Every minute spent living for ourselves rather than for God is one more minute spent with our future hanging in the balance. Every single second we spend ignoring the gift of Salvation is one less second spared to make the greatest decision of our lives. Don’t waste time - God may not wait around another second to reclaim this world.
Sooo many people that I follow on Tumblr who have Christian blogs post inspiring pictures with verses and encouragement, all centered on God. I decided to surf the web and see what I could find and came across this. It doesnt have any words and maybe isn’t that impacting to most. But it reminds me that I’m saved through Gods grace alone and he has formed a new heart within me. To me, one hand represents the choice we make to turn our lives to God and the other hand, represents Gods mercy in granting us salvation, and thus creating - a transformed heart.
Looking at Gods character, next to our own, can be pretty daunting. Sometimes when I think of how inferior I am next to God’s greatness, I feel like I’m climbing an impossible mountain as a Christian. We’re under the rule of complete and utter perfection - how can we even come close to that? I know I certainly can’t and I become discouraged daily because of it. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve woken up with such enthusiasm, ready to take on whatever God decides to throw my way, and then end up going to bed absolutely drained and disappointed in myself. What starts of as a fire slowly resorts to a flicker when I realise how amazing God is in comparison to myself and my selfish desires. We shouldn’t be disheartened though- instead, we should take heart IN such unconditional love. When we measure God’s love for us, it’s unquestionably the greatest love we’ll ever experience because God doesn’t judge his love for us based on our imperfections. If he did, we wouldn’t stand a chance after we depart this world! The Bible states:
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans Ch5: v8
Even when we were riddled with imperfections, our sinful natures couldn’t overshadow Gods great love for us. Such love can NEVER be equalled or belittled, for God made Jesus the object of his wrath, so that we didn’t need to suffer - "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the Righteousness of God”. (2Cor ch5: v21) This is why Jesus is the only gateway to heaven – because God inflicted his wrath on Jesus, who represented our sinful ways on the cross so that we could have a chance to see Gods Kingdom some day.
Basically, we can access God and all his beautiful qualities of righteousness, holiness and perfection through Salvation, and all because God loved us. We disobey him, lack faith in him, doubt him, and yet he continues to love us.
Maybe you feel like you don’t deserve that Love, and your right - you don’t, I don’t, none of us do! But isn’t that what makes it so powerful? When we accept the gift of Salvation, we can utilise Gods love to lead a wonderful and fulfilling Christian life. He may love ALL his children, but he cannot love our sin. He loves us in SPITE of our sin but it doesn’t mean it can be ignored and we can all be granted a place with him forever!
So what should our response be?
“The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news” - Mark Ch1: v15
This verse epitomises the step that must be made when you accept that God loves you and wants to welcome you a place in heaven. If we do this, our faith is justified through a trusting and loving relationship with God. Karl Graustein calls it being “credited with Gods righteousness” – we can deny our sinful hearts control of our future in eternity!
On a final note, remember that we are saved not by ourselves, but by Gods grace alone – “he saved us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Titus Ch3: v5
Get rid of the false sense of security in your life if you profess to be a Christian yet don’t feel you’re experiencing the actions, thoughts and motives you should be having as a true follower of God. If you don’t feel like you’ve grown at all, or even have the desire too. Especially if you find yourself serving everyone around you BUT God, yet feeling as though you’ve fulfilled your Christian duty.
I’ve had to do a great deal of soul searching in this chapter of Growing up Christian. It isn’t nice for any Christian to be made to question the validity of their faith but it’s essential to move forward with God. Don’t ignore this crucial step in your walk with God like I did for so many years. It’s only now, after years of being a Christian that I’ve properly thought about the danger of False Assurance. Now I can move on and feel confident in my relationship with God, and while we may not be deserving of his love, we deserve to know our Savour if we truly wish to repent.
Do you truly believe the things that you profess? Or are you living under a Christian facade? If I was to plunge into your heart and mind, would they be reflection of someone living a life for God? Or would they show a very different person, hiding beneath a careful constructed “Christian” image?
In this book, Graustein talks of the first danger associated with church kids and one which poses danger to anyone who’s began to surround themselves with Christian influences. That danger is false assurance of Salvation.
When you’ve been exposed to God and Christianity all your life, it can be easy to simply go through the motions of Christianity without having a genuine urge to please God as your personal Saviour. To simply conform to your surroundings rather than displaying any real faith of your own that you want to grow and develop.
I can understand why so many church kids fall into this trap! We become so knowledgeable of the bible and its teachings, that we almost equate knowing bible references with knowing God as your personal Saviour. It’s a terrifying assumption to make and continue to make for the rest of your life, which is why it’s so important to ensure you aren’t just a product of a Christian environment. That simply spouts Christian doctrines, convictions and mantras without really feeling anything for them. You know what’s expected of you and all the right things to say but God says:
“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Lord is Jesus’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans Ch10: v9
Being confronted with the question – is God living IN you, or simply AROUND you? - is enough to make any God fearing Christian uneasy. It certainly made me uncomfortable! Not because I don’t feel as though I’m truly saved. But because to think some people spend their entire lives blending in with their Christian peers without having a true relationship with God seems impossible! Their motives, actions and words are simply spawned from those around them! Yet it happens, as God warns:
“These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Matthew Ch15: v8
We’ve all been there in a sense. Standing in church, singing hymns alongside everyone else but in reality, we feel far from God! The difference is that although we can’t be perfect, not being on form with God makes us restless and for me, brings incredible guilt! For me, thats one of the clearest signs of true faith. I can’t forget my Saviour or feel okay in being lukewarm and i’m sure EVERY Christian hits that point at some stage. Christianity is one lifelong learning curve, where we monitor our growth under the guidance of our Father!
Those with false assurance can’t have or feel that though, because to grow and learn, you must first have a relationship with God. It’s sad because I don’t know if they really even understand what they’re missing out on! If you can’t distinguish the difference between living for others or living for God, how can you ever know if you’re truly saved?
That’s simple! It’s a matter of the heart! You know that feeling before a quiet time where you desperately want God to teach you? Show you something to help you grow in faith? Even just having a heart that genuinely seeks God, through prayer, his word or seeking the advice of Christian friends is a heart that you know has been transformed by God. If you really, truly WANT to be better for God and to please him, then your place in heaven is assured!
However, we must recognise we all have failings! I for one should be far more lively and interested in Church! I have a terrible attention span and my mind wanders far too much! But I want to work on that and I pray every day that God draws me into the church! That’s all he requires of us – to want to improve and produce good fruit throughout our lives. Just because I don’t always feel God strongly in church, it doesn’t mean I’m any less his Child! It means I’ve identified a weakness in my walk, and need to address it through prayer and reflection.
On a final note, whilst signs of true salvation our evident in our words, actions and motives, don’t be discouraged if you can’t yet see that good fruit being shown constantly! We all make mistakes! Earnest belief in Gods might and love is wonderful, but to show that consistently is a gradual process and it’s okay to not be in that place yet! Chances are, your friends and family notice that good fruit more than you do! We’re all working towards being better and it will take time.
So, please, look at your heart. Look at your motives for doing things. Do you want to please God whom you love? Or please all those around you who seem to be doing the same thing? Don’t have a life with God through anyone else! Don’t let the wonderful blessing of a Christian home stop you from taking ownership of your faith today.
Don’t spend another second feeling unsure of your place in heaven. You may not have another second to claim it.