"We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

2 Corinthians 4:7

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Beginning

Through the years I have come to realize that there are many, many believers that struggle with their salvation. I used to be one of them. I struggled terribly from my late teens to mid-20's.

What I found was that God could handle my struggle, questions, and doubt, but He sure hated seeing me doubt what He had already taken care of so completely.

Let me just say that there has to be a beginning point. and as simple as my beginning point was.......there was a beginning point when my faith journey with Jesus began. I was 5 years old and while it was very simple, it was a personal beginning.

It cannot be your parent's faith, it is "personal".

PLEASE do not compare your salvation experience to another person's experience.

Remember God knows you better than anyone and He knows how to speak to each of us.

Let me just say for those who have a date and time when they were saved. I am happy you do, but for those of us who don't, we are not any less saved.

Through the years, I have heard people say, "Unless you know the exact time and date of when you began your relationship with Christ than you are not saved" I have wondered if they are putting more faith and trust in that time and date than they are in taking Jesus at His Word. Just a thought.

Simply put........it's FAITH. Faith in the finished work of Jesus. Not faith plus a time & date, faith plus a specific prayer, faith plus walking the aisle, faith plus following specific steps, roads or acrostics.

JUST FAITH in Jesus. Faith that He paid it all. It's not so complicated. It begins in an instant; however, we will spend a lifetime growing in that faith.

I will be writing some thoughts in the future about growth and about why I think so many people doubt their salvation, but I will end with a personal story.

When I was about 25 years old, I was going through a really difficult time. It involved a person that was constantly doing things to hurt me and my husband. I wanted to forgive this person, but I was struggling with how to forgive, when I knew I had forgiven, etc. The enemy was constantly waging war with my mind.

I called a professor of mine, Dr. Charles Harvey, and asked him, "How do you know you have forgiven someone?"

He said, "Cheri, when you can honestly get on your knees and release that person." When you can say to God, " that you are leaving the vengeance up to Him ". "When you are no longer seeking revenge."

I said, "But it still hurts." He said, "Oh yes, it will still hurt, but that doesn't mean you haven't forgiven."

Then I said, "I feel so rotten inside, I have even been doubting my salvation and now I am worried that I am not saved."What he said was so simple, but it STUCK!

He said, "Cheri, just the fact that you are "worried" about your salvation says you are saved." He said, "Honestly, I've never met a lost person that worried if they were saved. He said, "just that fact that you are worried about it says you believe."

Now that was simple, yet profound.

I am writing this to anyone that may be struggling. Don't let the enemy hang you up.

Just remember that when God convicts it is for the purpose of setting us free, and restoring us. He is about freedom, but when satan speaks it is about condemnation, our performance, shame and BONDAGE!

Stay close to Jesus and His Word and no longer allow yourself to be a slave. Saturate your mind with His Word and then you will be able to distinguish between the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the fiery darts of condemnation from the enemy.

If you began your journey with Jesus, He is with you always. You can tell him everything you are struggling with. He already knows, but telling Him will give you relief and allow you to feel His comfort.

Love You All,

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who BEGAN a good work in you will carry it on to completion until he day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:3-6

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