This last week, while camping, I read a fascinating book about an entire family who left a particular religious cult. Their story documented their journey to finding Jesus.
I know about religious cults. I grew up in one.
It wasn’t the same one as the family I read about, but the some of the similarities were astounding!
For me, what came from the story, was how deeply and profoundly their lives were changed when they encountered Jesus.
I too understand that.
I had the same encounter.
When I went from trying…striving…working to be good enough, to really grasping how God’s salvation has absolutely nothing to do with what I did…it changed me.
When I understood that my desire serve God, and do His work, was a direct result of my love-relationship with Him, and not because I needed to “work my way into Heaven”, it changed me.
When I found Jesus, and Him alone, He changed my life!
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” -Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
I know many people who are wrapped up in being good enough for Christ. I hear them say things such as:
“I’m striving toward the Kingdom.”
“Being a Christian is hard work, but I’m going to keep hanging on.”
“I’m doing my best to be a Christian.”
I used to say the same things. Those phrases are stamped on the script of my past.
What about you?
What would your life look like, if you lived as one who was given the gift of eternal life, not based on anything you did, how many rules you obeyed, or how well you behaved, but simply because your Father loves you.
He loved you enough to sacrifice His own Son for you.
When we live believing that in order to receive God’s salvation and live with Him in Heaven, we have to do certain things, obey the right laws (rules), say the right things over and over…we say to the Father,
“Your Son’s death on the cross was not enough to save me.”
“But He (Jesus) was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” -Isaiah 53:5 ESV
Jesus was enough…for everything.
I can’t be good enough to earn that.
I’ll never deserve it.
Yet, Jesus chose to climb onto that cross to pay for every single sin of humanity…even mine.
When I understood that He stood before me, with loving hands held open, and the only thing I could do was accept His grace, I have never been the same.
My relationship with Jesus, is everything to me. Every other area of my life is a result of His grace.
It’s not because my life has been or is easy.
My story is one of fourteen years of childhood-abuse, followed by addiction, and a lifetime of pain.
His Story is about REDEMPTION and HEALING and HOPE.
Because of GRACE, His Story redeems mine.
Because of God’s grace, I get out of bed every morning, and pillow my head every night, filled with peace. I have joy because of God’s strength in me. He alone is my hope.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” -Romans 5:1-2 NLT
Every single thing that I do, is my offering of praise back to Him.
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” -Jude 1:24-25 ESV
Waiting Here For You: