For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” -- Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)
We learn from our mistakes. My hope is that you can learn from mine without making them yourself.
What I say and write and whether you agree doesn’t matter. Always judge it against scripture. And what the Bible says, as I’ve come to understand it, is that I can never be good enough for God on my own. But I sure did try.
And I can never be bad enough to convince myself that I can outrun God, outthink him, or pretend he’s not there. I tried that too.
Being very good or very bad are ways to try to control God. But he won’t be controlled.
The Bible tells me I was born with a human heart, centered on self, into a world I’m not made for. And the only thing that will change that heart of mine or yours is radical love.
I sat in a pew for a lot of years. Read my Bible. Said I believed. And I did believe there was a God. The demons believe the same thing.
Nothing I did saved me. I finally responded to God by admitting being empty and by asking for faith. He allowed me to see my heart. Not pretty. And he allowed me to see the cross. Perfect love.
“Jesus Loves Me.” I know that song. But do I know Jesus? Do I believe he loves me? And do I love him? Have I really, really, really thought about this and set my mind? Or is it sentimentality? A clear picture of Calvary will move any information into sensation, and that's what starts to change the heart.
So ... have I really surveyed the cross? Is my identity today based in God and what he has done for me through his Son? Can I tell you when the old man died and the new one was born? These questions are worth thinking about. Until you know for sure, they’re the only questions that matter.