Salvation: I Tried So Hard!

[reprinted from January 19, 2010]

Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the Law of Moses.                  Acts 13:38-39 (NIV, emphasis mine)

Paul knew the Law. When I read through the Old Testament my eyes begin to cross as I read chapter after chapter of God’s laws, written to bring His children closer to Him. If I focus just on the commandments, as outlined in Exodus 20, I can create pages of lists that will come under those initial ten. Jesus reminds me that the Law began with “Do not kill” but He said “anger” is just as deadly a sin! (Matthew 5:21-22) Paul puts “jealousy” in the same line with “witchcraft”. (Galatians 5:19-21) It should be no shock that Paul states that trying to follow the Law is doomed to failure.

I have broken all Ten Commandments. The darkness of my sins had me blindly running through life. I tried drinking to anesthetize the pain, confusion, and weight of being totally overwhelmed by situations in which I had no solutions. I tried to fill my life with ambition and fill the hours of my day with anything that would keep my mind from acknowledging the Truth that kept popping up in my path. I was a mess!

When I finally – grudgingly – began to listen and read my Bible (because I saw the radical change in my children – they witnessed to me!), I decided, “Why not?” and began to fill my mind with God’s Words and not my own. Jesus massaged my hard-shelled, battered heart with His words of wisdom and love. And when the question was posed one night, “Will you dedicate your life to Jesus? Will you choose Him above everyone and everything else?” I could not stay in my seat. The One who loved me without any conditions was holding out His arms and He has been holding me ever since.

For me, Jesus’ love, the extravagance of it, came first. In my first Holy Week, after accepting that I needed Jesus, I must have cried 40 gallons of tears! I saw for the first time what Jesus did for me. I heard the weight of my sins fall on Him as He cried out, “My God, why have you left me?!!” He did it all for me.

Salvation through Jesus Christ is simple. I am the one who made it complicated for myself. Jesus had been waiting over 40 years for me to take His hand and make our relationship intimate and eternal. Now that is persistence and patience!

Yahweh is my light and my salvation.  Whom shall I fear?
Yahweh is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers came at me to eat up my flesh, even my adversaries and my foes, they stumbled and fell.

Though an army should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear.

Though war should rise against me, even then I will be confident.

One thing I have asked of Yahweh, that I will seek after,
that I may dwell in the house of Yahweh all the days of my life, to see Yahweh’s beauty, and to inquire in his temple.      Psalm 27:1-4 (WEB)

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