Sooner or later …
if you are one of many people who attest to be a “Christian”, you will find yourself questioning the reality of your salvation. Doubt is a natural part of the human make-up, especially life on a sin-marred planet. Even those who were closest to Jesus found a kind of belief that easily gave way to fear and questions.
Finding and Following . . Jesus
Somehow and someway, when it comes to the gospel, modern evangelicalism has not helped this matter by confusing simple with easy. How often do we hear in one form or another “If you just prayed that prayer, you got born again . .”? The fact is the process of coming to life in Christ is simple, but never easy . . and always costly. On one hand, our minds can be directed to beautiful “simple faith” passages like Romans 10:9 which describes a verbal declaration and a belief in one’s heart as all that is necessary to transition from “lost” to “saved”. John also wrote (1 John 5:11-13) that anyone who believes in the name of the Son of God has eternal life.
Where the gospel bus goes careening off a cliff is the forgetfulness or avoidance of the reality that our salvation cost God’s Son everything and the cost is no cheaper for you and I. The vertical is always tied to a horizontal . . from day one to day forever. Just what did John mean when he said “he who has the Son has life”? Do you think he ever forgot the day when Jesus pronounced the terms of authentic discipleship?
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
– Matthew 16:24 –
“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”
– Matthew 10:38 –
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
– Luke 9:24 –
Finding a cross is really not built in as a core value into American culture or in societies as a whole that are intoxicated with pleasure and indulgence . . even our churches and church campuses (which often portray a cross) are wired for our comfort and safety. Yet Jesus is anything but safe . . for again we have dangerously confused the security of our soul with life here and now without pain and sacrifice.
But don’t miss this …
Jesus does want to meet with you today, right now in fact . . and help you begin to get past your doubts about Him and His salvation. He simply wants to hold a conversation . . He wants to direct your attention to passages of scripture like John 13:34-35 . . He wants your spiritual eyes to see authentic Christianity . . and most importantly, when it comes to your relationships with others, He wants you to assess if you are governed predominantly by a push or a pull.
“Jesus does want to meet with you
and help you get past your doubts . . about Him.”
– David “JB” Miller
A push or a pull? Yes . . He is asking if you seek His grace to daily make room in your life for others, especially others who are wired different, others who have failed or simply others who are not within convenient reach . . or are you only “pulling” others close who already sing your praises, like your style and make your life easier? The conversation does get sticky, because the Savior exposes the chasm between self-serving “Christian kindness” . . and . . kingdom generosity.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.
And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.
And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you?
Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.
Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High,
because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
– Luke 6:32-36 –
Maybe right now as you look into the eyes of your Savior, you are found to be a religious person, maybe even a good religious person . . but you know there is more, life way beyond you loving you, life that only truly begins . . when push gives way to pull.
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