Yes, I am in a Relationship

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…”  Hebrews 12:2

Growing up I was so afraid of hell, that I actually wished I’d never been born. Daily, I was tormented with the thought of the rapture, and being left behind.  

I knew God’s promises but for some reason they didn’t apply to me.  It was none of God’s fault but all of mine.  I knew and believed what God said about salvation, and about his promise of eternal life. 

And yet, I felt sure I would, somehow and some way, mess up my part of receiving His free gift.  What if I believed too hard thus turning my faith into work?  For God says, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith…NOT by works…” 

So, what if I put my trust in my faith instead of Jesus?

What would happen then?

Would I be saved?

I was religiously taught the Roman’s Road to Salvation.  This step by step process is found in the book of Romans (of course).  This Road begins with chapter 3 and verse 10 and continues as follows:  Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:9-10, and Romans 10:13.  After each step has been faithfully taken, the sinner, saved by grace, is taken to I John 5:13 to seal the deal. 

I was so afraid I’d screw up one of the steps, and if I did would I be condemned to hell?  

I’m not saying the Roman’s Road is wrong, and if you have come know Christ through this path, I say a hearty Amen!   But for people like myself there is a danger in teaching the Roman’s Road. 

For us salvation does not equate to, “take these steps and get a ‘Get out of Hell Free’ card.”

For those like me there is no wrong or right way to salvation.  We come to know Christ through many paths, and for us salvation is a relationship, and any faith that we have is given to us by Christ.  Therefore, in essence, our salvation depends upon nothing we do but all in what Christ has done.  

So, the question could be asked… “At what point does salvation actually occur?”

To that I say, “I don’t know, and not knowing is okay.”  

I don’t have to know if I’ve dotted all my I’s or crossed all my T’s because I have nothing to do with my salvation…it belongs to God.  

And in that I rest. 

receive love. give love. repeat. 

***

Indulge yourself in Peace.

A Walk Through the Book of Psalms

[I’m so excited to begin a “verse by verse” walk through the book of Psalms!  On this journey, my intentions will be to take one verse at time and journal my thoughts here in a series I’ve entitled “A Walk Through the Book of Psalms”  So please check back every Tuesday and Wednesday and walk with me on this journey.]

Psalms 1:2

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate, day and night.

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Any good Jew, or maybe I should say, any “living Jew” at the time of this writing, knew that the phrase, “the law of the Lord,” referred to God’s law, given to Moses in Exodus and Leviticus.  God gave this law to the children of Israel, as a means to “set them apart” and make them different  from the pagan nations around them.  And so a good Jew tried their best to adhere to every jot and tittle of a long list of “do’s” and “don’ts.”  Of course this was an impossible task for anyone to achieve and so the law became an effective mirror revealing their sin and inability to save themselves.

Fast forward some 1500 years, and we are witness to Jesus giving his life on the cross, for the purpose of delivering mankind out from under the bondage of the law.  Paul puts it like this, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree…” (Galatians 3:13)  And then later in the book of Hebrews he adds, “He [Jesus] takes away the first [law of Moses] that He may establish the second [Grace].  By [God’s] will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”  (I love the word “all” because it include me and you too, whoever you are!)

Therefore, as a result of Jesus’s sacrifice upon the cross, when I read Psalms 1:2, where it says my “delight is in the law of the Lord,” I interpret it to mean that I should delight myself in the Grace, God, has so freely given to me.  When I think about it that way, I really become excited, because the focus is not on what “I” can or cannot do, but rather on what Jesus has already done!  Meditate on that for a while and it’ll make you want to get up and run around the house praising God for his love.  I don’t claim to be Pentecostal, as was my dad, but when I ponder the depths of God’s love, I sure wish to goodness I were!  And I mean that with utmost respect for all my Pentecostal brothers and sisters.  I believe they, just may, know how to express their joy, better than the rest of us.  Perhaps, the rest of us should take notes.

While Writing this article I felt compelled to look for  scripture in which I could meditate upon this week.  Here’s what I chose:

 “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous; I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33) (AMP)  (These are the words of Jesus)

…But I am not ashamed, because I know the one I have put my trust in. And I am sure that he is able to protect what I have put into his care (my heart) until that Day.  (II Timothy 1:12)(ERV)

My Prayer:  Lord, I can’t thank you enough for the Grace you have given me in my life. Thank you that I can continue to count upon your Grace until the time it ushers me into your Kingdom.  May I, be as the Psalmist, and delight myself in your promises.  Thank you, Lord, that you loved me so much, you gave me Jesus, to deliver me from the bondage of my sin.  May I love you more as each day passes.  Amen.