let us not get caught up in our own desires or caught up in things of this world, but draw us close to you on a daily basis; for you are our rock and our fortress and we will not be moved; you allow us to soar on wings like eagles.
Father, bring us situations and circumstances that you will use to glorify you. Maybe we won’t understand these circumstances, but you will, Lord; and for that I give you praise. Everything that happens to us, dear Lord, you have allowed and you are using it as a part of your will. Use our situations to make us more dependent on you. It is not about what we want God. It is not about having nice things, or stuff, or wanting what we think we deserve. Our best life now does not come with these things, but comes by being desperate for you and knowing that you are in control, and crying out in every situation “God is enough!” In the words of John Piper, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”
Father, let 2008 be a year where we, as Christians, can effect change – starting with our local communities. Let the people that we encounter see the love of Christ flowing out of us; let them see that there really is something different about us, and let us use those opportunities to tell them of your everlasting mercy and irresistible grace to draw them to you, oh God. Father, we love you will all of our hearts and we know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and also the Lord of our life; 2008 will be a great year because we know that you have allowed us to be a part of your Kingdom’s work. We praise your name forever and ever!
It is in the name of Jesus that I pray, Amen.
– Adam Smith