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Does anyone else get tired of hearing,...

... "Oh, I heard (s)he was a Christian".

Don't get me wrong. I want this more than most anything. I want as many to come to Christ as possible. His table, His provision, is more than big enough. It's not that I don't want to believe it, it's that I am reluctant to.

Don't get me wrong, I am not judging the person. I am not saying that it is impossible for so-and-so to become a Christian, but what I am saying is that I cannot see their heart. I do not see them in a day to day context. Especially since a lot of the people I hear this phrase about are celebrities. As a matter of fact, I hear this about most Americans.

When I first came to Christ I prayed a prayer something like this. "Dear God, I am a sinner and I am in need of You. I acknowledge that Christ died on the cross to pay my debt for my sins. Through His blood I am healed and forgiven. Through His resurrection I am assured of His victory over death and that I am raised with Him. Thank You for dying on the cross so that I can live again." But, and I know this may cause some to cringe, those are just words.

Words do not save us. Wearing a crucifix will not do it. Even actions are not what save us. It is the receipt of what we could never accomplish. It is the bending of the soul. The remorse of the heart for what we have done. The body can be made to weep on command. We can even discipline our bodies to behave in certain ways, but it is not the outward reflection that God sees - but our heart.

This is why it is possible for Christ to say on the last day to those who called Him Lord, "depart from me, I never knew you". These are words that should bring us to the most sober of thoughts.

When someone says to me, "I heard (s)he was a Christian" I find myself in prayer for that person. That no matter what, that God might send the Holy Spirit to be with them. That He might open their minds and hearts to Him. That He might draw them close to Him. That if they are indeed in His hand, that He would use them to reach others - and if not, that He may shower them with grace and mercy that would lead to a saving knowledge of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. But I also pray for me. That I would never grow complacent, that I would bow my heart and not just my body (neither of which I do very well in my opinion).

On that last day not only will I find many of the things I believe shaken and turned to dust, but we will see many in places we did not expect to see them (both on the left and the right). But I shudder with fear (the respectful kind, I hope) and pray that I will find myself standing among those who can say "I know, and known by, the Father".
Verse for today:
Galatians 5:16-26, ESV
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, [4] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

2 comments:

Susan said...

You know I think you bring up an important point here. I think that it's also important to see fruit and sometimes I quite honestly wonder where the fruit is....I confess, though, there are days when people just may ask where my fruit is as well.

I worry that there will be many who "think" they are Christians and find themselves separate from God in the hereafter.

This is good food for thought.

Susan

Linda said...

Yeah, because even if there's a grain of truth that fueled the rumor, that person, especially one in the public eye, needs prayer.