Sunday, August 25, 2013


I can think of a handful of things in my life of which I am convinced:
  • Quiet twin boys always means a mess.
  • Pencils, markers, crayons or pens left out will end up on the wall (see previous).
  • Dishes do not end.
  • Laundry does not end either.
  • My children are gracious and forgiving.
  • My husband really must love me to put up with me for so long.

These things have proven themselves to be true continually in my life through my experience. I am convinced they are true because I have seen them to be true.

Our pastor made a statement today that is valid:
"You cannot divorce initial conversion from continual conversion. If there is not continual conversion, there was never initial conversion."

First of all, salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). One must repent (turn away) from their sins and believe that Jesus' death saves them from those sins (Mark 1:14-15). Walking an aisle, repeating a prayer, having an "experience," will not save you.  You cannot ask Jesus into your heart (never mentioned in Scripture).  You can "repent and believe the gospel" as Jesus commanded (Mark 1:14-15).  The Gospel is "...that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Yet, salvation does not end here. Making that first step to repent and believe is conversion. But salvation is so much bigger than just conversion. Conversion is justification--God declares you to be righteous (He gives His own righteousness to us in exchange for our sin).
Romans 4:4-5 says, "Now to the one who works, his wage in not credited as a favor, but as what is due.  But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness."
 Paul also says in Romans 5:1, "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

That is still just the beginning.  The next step of salvation is sanctification.  This is the salvation process of God making us holy.  This stage continues until we die or He returns.  If you are continuing to live in your sins without repentance, you were never justified in the first place (1 John 3:6).  This verse is talking about continually living in sin without repentance.  We all sin and have incidents of sin, but this is talking about a lifestyle of sin without turning away from it.  If you have been justified by Jesus, He will sanctify you.  He has given us His mind (1 Corinthians 2:16).  His mind is not set on sin, and ours isn't either (Romans 8:9).  

The final step of salvation will not be completed until the end--glorification.  After God raises our mortal bodies, He will reunite our souls and spirits with our bodies and transform our bodies into immortal, incorruptible bodies.  We will possess a body like the one Jesus had when He rose from the dead.  (1 Corinthians 15:42, 52-57)

My questions for you are these: 
Are you convinced that you are saved (justified)?   
Are you convinced that you are being saved (sanctified)?   
Are you convinced that you will be saved (glorified)?  

2 Corinthians 13:5, "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test?"

Don't fail the test.  Repent and believe the Gospel.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Choosing to Honor in the Depths of Grace

I have seen several status updates by Danny Silk on Facebook about his new book, Keep Your Love On.  It seems the premise of the book is learning how to truly love and have boundaries as well.  It is learning how to honor others even when they hurt you.  I was recently in a situation where I chose poorly.  I sinned against someone I love by losing my temper.  I have apologized, but this person still seems upset with me.  I kept thinking about "keeping my love on."  How do I honor someone who won't choose not to remember when I have sinned?

Sometimes words aren't enough.  Sometimes there are no actions to make up for what you've done.  Sometimes, it is just submitting to the Lord and letting go.  It is trusting Him to make all things beautiful.  I am choosing to honor this person by not bringing up old sin, by forgiving all that has been done to me, and by praying daily that my sin is not wasted--that God will somehow glorify Himself in it.

I am so unworthy of grace.  That's what makes it grace. This situation has opened my eyes to something: how often do I refuse to give grace to others when they sin against me?  Even in this situation, when this person sinned against me, I did not offer grace--I exploded.  Pain that buried itself in my heart catapulted out of my mouth in anger like a dormant volcano suddenly made active.  No pain, no sin, no circumstance is ever too deep or wicked for the grace of God.  His grace is infinite and abundant for those who fear Him.  Today, I rest in that grace, and I hope that I can, in the future, extend it as well as He does regardless if I receive it from others.

P.S. The person I offended was not my husband.

P.S.S.  I just read Danny Silk's Facebook, and this was his quote which I felt goes along perfectly with what I am talking about:

The illusion that absolutely no sin exists at the top of the ladder creates the ridiculous gap between regular people, who sin and leaders, who supposedly don't. It turns leaders into liars, because they are not allowed to be real people anymore and this only sets them up for isolation and a fall. As we learn to keep our love on, it's essential that we have the revelation that people are people and we stop being afraid of people's mistakes. KYLO.