Friday, April 11, 2014

I remember my decision to follow Him

I remember the day I gave my life to Jesus. It was in the early nineties. It’s a while ago now.

It wasn’t a wishy-washy thing for me. It wasn’t a case of – Oh yeah, I guess I believe. I deliberately – by God’s grace – gave my life to Jesus.

But … for the first year or so, even after that, I was kind of shy about what I’d done. I didn’t really want to tell a whole bunch of people about it. To be honest, I was afraid I’d look like a bit of an idiot.

However it all changed when I started reading the Word a lot. The word started speaking to me. And, as God became more real to me and I began to follow Him more closely, He changed my life and my outlook, and my priorities began to change. 

Christ met all our needs on the cross. By making us a part of His family, He gave us a sense of belonging. When He died in our place, He affirmed our value. And by coming to live His life through each believer, He gives us the ability to live a victorious, obedient life.

I could just hear what people would say – Hey have you heard? He has got religion?
Well, actually – there are plenty of people who believe in Jesus, who even love Jesus, who still, today, are ashamed of Him.

He utterly transforms our lives – and we’re ashamed? What’s that about?

Maybe you’ve fought cancer, or you’ve been in multiple unhealthy relationships, or suffered from addiction, depression, a learning disability, anxiety. Even those battles have a way of becoming routine—don’t they?

There is nothing God doesn't know about your life. You may know the past and present, but God also knows the future. Choose today to walk securely -- not in what you know, but in what you believe.

Compared to having a total personal commitment of love for God, everything else is insignificant! How much people like you, how wealthy you are, what car you will drive, how big your TV is — all those things matter zero compared to loving God.

Remember as Christians, we have to constantly face temptations and the attacks of the world around us. Everything we see, read, do, hear, put in our bodies, etc., affects us somehow. That's why, to maintain a close relationship with God, we have to put aside our old ways of doing things—the things we watch on TV, old bad habits ( drinking, smoking, etc.), the activities we participate in, and the people we spend our time with. People are divided into only two categories, those who belong to the world and its ruler, Satan, and those who belong to God (Acts 26:18). These two groups of people are described in terms of opposites all through the Bible; e.g., those in darkness/those in the light; those with eternal life/those with eternal death; those who have peace with God/those who are at war with Him; those who believe the truth/those who believe the lies; those on the narrow path to salvation/those on the broad road to destruction, and many more. Clearly, the message of Scripture is that believers are completely different from nonbelievers, and it is from this perspective that we must discern what kind of friendships we can really have with unbelievers.

Also, evil will do all it can to work through situations and people to cause us to doubt or even abandon our paths. By understanding that we have to lose our life to gain it (even if that means a certain type of social life or “worldly” standard of living), we embrace the totality of the life God gave us to live, the one with doors waiting to open and miracles waiting to happen.
And losing friends doesn’t mean forever. Differences challenge us, but the challenge is a good one. It’s during the tough times that we discover what we’re made of, especially when we endure them while remaining respectful and kind to others. (A sign of spiritual maturity!)

I always remember what Apostle Paul said:

 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”  Romans 8:18

No suffering lasts forever.  Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning.  One day our Lord Jesus Christ will reveal the glory of the resurrection body, the new creation—no more sin, no more pain, no more tears and no more death.  All this is yours when Christ is yours.  Christ finished.  You haven’t.  But with Him you will! 


Raj Kosaraju 

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