As I have looked over my life and see what I have done, I can truly say that it is because of the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ why I am here today. There have been times in my life that I have almost died but I am still here. I been through the highs and the lows and I am still here. Even when I walked away from God and lived my life the way I saw fit, he was still watching over me and was taking care of me. The Lord has a purpose for my life and the lives of my family, this I know and believe with every fiber of my being. It is hard for someone who has no belief in God, to comprehend what I am saying but I pray that by the time that I am done, you will have a better understanding as to where I am coming from.
Everyone wants to be successful in the world. Everyone. This is the reason why in this country we have immigrants risk their lives and the lives of their family to come to the United States. They are offered more opportunities here than they would in their home country. This is the same reason why my father came to the U.S., ahead of my mother and I, to pave the way and get himself established so that he could send for us. A lot of people that come here do make a better life for themselves. Is it according to what society deems being successful is? No, but they are in a better position than they were before. They may not be rich but they have hope.
I have heard people say that believing in God is a “poor man’s religion”. I see what they are saying but I will say this in return. Do you know how much more successful you would be if you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Do you realize that if you put a tenth of the effort in ALL that you do and give it all to Jesus, that he would bless you more than you can imagine? Do you realize? I don’t think so. They say that it is a “poor man’s religion” because they need “faith” to get them through. They need to “believe in something” in order for them to be happy and not be disgruntled all the time. Well this may be so, it is because of their faith the Lord has kept them. It is because of their faith they know that they can call on the Lord for help.
Where the ball gets dropped, in most cases, is the part that unbelievers cannot accept is the surrendering their lives to Jesus Christ, a man they cannot see. Why should I give up everything and follow Christ? Because he gave his life for you and me. He laid down his life so that we, as Gentile (non-Jew), could be grafted into the vine of life and have entrance into heaven. He gave up his life for people who hated and despised him. He gave up his life for the very same people who spat upon him and cursed him. He gave his life so that there will be grace and mercy for you and me. He gave up his life because he loves us, every one of us. That is why we need to dedicate our lives so that we can repay him for what he has done. And the kicker is, he will BLESS you for it! What job can you say that you have given your all to, shed blood, sweat and tears, get paid fairly for your effort and STILL get a bonus each check? There is none. If you find one, come tell me!
I look at God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in two ways. As the Holy Trinity, he is my father and he is my drill sergeant. For those of you who have children, you will understand this first part more than those who do not. When you have a child, your whole world revolves around them. You don’t want to see them hurt or see them cry for any reason! When they grow older you take the time to teach them valuable lessons in hopes that they will turn out ok. When they come of age, you hope they don’t rebel and turn from what you have taught them over the years. If they do, you hope that they will turn back before it is too late. When they are adults and have left the “nest” you hope that they have held on to what you have taught them and make a name for themselves (in other words, be successful). You also hope that they will remember the foundation that you placed when they were younger and thank you for it…that it was not all for nothing.
I also look at him as my drill sergeant. For those who have been in the military or been around military long enough to know what it is about, you will understand this. When you enter the military the sole purpose of basic training is to break you down and mold you to what they need you to be, a soldier. Plain and simple. They break you down and beat you up with a combination of mental and physical techniques formulated for this purpose. They will take the broken down mass of a person you are and fill you will all things military. This means learning the doctrine of the service you chose to join, customs and courtesies, how to keep yourself in shape, and how to defend yourself and your brother/sister laying next to you. They mold you to the soldier that they need you to be.
In both of these scenarios, God encompasses this and more. He is that loving parent who wants the best for his children (us). He wants us to listen and obey him in all that we do because all he wants is the best for us. But for those who accept is son into our lives, we get what we need and more. Not to say he ignores those who do not accept his son but that is where mercy and grace kicks in. Mercy is when we are spared from bad things (punishment) that we deserve. You know either from personal experience or from people you work with, that there is that one person who should’ve lost their job due to their behavior at work. You might have been in the same position — I know I have. But in the end, they keep their job when you know without a shadow of a doubt they should have been licked to the curb. That is mercy. Sparing you from what you deserve. Jesus has mercy on us all, sinner and saved alike. Grace is giving us things that we do not deserve, especially when we shouldn’t get nothing at all. You know that promotion you got, knowing in your heart that you shouldn’t have gotten one based on what you have been doing for the company (i.e. the bare minimum), but your boss gave you one anyway? That is grace. You didn’t deserve it but you got it in hopes that it would change your outlook and be more productive in the long run. That is what the Lord does for us on a daily basis.
He is our drill sergeant. He breaks us down for two things, to rebuild us so that he can use us and to bring us to a place so that we recognize that he is in control and we have to rely on him for everything. Sometimes it takes an unbeliever to go through something devastating to happen for them to realize that God does exist. Sometimes it takes a Christian something devastating in order for them to be in the place that God needs them to be. Before I rededicated my life to the Lord, I had my own house in my name, I had a car and I had everything that I could think of to make me happy. I married and life was still good, then things started going south. I was demoted (NOT because of my work ethic and standards but because of personal attacks against me) and couldn’t afford to make payments on my home. We were barely making it and when the pressure was too much, my husband left. That night I cried and was so heartbroken. I cried out to the Lord and prayed. I let him know that I was sorry that I walked away and that I am ready to submit myself to him instead of “playing church”. Two more things happened as well. I reconciled with my dad that very night and I had a vision. This vision is what keeps me going day to day.
Now I live in a home that I would NEVER had picked out for my family but because of the need to move and the financial strain, this is the only place we could afford. I don’t have the luxuries anymore like central air, or a diswasher, or space to put our things in its proper place. A lot of our belongings are still in boxes and are all over the place because of lack of storage. My spices I cook with everyday are still in a box! God broke me down, allowed my husband to leave, made us move from the comfort we were living in and brought us to a place that I considered was not up to standard just so he could say, “Hey! I have been here this entire time! I can help!”. He brought us to this place so that I can focus on him and have him as my center. If none of this never happened, I don’t think I would have been hard pressed to give my heart back to Christ, to submit myself to his will. By submitting myself and doing his will, it will lead me to the place where he showed me in the vision I received. I THANK GOD ANYWAY! I THANK HIM FOR BRINGING ME TO THIS POINT! I know I will be successful but not on my time or by my sheer will power. I can only get so far and still have nothing because my soul would be eternally damned. But if I trust in the Lord, live my life for him and do as he says, I will reach the goals set out before me and surpass it each time. Who wouldn’t want that?
I know this is pretty long, thank you for those who have stuck it through to the end. But for those who don’t know Christ, what are you waiting for? Seriously, what is your excuse NOT to submit yourself to Christ? I would really like to hear it. I’m not being sarcastic, you can contact me via the “Contact Me” page at the top of my blog. I would love to hear from you. For those who know Christ, what are you doing to spread the Good News? Is Christ your center? Seriously ask the Lord, “What can I do? Show me!”. He will answer. That is guaranteed.
For those who do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and you want him to be, I ask you to say this prayer and believe every word of it.
“Lord, I realize that I am a sinner. I realize that I cannot do it all on my own. I know that Jesus Christ loved me so much that he died on the cross for my sins so that my soul will not perish. I want to accept Jesus into my heart and yield to his will. I want him to use me for his glory. I want Christ to be my center — the one I turn to in the good times and the bad. I ask that he guide my footsteps on the straight and narrow and everything that I do from now on will be for your glory. I thank you for your grace and mercy on my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
If you made the decision to follow Christ and accept him into your heart, welcome brother, welcome sister. If you didn’t make a decision or think that this is still not something for you, I pray that seed that has been planted will eventually grow.
I love you all and I pray you all have a safe weekend!