Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Coming to Christ or Returning is One Step Away

Coming to Christ or Returning is One Step Away 

Looking into Romans 12 there's a thread of thought to align with this statement.  Many in today's world had wrong ideas about God, about Jesus and what salvation was about and turned away from God. 

"Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many parts in one body and all the body’s parts do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another. However, since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them properly: if prophecy, in proportion to one’s faith; if service, in the act of serving; or the one who teaches, in the act of teaching; or the one who exhorts, in the work of exhortation; the one who gives, with generosity; the one who is in leadership, with diligence; the one who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Love must be free of hypocrisy. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never repay evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12 NASB 

Some of the harshest things that will ever cross your mind, mainly because Satan's best option to keep people away from God, is to try to convince you that a return isn't possible. 

That you no good, that you are a loser.
That you're so pathetic that God would have nothing to do with you. 

Even within the growth aspect of Romans 12 is the treatment of others. Believers and the unbelieving as well as those who walked away.

We are but one cry of our hearts away from returning.  One cry of our hearts from Jesus busting through everything that Satan's built up around us. One step to take is to cry out to God. Satan cannot stop a prayer, but he can convince you that praying is useless to not even bother.

Looking at the Parable of the Prodigal Son...all it took was the Father, whom was found to be scanning the horizon every single day, seeing his son attempting to return - to jump up and run to him.

That's no fairy tale. I have lived it. I know of others who have done it as well. The story is the same. 

We read in Romans 12 of grace. Grace is God's unmerited favor.  Nothing done by us that deserved to be given it.  We read of love being without hypocrisy. That is a love for others that's as genuine as that which comes from Jesus Himself.

Galatians 6:1-3 NASB "Brothers and sisters, even if a person is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you are not tempted as well. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks that he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself."

Satan wants discouraged believers just as much as he wants disillusioned ones, as well as unbelieving ones. He loves to send in wolves in sheeps clothing to twist and distort the minds of believers in the Church.  His plan is to thwart God's plan. 

You cannot speak of evil without acknowledging good. Good and evil are concepts first spoken of in the Bible.  

You, my Dear Reader, are but one step away from being redeemed and restored to a good and vibrant relationship with Jesus.  So what that something has happened in your past between you and God. He's not going to save people based on our conditional prayers. He isn't going to save you or someone who care about just for that emergency moment in your life or theirs. He wants a lifetime relationship. He wants more than a moments time with us. He's willing to sit on the front porch and scan the horizon every day waiting for one such as you or I to turn to Him again.

Some may have tried to bargain with God. If only you would do this God, I will...

A relationship with Jesus doesn't work that way my Friend.  For one, our attention span after an emergency is over isn't that good.  We forget vows like that when relief comes.  Then God is forgotten again.  God isn't some genie that grants wishes.  

You indeed may have lived through or are in a horrible situation.  He is there.  He's waiting on us to come to Him with an honest heart.  One step in His direction, for that purpose, and He's there. 

You may be living a miserable life. No hope in sight.  Read this part of the Prodigal Son. Read the whole story but note the part about how much despair and how discouraged he is.

Luke 15:11-32 NASB "And He said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that is coming to me.’ And so he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey to a distant country, and there he squandered his estate in wild living. Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began doing without. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he longed to have his fill of the carob pods that the pigs were eating, and no one was giving him anything. But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired laborers have more than enough bread, but I am dying here from hunger! I will set out and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired laborers.”’ So he set out and came to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, slaughter it, and let’s eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

“Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you never gave me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”

You are one step away from being held firmly in your Saviors arms.  Beit that you haven't yet come to Him for salvation yet or have but left for a time.  He's waiting in anticipation looking for that moment that you call out to Him.  

It matters not what condition your life is in.  He doesn't care about that.  He cares not that you might have done some great sins. He's ready to forgive and to restore a right relationship with you. He's ready to address your pains and doubts and fears. He's got the answers to your life's questions.  More than you ever thought possible. 

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