Sunday, January 01, 2006
PRAYING AS THE CALENDER TURNS
2005 is history.
So long to another year.
2005, just like any year, had some good moments, some bad ones, and some we won't ever even remember.
If 2005 wasn't good for you then I'm sorry. Here is hoping that 2006 is better for you.
Remember there is nothing that we can do about what has already happened in life, nothing we can do to reverse the consequences of decisions that we've made in the past that we regret in the present.
Unfortunately we don't have a rewind machine that can help us to blot out those moments and those decisions that we'd rather forget.
If I took all the forgetful moments and all the misguided decisions that I've made in my now 42 years on planet earth and had to reconsider each and every one of them...I would probably need another 42 years just to mull every one of them over!
My sins are recorded and there is no kind of machine that's ever been invented that will ever make them go away.
And it isn't a machine.
I became a bible-believing, Satan-hating man, back in 1997, when through God's calling to me, I finally accepted Jesus Christ as my savior and finally understood the grace, the love, and the sacrifice, that Jesus made for me and for all sinners.
It took all of my then 33 years to come to a new understanding about life, and it only came through the knowledge of the savior, Jesus Christ.
The bible tells all believers that it is by the sheer grace of God that we are saved from sin. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Eph-2:8 KJV. This should be considered a gift that is better than any present you have ever received on Christmas morning.
Becoming a bonafide Christian (as opposed to a very lukewarm one) was without a doubt the toughest thing I have ever done in my life.
To turn my back on almost every instinctive thing that I had known up to the point in time I accepted Christ, was a shocking and sudden jolt to my brain and to my entire system.
Thinking that I had everything "right", and had everything figured out - only to learn I had everything wrong and out of place, was a refreshing wake up call for me.
A few examples of what I am referring to.
Before becoming a Christian I was pro-choice, in fact I thought very little of the baby inside a women's womb - and I was able to shake off an abortion with an ease and a comfort that now makes me cringe when I think about my former mindset.
Before becoming a Christian I thought I had all the answers to everything. I was certain I was heaven bound, being brought up in the Roman Catholic church guaranteed me my salvation...I was told.
Before becoming a Christian I viewed the Almighty God as some sort of a vending machine, a higher power that I could tap into whenever I felt the urge to order up a prayer to fill a specific personal need I may have had.
Before becoming a Christian I would have agreed with anyone who made the claim that there were hundreds of avenues to God - a myriad of "religions" that had paths to heaven.
I was the smart one. I had all the answers to anything that came my way. I relied on me and me alone to get done what I needed to accomplish - with no thoughts about what I was doing, how I went about doing it, no guilt, no shame, or any notion that God was involved in my life...or even cared about what I was doing in my life.
I subscribed to the
Now I am not what I would consider a very good writer by any stretch - in addition I am not a very good preacher of the word. For this my apologies.
But as a saved person I have an obligation to shout out my personal regeneration as often as I have the opportunity.
I don't do it nearly enough.
But God tells me to spread the good news as a believer. I have to do my part to help bring others to the knowledge of the truth, even if they reject the truth and the invitation as I did so many times before becoming saved.
The truth is that God desires for all men to be saved - not just some. That means you too.
With that said, the only thing I really want to say to you as you read this, is that I believe with everything in my heart, everything in my being, that if you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, you are even though alive, already dead in your myriad trespass.
I implore you to do everything within your power to ask Jesus into your heart starting right now.
As the calendar changes years in a few hours...make this the most important resolution you have ever made before on any New Year previously.
Yesterday cannot be changed, tomorrow may never come, but while you still live and breath at this moment opportunity awaits you.
Accepting and then following Jesus Christ will save your life.
Not figuratively - but literally.
Take a look around at the world in which we live. See the degradation everywhere, in every area of life, almost without exception.
The King is coming back - this time as a warrior, not as the peace keeper He was before.
Christianity, the faith itself is hard to swallow and to accept. It will go against everything that you have previously justified to yourself.
But it comes with a price, a sacrifice of your own. It's not as easy as just saying, "I believe".
This isn't done on your rules or on your agenda - but only on His. Your terms aren't good enough for this journey - it's His way...or that same old highway you've been on for years.
I make mention of the fact that turning toward the Christian faith is the hard part - while turning away is the easy way to go.
There is only one of two ways with this issue.
You are either with God - or you're against.
There is no lukewarm middle ground.
Saying no to Christ is saying you are opposed to Christ.
Why won't some folks buy the Christian walk?
Because they like their way - as the only way. To submit to a lifestyle that demands what Christianity does, with its dogmatic and unapologetic stance is asking people to do a complete 360 in many instances.
It's at the point when people realize that the Christian walk is not a path of their own choosing, that they beg off, decide they cannot do it, or simply will revert back to their previous thought patterns of "religion" as a way to comfort their decision to disqualify themselves - or remain living in a perpetual state of denial that has them telling others that there is no God.
This is tragic.
People will often times rely on a "religion" (one that they're comfortable with) or a faith system that they'll convince themselves through their own sheer brilliance and self assured nature, is good enough to get the job done.
Done of course on their terms, with their own methodology of determining through nothing more than their own flawed logic, what is sufficient enough for them to be good enough in God's eyes.
They understand God...at least they think so.
None of us are any good.
The Christian walk is super tough. It's life changing. It's thought changing. It's talk changing. It's sight changing.
But don't get me wrong here, this is not an allegiance to a faith that shackles you or you keeps you from enjoying your life.
If anything your life will be enriched, rewarded further, and your personal life and worldview will over time become one with God, who loves you, and who made you to be in fellowship with Him.
It's all about the blood. It's all about the cross. The sacrifice, not for good men and women, but for the wretched (count me as one of those), for thieves, liars, adulators, haters, and all kinds of wicked people.
I don't usually like to utilize cliché’s, but this one is always a good one to employ whenever we pose the question of who Jesus Christ was?
Had to be one of the three.
Check it out for yourself, do some soul searching if you will, and as the calendar turns, make the most important life changing decision you'll ever be involved with.
Repent of your sins.
Be baptized in Jesus' name.
Find an independent, fundamental, bible-preaching (KJV), dogmatic, church, with a body of saved believers who can encourage you and who you can fellowship with.
Don't accept anything less.
Don't fall for "Christianity Lite", stay away from the mega-church's, the feel good methodology, the charismatic movements, the purpose driven garbage, and please, by all means, stay away from the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Make 2006 the year you said goodbye to sin and hello to Jesus Christ.
Oh you'll still sin, but it won't be the same, you'll become quickly convicted of your discretion's, you'll seek forgiveness and repent, you'll stay in the loving arms of Christ Jesus, forever.
Your life will become truly completed.
While the ground will always shift around you, while you will still fall down and do things that make you shake your own head (like I do), the bedrock that you will now stand upon is as solid a foundation as can be found.
Eternity awaits you.
The choice however is yours alone to make.
Who do you say He was?
What are you gonna do about it?
I've included some links to help you get started if this is something that interests you.
If not, I and others are praying for your salvation - and wish you a prosperous and healthy 2006.
Happy New Year.