They’re All Mine

I witnessed a touching scene the other day, although an argument was close at hand, between a group of children.  A small boy, about five, was clutching something to his chest.  His face was twisted in alarm.  Two other boys and a girl were taunting him saying, “You can’t keep them.  They’re not yours.”  “Yes, they are, too! My Dad gave them to me!”  The boy kept his hands tightly holding onto what he claimed was his.  Just then a man stepped out the front door and walked over to the group.  (I was getting closer and slowed my pace; the exchange of words so intriguing I didn’t want to miss anything.)  The boy with his treasure turned to his father and said, “they don’t believe these are mine.”  His eyes were locked on his Dad’s face with a look of knowing that he would now be defended.  The boy was right.  “I gave those to him,” the father now ruffled his son’s hair.  The other children shrunk back, appearing sheepish at their false accusation.  Father and son exchanged smiles and walked together into their home.

I walked on with a reminder of God’s deep love for us.  When any of us chooses to receive the love and forgiveness of Jesus into our lives, the enemy Satan, is livid!  He will try his best to make you ineffective for the Kingdom of God.  His best tactic is to lie.  He will whisper that you are not worthy, that God can’t possibly love you anymore.  He will remind you of past wrongdoings.  He will taunt you with, “no one can love someone like you, and God is holy, so He can’t love you anymore either.  You are just too awful!”  Hasn’t the father of lies ever said such things to you?

You and I all know the terrible things we have done or thought.  We don’t need to be reminded by our arch enemy.  After all, when he dares accuse us, claiming that we don’t have the seal of God’s promise of forgiveness, love, and eternal life, who walks out the door to face our accuser?  Jesus Himself.  He says in John 10:28-29, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.  No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and He is more powerful than anyone else.  No one can snatch them from my Father’s hand.”  What a beautiful promise, so assuring and full of lasting peace.

Never forget who you are: a child of God Almighty, clean in the sight of God because you have been washed in the blood of Jesus — every wrongdoing gone and forgotten.  Did you know that the Bible tells us that as soon as we ask forgiveness (meaning it) that Father not only forgives, but remembers the sin no more?  How amazing is that!  Why does He do that?  Because of Grace.  Because of His immeasurable love.

You are His treasure.  He holds you tightly, clutching you to His heart.  Safe in His hands — for eternity.

 

When We Are Free At Last

I have often heard people say that if salvation is really eternal, why does the Bible instruct us to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.”  I prefer the New Living Translation which reads in Philippians 2:12, “work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear (respect).  The next verse goes on to tell us that, “God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”  

We want to live more Christlike but isn’t it so hard at times?  Probably we are our own worst enemies, mistakingly thinking that it’s up to our own hard work; however, the verse clearly tells us that God Himself is working in us and giving us His own desires.  What does that mean exactly?  Are we still working for our salvation?

I recently read something by David Jeremiah which explained it wonderfully.  I paraphrase his words.  The concept of our salvation involves three stages:  Initially when we come to Christ, we are saved from the penalty of sin.  As we grow into Christlike maturity, desiring with all our being to walk in His ways and to be obedient to Him, trusting that His ways are for our own good, then He gives us the power to overcome sin.  It doesn’t mean we ever become sinless but it does mean we are able to walk further without falling; temptations to sin are better kept in control because we are walking easily in the power of God to stand against sin.  Finally and wonderfully, one day when we leave earth for heaven, we are then saved from the very presence of sin.  Isn’t that amazing and exciting?  I’m so thankful for that insight the Lord gave to David Jeremiah.

So we see that our salvation cannot at all be earned.  It’s bought by Jesus, paid with His blood, given as a gift.  We may choose to receive the gift or not.  Then we walk on each day, month by month, year by year, learning of Him and His ways, becoming more like Him, beginning to overcome the influence of sin until that long awaited day when we see Jesus face to face.  Only then are we finally free from the very presence of sin.  It will be vanquished forever!  Hallelujah!  We will be free at last!