Salvation I believe comes from a longing, a need, a hunger for something or someone else to be our rock (other than ourselves and the world) our fortress. A supernatural power with the promise of eternal life, we all need. We all want love, acceptance, and someone to care about us. Unfortunately, in our lives we cannot always depend on family, or one another. It sometimes just doesn’t work out that way. It took me many years of floundering trying to do things in the natural and self to finally understand.
I remember seeing preachers on tv after crumbled marriages, and my father’s death. I watched one evangelist and didn’t know one iota of what he was preaching about. I only knew that by that time I felt alone (with a toddler) and I needed desperately. Whatever this man had, his faith, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I wanted it all. When he prayed that salvation message over the tv screen, I went down on my knees and accepted Christ as my savior. Late when my daughter lay in the hospital after an accident, I say this preacher up in Portland Maine, and received prayer and confirmation. From then on, I was born again, and my life began anew in Jesus.
Jesus Christ lived for thirty years as a young man who was a carpenter. At the end of his thirty years, He was then called by God to start his public ministry. He was baptized in the Holy Spirit and He fasted 40 days. By the time of the Last Supper when he went up to the Mount of Olives in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was about to pay an agonizing prize.
The magnitude of that price was horrific. When he prayed Matthew 26:39 “Father, if it is possible take this cup away from me.” But I want your will not mine. He knew that He would have to suffer a tremendous physical price. As many beatings followed by a horrible, agonizing crucifixion. Even worse, He knew the price that had to be paid in the spiritual realm. Jesus, who had never sinned, knew that He had to actually become sin in order to pay the price for our sins. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us. So that in Him we might become the righteousness of God “. II Corinthians 5:21.
His agony was so great that He actually sweat blood. His blood vessels broke and blood was excreted through his sweat glands. God sent an angel to strengthen Him. Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him, for he was in such agony of spirit that he broke into a sweat of blood, with great drops falling to the ground as he prayed more and more earnestly. Luke 22:43-44. No one preaches the blood anymore. The blood shed at the cross, Jesus life was sacrificed as the last blood offering.
Somehow, the impact of that hit me even harder with my sons suicide. His life too, in misunderstandings was sacrificed unnecessarily. I believe with all my heart that his blood cried out for justice and vindication of his bi-polar from the grave. Those that have been murdered, or those victims in terrorist attacks, those children of sex slaves, dying, those who lost lives on the battlefield. Their blood cries out from the grave. Because as I state later, death is not cheap with God!
We do not have a right to complain over our circumstances and wallow in self after we have become saved. Jesus paid such a price for our sins. He died that we might live and live IN HIM. None of us will ever be perfect as He in this lifetime…for we all come short. But, we have no right to take our salvation so lightly. When we are saved, we must lose self. It becomes, “THINE will be done!” The Lord’s supper not ours!
If God is love, then WHY does He love us? Because He IS love He cannot keep from loving us. He will love us no matter what. None of us, in all our sins and problems are alien to Him, and that includes my 19 year old suicidal son, his baby half sister, just as much as my other children still alive. He knew my BJ in my womb, bi-polar and all. When I consciously unsaved that night when he was conceived, I asked God, “am I doing the right thing?” He knew right then and there, all the problems that we would eventually face with his illness. And he knew with my oldest as well, and the Greek heritage from my children’s father all the problems and all the estrangements that would ensue.
I believe God wants the best for us because he loves us. I also believe that it is hard for women especially, who come out of various situations, to accept a loving God as their father, if they haven’t had that in the natural. If you haven’t known a real earthly father, then you put a block of resistance to the magnitude of our Heavenly Father. I think this Is where a lot of churches fall in ministering to these people. I just pray that one day this revelation gets taught. I thank God I had a loving early father. It was easier for me, and I fought young, even feminism, and unsaved not to have victim thinking. Poor me, me, me, me , the world owes me, take , take, take. Wallow in self pity. I’ve seen it over and over. Self esteem comes not just through a counseling process, but the enveloping compassion and joy of God the Father, as these women, who came out of abuse especially, are unable to trust again.
If you’ve ever been stabbed in the back, you’ll know where I’m coming from. That friend, perhaps an ex employer, a spouse or ex. When that little form of manipulation and control gets carried down with this little put down techniques, all the smooth talk, while behind your back they try to destroy you. You cry yourself to sleep, “how could he/she do this to me? ” They can’t sit down in the Spirit of Christ and work out their disagreements. But, it’s impossible to be truly holy without honoring our Lord’s command that we love one another. If you love God with all your heart, then you MUST love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-40. If a man say, I love God and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he that loves not who he has seen, how can he love God for whom he has not seen?
It is difficult therefore, to love others. if we don’t love ourselves because as one once said on love being true only if it is given away. Also one step further, if we don’t love ourselves, we can’t give away what we don’t have. Then we becoming self-centered – always thinking about ourselves. We need to balance that area of self and giving of self. I have always been a giver, but, know in my spirit when God wants me alone. Alone in HIM shutting everything else out.
Loving and obeying demands some “suffering in the flesh.” That is why so many today are growing cold. Matthew 24:12 Cold love is words without action. Words are easy, but action requires a sacrifice. Remember hearing “talk is cheap?” Well love, is expensive if given away. True love costs something. They have to let go of the past and trust God with faith. This is true of a lot of Christians and I believe that what we come out of sometimes stops the growth of God. But He will never forsake you and will always be there to hold you up. John 4:12 indicates when we love others, the love God has invested in us is finally doing what God intended all along. Love is not complete until it is flowing back to others.
Some that are Christians are so afraid to witness the Lord to the lost. But, in love and compassion, for love covers a multitude of sins. None of us are perfect. No matter what there is no excuse to lose your life to darkness and hell. Even many preachers have made plenty of mistakes and have paid a public price. But is that an excuse for us? job 8:13 says, “The hypocrites hope shall perish.” Matthew 7:1 “Judge not lest ye be judged. ” BUT it also says to test the spirits! Therefore, judgment is not blind. And the book of Romans is all the law. Wherefore Jesus is our advocate. I trust my Lord. As one day we will all of us stand before God in judgment. There are 2 judgement seats. First, for us Christians, for our Crowns. That is what did we do in our lives since we were saved, for the Kingdom? Did we witness, preach the word, love, and STAND for righteousness? Our Crowns, will determine where we will be in Heaven. Then there is the other judgment. This the Great White Throne Judgment Seat in which every hater, every atheist, ever murderer, every Communist, and evil doer in this world will stand in front of God Almighty and be judged before being cast into the pit of hell forever and ever. However, though it is up to God to make ALL final judgments, but we are to constantly test the spirits; are they of YOU Lord and the Holy Spirit or from Satan and his minions and imps. That discernment that we all should have could be our life or death.
Salvation should be freedom to love and freedom from the past and sins. But, just as God grants us that freedom, doesn’t mean we are to forget. You can’t forget the pain Jesus got you out of, but, you CAN use it for a ministry. I wrote on here, “Hiding the Stain” . How can you minister and witness to others if you don’t say all God got you out of? You can’t. So that pain, stain, sin, IS your ministry. So then I used to hear “you don’t pray for the dead.” Well, in one sense yes, they no longer can be saved, its too late. But, we can pray for their souls to be at peace, especially death by horrific circumstances, such as our terrorist attacks. And children under the age of accountability. So when in doubt, I study. In Matthew 22:32 Jesus said, “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the dead, but of the living. ” But, it didn’t say not to pray for a soul that died. Matthew 22:29-30 says, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in resurrection they neither marry, nor are given, in marriage, but are angels of God in Heaven.” There is nothing that says we are not to pray for someone when they die. That final judgment belongs to God alone!
The Bible further states in I Peter 4:4-6 when Peter said this, “Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of not speaking evil of you. Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For this cause was the gospel preached ALSO to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit”. For He is still a God of Love, Mercy, and Grace!
Is there persecution involved in being saved? Sometimes, especially now we are seeing it more frequently with Muslims killing Christians, now all over the world. Missionaries have met their demise and have been captured, murdered, raped and held hostages for decades. Matthew 5:11 says “There is a blessing connected with it”. Matthew 5:12 ” It lifts the soul to the plane of the prophets.” II Timothy 3:12 “All Godly people expect it.” Revelations 2:10 “it leads to a crown” II Peter 2:9 says, “The Lord knows how to deliver the Godly out of temptations. Also Peter said, Glory in our persecutions I Peter 4:14″If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, HAPPY are ye for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. How many of us can sing praises through our troubles or our persecutions? But, THAT is what we are told to do. I could finally SAY praises to God after my son’s death. but sing? Salvation and coming to the Lord is the easy part.
A warm heart produces a prayer of compassion. Revelations 4: 15-16 ” I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. I would rather thou were cold or hot so then because you are lukewarm, I will spew thee out of my mouth. In other words, you won’t make the Rapture, which could happen now, anytime. THAT is a heavy price to pay for walking in the law and legalism, the world, blasphemy, sin, verses walking in the Holy Spirit and love.
Dear Lord Jesus, I now realize am a sinner. I ask you Lord for forgiveness and truly repent of my past. I accept the fact that you died for me on the rugged Cross of Calvary and went through so much suffering to show your love for me and bear my sins. You shed your blood on that Cross because you loved me. I now open my hearts door and receive you as Saviour and Lord of my life. Please take full control o me and help me to be the kind of Christian you want me to be. I ask this all in Jesus name Father God and that you’ll lead me to a church that you want me to be. I love you God, thank you Jesus, Amen.
**From my published book Restoration Road copyright 2003