Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20 (KJV)
If I could share anything with you all this Christmas season, it would go something like this…
When I was six years old, I can vividly remember my family living in a big farmhouse out in the country. I remember coming home from Sunday school after church one warm afternoon and kneeling at a coffee table of sorts in front of a large window that overlooked our sprawling front yard. It was there that I prayed a prayer that would forever change me.
With my eyes closed and feeling the warmth and light of the sun shining on my face through that big old window, I confessed to Jesus that I was a sinner and that I needed a Savior and that I wanted to live for Him always. In that moment, I asked Jesus to come into my heart and never let me go. I repented of my sins, and strived to live a life that honored Him.
Just writing it out, it sounds kind of remarkable to me from an adult perspective to look back on the childhood version of myself and to be able to recount so clearly the point at which I knew that was claimed by Jesus Christ for all eternity. Somehow by the grace of God, I understood with a beautiful childlike simplicity that I was bought at a great price…that Jesus Christ had sacrificed himself, taking my place on the cross and carrying the burden of my sin, so that I could be set free.
What a radical display of love from the Creator to the creation.
It was a concept far bigger than my six year old self could seemingly fathom, and yet I understood even then that I was a sinner, that I would continue to struggle with sin, and that if there was a God willing to love me despite all of those things and give me victory over them and even take away my punishment for that very sin, man, did I want to know Him. AND, man, did I want to live my life for Him.
You see, I’ve always been a spiritual person, that is…I’ve always felt ALIVE and connected to God in a way that is hard to put into words but incredibly tangible in the workings of my life. With God at the helm, I look back upon a trail of amazing circumstances in my life woven together in such a manner that there is no denying the presence of the Lord alongside me through every mountaintop and valley. He has carried me at the times I couldn’t carry myself.
And yet, in the times I have rebelled and tried doing life my own way, I have felt a very real separation/incompleteness/darkness…an emptiness marked by a void in my soul where only the light of Christ can reach into the depths and turn the darkness to radiance. I need that light, and I chase after that light with all of being. AND it is for all of these reasons and so much more that I so openly bare the name of Christ over my life. I am a Christian…a follower of Christ.
I have spent my life studying the Bible, and yet I still feel like I haven’t even cracked the tip of the iceberg. I still have so much to learn, and I still fall short in so many ways. I still say stupid things. I still talk before I think at times. I still struggle with doing things my way.
The truth is that from the time I really learned to read, I was constantly reading and studying my Bible. There were amazing stories of great men and women of the faith. There were big, powerful teachings that I longed to understand, and still today, I am buried in the Word of God, longing to know Him more and more each day, and the more I seek Him through His Word and through prayer, the more He reveals to me.
Of course, there are still days when I fall on my knees before the, Lord, asking, “You’re still there, right? I need you, Lord. Please, PLEASE, don’t ever let me go.”
You see, I’ve always sought after the Lord, even in my times of rebellion from Him, because I’ve always known that I am nothing without Him, and true to form, my Lord and Savior has time and time again proven relentless in His pursuit of me and in His faithfulness and love for me. Time and time again, he has rescued me from myself as I struggle to keep my eyes on Him.
He longs for all to seek Him and to spend eternity with him…
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV)
But, have we as a society turned a blind eye and deaf ear to Him? Have we traded His goodness and grace for a lie? The very lie that whispers, “You don’t need God”?
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:6-9 (KJV)
While my life has had its challenges at various times, it has also carried a world of blessings. When I say blessings, I don’t just mean the material, although, I have always been faithfully provided for, but I also mean spiritually, physically, emotionally. While I know that trials and storms will and have come, I have also seen the steady hand of God, the God of the Bible (as I offer to you that there is no other), fighting on my behalf. When I lack wisdom, He provides insight. When I lack endurance, He gives strength. When I am afraid, He brings peace. When I am lost, He always leads me back home.
Some people call faith in Christ a crutch or a sign of weakness. Well, I’ll take that crutch any day, thank you very much!
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10 (KJV)
So, I continue to chase after Him.
If there were one thing I would ever want anyone to know about me, it is this…
I need Jesus, and I am nothing without Him.
So, I continue to fall on my knees and pray for a world that has traded the truth of God for the lies of self-indulgence, arrogance, pride and rebellion. Apparently, God got it all wrong, and we humans need to persuade Him to our line of thinking, or so we are deceived into believing.
I continue to write about the “uncomfortable” stuff that makes us all squirm a little, the very stuff that the arrogant love to mock, but even so I know how much God longs for each of us to know Him…to know that we are endlessly loved no matter how dark our past…to know that we can spend eternity with Him where there will be no more pain and no more tears. It’s not too late, loved ones. But a time will come, and the choice will be made, and that choice will determine eternity for each of us.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:7-9 (KJV)
I continue to seek the Bible and pray that I would be able to withstand the onslaught of garbage Satan is slinging on this world. I wish I could say that he is merely a cartoon character with horns, but the reality is far too dark and grim and far too real for pretenses. I continue to pray for other believers being persecuted around the world – that they would remain strong and true.
The battle is, indeed, intense. I pray that I too would be counted worthy to stand firm in the faith.
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10 (KJV)
As I look around me, I see not only my country, but the entire world constantly under attack by Satan. I pray that hearts of the lost would, instead, be opened to the gift of salvation in Christ Jesus and what he has prepared for those who love him.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV)
Sin is rampant, loved ones, but we can have victory.
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Matthew 24:13 (KJV)
You see, my friends, the wishy-washy attitude of do whatever makes you feel “happy” and feel good just to fit in has taken the place of sound Biblical doctrine even within much of the Christian community. The church is under attack, and the message of Gospel of Jesus Christ is being lost in the midst of false teachings. We, as a community, are trading in the Word of God for so-and-so’s opinion on whatever the hot topic of the day might be.
We need to come back to the Lord. We need to seek His counsel first.
So often we look for favor among men, and in turn we lose the favor of the Father.
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 10:32-33 (KJV)
Not all roads lead to heaven. Please don’t buy into the lie of the Enemy.
The road is narrow, friends.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:13-14 (KJV)
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. Deuteronomy 30: 19-20 (KJV)
Choose life, dear friends.
Have a blessed Christmas!