Accepting Jesus as our Savior is a common well known expression about repenting and accepting the gift of the blood shed on Calvary, the ultimate sacrifice and ransom paid on our behalf by Jesus. Some people call it being saved, some call it a conversion. Call it what you may but it means the same.
2 Corinthians 5:7 We walk by faith and not by sight.
I walk by Faith and not by Sight. What this means is that things may look bad but I have faith that the results will come out differently than it looks. Sometimes we need to believe our lives will change. It may not look like they will, but I am in a far different life than I was in 30 years ago.
Hebrews 11:1 NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
I don't think of myself as a deeply religious woman, I am buoyed and strengthened by my faith. I believe God is mostly interested in my heart:
When we accept the gift of salvation, Jesus becomes Lord and Savior we begin to change in our lives. Our priorities change. Jesus starts working in our hearts and we begin to see others differently. He changes us inside our hearts and we become the people he wants us to be. All the events of our life shapes and molds us. This is our preparation for eternal life. When we die, we are ready for eternity. Only God knows what shape we need to be molded into and when we are ready, it is then that we pass on through this life to the next. Jesus works in our hearts only if we let him.
Galatians 4:6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, " Abba! Father!"
Then our hearts get cleansed by our faith:
Acts 15:9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.
We are ambassadors for Jesus, he writes on our hearts and we represent him to others in our daily walk with him in our spiritual life and our human lives.
2 Corinthians 3:3 being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
The words we say and our hearts reflect to others that we have the lord abiding or dwelling within us.
Romans 10:8 But what does it say? " The word is near you, in your mouth and in your hearts.
When we realize that he is calling us to be his people, it is from our hearts that we know the hope of redemption and resurrection through Jesus.
Ephesians 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Jesus lives in our hearts through our faith and helps us cope with the world being aware of and grounded in his love and our Christian identities.
Ephesians 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, and
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Avoiding sin becomes easier as through the Holy Spirit God will work on our hearts and minds to bring to our attention when we go to sin:
Hebrews 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the lord: I will put my laws upon their heart, and on their mind I will write them,
It is our inner person that is the eternal person and when our earth suits fail we leave for eternal life.
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
This is a poem I wrote about the process of my heart changing:
I Feel it Real:
Full is my heart,
Deep with great love,
For one who came,
From up above.
Our Lord is just,
And true His ways.
So often do,
I feel His gaze,
As I walk here,
Down my life's path
Or cry a tear,
Or laugh a laugh,
I know He is,
Right here by me,
With arms open,
To comfort me.
How can I know,
That He is real?
All I know is,
I feel it real.
I feel His touch,
Upon my soul,
As life goes by
And I grow old.
I feel His Love,
In me each day,
Changing my views,
Changing my ways.
I feel His strength,
That has changed me,
From who I was,
To who I'll be.
One story in the Bible that brings this point home that God is interested in our hearts is in Luke 23:
Luke 23:39-43 One of the criminals who was suspended kept up a railing at Him, saying, Are You not the Christ (the Messiah)? Rescue Yourself and us from death]! But the other one reproved him, saying, Do you not even fear God, seeing you yourself are under the same sentence of condemnation and suffering the same penalty? And we indeed suffer it justly, receiving the due reward of our actions; but this Man has done nothing out of the way strange. Then he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingly glory! And He answered him, Truly I tell you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.
What happened with this man? He was a criminal who was being hung next to Jesus on another cross. He did one thing, he defended Jesus, recognized that Jesus was an innocent man and asked him to remember him. What did Jesus say? He would be in paradise with Jesus. Why because he believed and spoke his belief and defended Jesus. Jesus knew his heart.
Many people will tell you, you have to do certain things and many times people focus more on jumping through hoops. God knows your heart and that is what he is interested in. Church is a good place for worship, fellowship and prayer, but these things are not limited to Sunday services.
I am not your standard Christian and this is how I view my relationship with God. When I was in my late 30's I was very ill. I thought I was going to die. The doctors agreed I was ill, but could not decide what was wrong. I could do nothing. I decided to accept that was what God wanted for me. I read a book called Christianity is Jewish by Edith Schaeffer. I learned the seemingly angry God of the Old Testament was the same seemingly loving God of the New Testament. This led me to read and study the Bible believing the Holy Spirit was my guide.
The kingdom of heaven is like a king who gave a wedding banquet for his so . And sent his servants to summon those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they refused to come. Again he sent other servants, saying, Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have prepared my banquet; my bullocks and my fat calves are killed, and everything is prepared; come to the wedding feast. But they were not concerned and paid no attention [they ignored and made light of the summons, treating it with contempt] and they went away--one to his farm, another to his business, While the others seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and put them to death. [Hearing this] the king was infuriated; and he sent his soldiers and put those murderers to death and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, The wedding [feast] is prepared, but those invited were not worthy. So go to the thoroughfares where they leave the city [where the main roads and those from the country end] and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find. And those servants went out on the crossroads and got together as many as they found, both bad and good, so [the room in which] the wedding feast [was held] was filled with guests.
Realize that in this story, the guests who were first invited refused to come, so the King sent his servants to the streets to find guests. God loves all of us in life no matter where we are. Those that we think are going to Heaven may not have heeded the call. Those in the streets and have no theological background, hear the call and respond to go to the wedding.
I can only write this from my heart. My aim on writing these articles on Gather are to present what I have learned. I have no capacity or formal religious education and do not profess to hold any certification. You may disagree with me and that is fine. We all have to find our way in life. I only share as I hope that my articles will spark people into thinking about God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I hope that my words encourage people into realizing that God loves them right now, just as they are. He is a kind forgiving and loving God who provided a way for us to have a relationship with him, Jesus and provides us also comforter, the Holy Spirit to guide our path and teach us.
I cannot say my path following Jesus is your path. Pray to the Lord to show you the way.
I was once down the well, with no hope. I wanted to die with every part of my being. It was a very bad place to be. I was in the cloud of deep depression and brought to my knees. God lifted me up and gave me a new life. I have gone through some very hard things in my life. I would not be here to be writing this if not for the Grace of God.