As I’ve said before, my relationship with God has been a wildly fluctuating journey, but there was a point when I was so deep into church, so deep into services and service, that I didn’t notice when I lost track of God. I prayed and read my Bible, but I had no relationship, just obligatory service.
In the years since, I have sought to become more balanced in my faith; to make my journey one of the spirit instead of a legal declaration. To become a Mary, a quiet worshipper at His feet, instead of the bustling and frustrated Martha I used to be.
I have sought not to become one of those church folk that no one can relate to because their lives and words don’t seem to have any relevance to real life struggles. And as the years have gone by and life has polished and refined me, I’m beginning…very little by very little, to understand what the essence of being a Christian is.
It’s not in fancy words, or in long prayers, or in sinless perfection. It’s in the simple understanding that I am a sinner…a very bad sinner, with no hope for redemption and no way of escape. It is in understanding that no matter how good I try to be, there will always be one area or the other in which I fall short.
It is in understanding that one day, a loving God looked on a sinful, lost and dying earth, and agreed with his Son that something needed to be done. And that Son came down, and in the greatest show of selflessness, gave up His purity for my grime, His perfection for my sinfulness.
He didn’t charge me, didn’t ask anything of me…I wasn’t even born yet! But knowing that in a million years, I would never be able to repay Him, He paid for every sin I would ever commit, paid in full, well in advance of my birth.
And one day, sick and tired of being lost, I looked up to the One who died for me, confessed that I didn’t have what it took to cleanse myself, and humbly and gratefully accepted His salvation, His free gift, a gift born of a love that I could never understand.
The day I accepted Christ as my Saviour, every sin I have ever and will ever commit was wiped clean; not by my effort, but by His grace.
I live by His grace, laugh, love and exist by His grace. I function by His grace. In Him I live, and move and have my being. Oh trust me, I still make mistakes, seemingly one every day, but it’s different now, I’m not walking alone.
Being a Christian to me, being Christlike, is depending on His grace day by day to become what He designed me to be. It is about trusting in His everlasting arms, the arms that will not let me go and will not allow me to be stolen; it is leaning in those arms and letting them carry me.
I have strayed, gotten distracted and walked away. Every single time He has waited for me, come searching for me. And when He has found me, battered, bruised and broken, He has picked me back up and put me back together again. I don’t understand His love, but I am grateful for it, could not imagine a life without it.
Not only do I live by His grace, but I am sealed by His grace; and if I died today, or He came back to earth today, I would go to Heaven, a purified soul. He took care of my here and now and my thereafter.
I don’t like to come across as a Bible basher. I’m not the sort to force my beliefs down anyone’s throat, but guys, I would be incredibly selfish and extremely ungrateful, if I could not share the love that saved and keeps me.
By God’s grace there will be many other blog posts. I will talk about politics, religion and everyday life. I will share humour, anger, my dreams and my vision. But I firmly believe that the words I write today are the most important I will ever write.
Guys, I don’t think we have much time left on earth. It might be tonight, it might be in the next 50 years, but I firmly believe that we are running out of time. And even if we weren’t, even if we all live to 150…not one of us is promised tomorrow.
I’d like to ask a huge favour. Take a minute to search your heart. Are you struggling? Tired of struggling? If this night, your number was called and death came for you (God forbid), are you 100% sure that you would go to Heaven? If you’d always wondered but never took the time to be sure, don’t you think this is as good a time as any?
If you’re doing your best to be a good person, you don’t need to. You will never be good enough, you know it, because you have been trying…and failing, for a good while now. Besides, someone already did the work for you; someone already paid your bill.
Imagine yourself, broke, cold and hungry. You walk up to a mansion, the smell of food wafting out from the windows. You knock on the door to ask if someone could give you a little work to do, anything for a mattress to sleep on and some food for your stomach. And then the owner of the house peers into your eyes and says with a warm welcome ‘I’ve been waiting for you, this house is yours, the food is yours, upstairs, there is a wardrobe full of clothes for you”. You look at your rags and say with shame “I’m sorry Sir, I can barely feed myself, I can’t afford any of this” He smiles and says “I know, I paid for it all myself, this is a gift…for you”
In a million years you could never do enough to pay for the grace that is available to you. But you don’t have to work for it, it’s been available for a very long time…while you were still a sinner, someone looked into the future, saw you, and paid your debt…in full. All He needs you to do is accept His gift, accept the sacrifice He paid. That is all. I don’t know about you, but I’m so so glad, that Jesus loves me, loves me to enough to die for me. Love that does not waver, no matter how unfaithful I am.
And finally, there are a few reading this who do not, or will not believe a word I say. To you, this is all some religious mumbo jumbo, more of the white man’s way of colonizing us, or just unnecessary and excessive. It’s totally cool, I understand. Trust me when I say that for your sakes, I would gladly be wrong. However, if I am right, and things happen as they have been prophesied, then I pray that if you do need to find these words again, you will find them easily and in time.
If you would like to talk some more on this, or if you have any questions, just send a message and I’d be honoured to walk your path of discovery with you. I’m no expert, but I trust God that together, we will find the answers you seek.
God bless you.