Posted in Knowing Jesus, MY JOURNEY WITH CHRIST, Personal Relationships, THE JESUS YOU NEED TO KNOW, The Meaning of Life, The Priority of Christian Knowledge

THE JOURNEY BACK

From the time that I repented of my sin and placed my faith in Jesus Christ for my salvation, until I began to understand the Bible was about six years.

There can be no substantial spiritual growth in the grace of God apart from faith in God’s word. It is impossible to have faith in God when we do not understand His will and what He expects of us. At the sixth year mark with no learning for support, I chose to go the way of sinful behavior.

My soul was torn within me, so that I could say with king David, “For my life is spent with sorrow and my years with sighing; My strength has failed because of my iniquity, and my body has wasted away” (Psalm 31: 10). As wonderful as it is to experience the joy of forgiveness, mercy, and grace, it is equally awful to grow distant from God, and turn back to a sinful way of life.

trust in GodSo desperate were my feelings of guilt that on the way home from work, seeing a phone booth (long before cell phones), I hopped out of the car, and called the Billy Graham organization for the phone number of a church, to seek counsel. Then a man stepped into my life, who held the truth in his heart, and who returned me toward an accountable relationship with Christ and the Church.

The only thing comparable to the experience of enjoying the grace of God for the first time is experiencing it for the second time. Every subsequent return to God for the saint is not for salvation but to restore fellowship with God. Returning to God has no meaning if a person is not united with God for the first time.

I am so thankful to God for having called me to Himself because apart from His calling and enabling me to exercise faith, I never would have come to 36724-cross-sunset-humility-pexels.1200w.tnHim for the first time.

Praise God for the cross, apart from it there is no turning or returning to God.

Some believe that turning to God is a one time act. You come to Christ and for the rest of your life you are right with God. However, while that is true by God’s accounting, that is not true in experience. The Christian is called to a life of obedience, which is possible by faith in God’s promises and the fellowship of the saints. Nonetheless, there is no sinless perfection this side of heaven.

In conclusionJonah and Great Fish for now, there are sins that we commit in ignorance or passively, in such a case there should be short accounts kept the Christian. Confession of sin (1 John 1) should be daily. There is a life style of willful disobedience, which is not acceptable for the Christian. Such willful disobedience brings chastisement by God, and should bring discipline by the local church (in love). Till next time!

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Posted in A PERSON OVER A PRINCIPLE, Jesus Christ: The Character of God, Knowing God, Knowing Jesus, MY JOURNEY WITH CHRIST, Personal Relationships, THE JESUS YOU NEED TO KNOW

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

It is one thing to hear the gospel call to receive Jesus Christ as Lord, and it is still another to to follow Him as set forth in the scripture. Barely a teen and a failure at reading the Bible, the way to follow Jesus was foreign to me.

The great lesson learned during those years was discipleship. There was no one in my life to help me navigate the terrain of the Christian walk, which involves separation from the world, war with our own flesh, and spiritual warfare. Some paths are best walked with an experienced guide.

My high school years were spent growing in the fine art of becoming an odd ball. As a typical teenager there was a desire to fit in, but there were some things I would not do. Something was different about me but I couldn’t identify what it was. When speaking to my dad on one occasion, the words rang out of my mouth with an assurance that had not been present before, “I know that there is a God.”

It is good to have assurance of God’s existence, however, the devil is assured of God’s existence and trembles. Furthermore, it is equally important to understand God’s will and to be empowered to carry it out. You can only coast for so long, where there is no growth the world, the flesh, and the devil will become too much to resist. So it was in my case, sin got the best of me after high school.

The authentic Christian cannot live with wrongdoing for very long, the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, and makes living in sin completely unbearable. It is a hard lesson to learn but in the end it makes the student more empathetic toward those he/she will seek to help through similar circumstances.

As a along time teacher, it is never a good idea to be tolerant of sin. Furthermore, even though empathy is an important part of helping others to know that you love them, it is equally important to teach well that sin is the most destructive force in everyone’s life.

There is always a consequence to sin in this life and for the Christian that means discipline from a heavenly Father who loves us very much.