Thursday, February 19, 2009

I am not a great Christian....

I am not a great Christian, nor will I ever claim to be one. But I love Jesus. I don’t deserve all that I have been given – my salvation, my relationship with a Holy God, grace and mercy, His Word, the privilege of knowing that He hears AND answers my prayers, my family, my friends, my church, and so many more than I can’t even begin to tell. Like the prodigal son, I too had a time of wandering – actually, it was more like running – but, like the prodigal, I also came home. I came home because of one word: grace. If it was to please people, I wouldn’t still be serving my Savior. I made a lot of mistakes, I admit it. I have regrets. But I’ve also experienced a greater forgiveness – that has been one of the greatest lessons the Lord has taught me so far. Because of the patience He showed to me, I have a greater patience for others. It’s easier to forgive, when you remember how much you’ve been forgiven. For many years my life verse has been Isaiah 55:8 & 9 which says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” However, since July of 2008 I have adopted another life verse – Romans 5:20b – “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful verses in the Bible (apart from John 3:16, of course).
Can I just encourage you that, before you judge people because of their past take a look at your own life and make sure you have everything in its proper place… because honestly, who are you to judge anyone? No one is above falling – “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). The Bible warns against this in Acts 10:15b: “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (“Common” means – of mediocre or inferior quality; mean; low; coarse; vulgar.) Be very careful in your thinking, and don’t be quick to judge. After all, King David was an adulterous, murderer, and a terrible father – YET God called him a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). Peter denied Christ three times – YET he died a martyrs’ death on a cross - choosing rather to hang upside-down because He felt unworthy to hang the same way his Savior did. John Mark “gave up” and quit, but later was called for by Barnabas to be their “minister” or “servant” (Acts 13:5). Moses disobeyed God by striking the rock when God told him to simply speak to it – YET God buried Moses on a mountain top. Joseph murdered an Egyptian – YET he was used of God to save the Hebrew nation from starvation during the famine.
Time and time again we see those who have “fallen” be raised up by God Almighty to do something great for Him. Some of the greatest failures often become the greatest stepping stones to cause people to be humbled and able to be used of God. I will say it again: no one is above falling.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above.

You’re no better than the next person. You’re no more worthy of God’s grace than the next person. If the Apostle Paul claimed to be the “chief of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15), then who are we to say we’re any better than anyone else. I dare say that Paul was twice the Christian than I could ever hope to be.
I know I fall short of everything that is good – but in God’s eyes, I’m perfect. My sins have been washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. When God looks at me He sees His only begotten Son upholding me in His nail-pierced hands – and He’s ever interceding. Grace. What a difference it made in my life!

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~ Heather ♥

I am Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice! I am intelligent, witty, and tremendously attractive. I have a good head on my shoulders, and oftentimes find myself the lone beacon of reason in a sea of ridiculousness. I take great pleasure in many things. I am proficient in nearly all of them, though I will never own it. Lest I seem too perfect, I have a tendency toward prejudgement that serves me very ill indeed.

I am Elizabeth Bennet!