The Cost

I’m not a perfect Christian and I won’t pretend to be. In fact, there is nothing more anti-Christ in spirit than an exclusive, pretentious Christianity that upholds a false holiness. I sin less often than when I first believed but I still struggle with sin and I will continue in this battle with my sin until I pass from this world. The good news is that after I die, my war with sin will be over and I will enter eternity free from sin. None of this is due to my self efforts but to Jesus who bought forgiveness for my sins by giving His life for mine. Any victory I’ve won in self-control has come by surrender and obedience to God and not by my own strength. Before I knew Jesus, I lived to sin but when Jesus became the center of my life, I died to sin and began to live for Him. Jesus put a new desire in my heart, that of wanting to please God and I am no longer driven only, to satisfy myself. The inner conflict this created isn’t pleasant and each victory over my sin requires a death to self. Jesus died to set me free of the penalty of sin (the second death) and I in return, die to my selfish desire daily, in order to live for Him. When I falter and give in to my old ways, He forgives me, heals me, and sends me back into battle. Nothing about this process is appealing to a world driven toward achieving temporal perfection. I’m not a good Jesus sales-person for those seeking to package a more modern Jesus who promises to give people all that their hearts desire in the here and now. Serving the Jesus I know and love, the Jesus of the Bible, comes at a cost and delayed gratification in the world to come is the prize for which I contend.

I regret no sin habit I’ve left behind for Jesus. I’m more than grateful to be free of the drugs I used as a young person. I don’t miss cigarettes or alcohol. I am eternally thankful for all the dysfunctional behaviors God has helped me correct and the inner healing that only the Bible can give. I’m happy that I learned to live within my means, remain faithful to my husband, and live a quiet life. Trading my sin for values that work is the greatest blessing of my life but I know all these blessings will pale in comparison to living in a world free from sin. The thought of my complete transformation into the likeness of Christ is more than my mind can fully comprehend but I do love to try to envision it. The amazing thing is that the more I die to myself the closer I come to being the woman God originally, designed me to be. With each wrong-headed desire I give up, I find greater happiness and increased joy.

I know these words I write seem a bit crazy to those from a Darwinist, secular viewpoint but I’m old enough now that I don’t care about speaking anything but that which I’ve come to know as true. There is no hope in this secular culture, not even for those who are among the fittest. Our world seems to be becoming crueler each day and the most repugnant cruelties are hidden beneath a veneer of politically correct words and outright fear. Children suffer the most in this world because they are the weakest among us. They are murdered in the womb as a means of birth control much more often than to save a mother’s life but abortion is the sanitizing term applied no matter the reason. The more powerful mother has all legal protection and the weaker child has none. Children are abused by parents and bought and sold for sexual pleasure at alarming rates but little of it is even reported. Old people are next in line for abuse in this culture, where equality must be earned. The ageing must remain young for as long as possible to retain viability. Women must become more like men, men have to be more in touch with their feminine side, and children must be more adult-like in a world where equality is gauged in equal outcomes. The more the world tries to make everyone the same the more heartless and dysfunctional it becomes. Everyone is trying to earn status as one of the elite fittest but the reality is all are victims of inequality and abuse. I see insanity in the world and find sanity in Jesus. God loves all of His children despite their sin and all have equal value in Jesus no matter how diverse or lacking in power. Human life matters in God’s economy but in the world, human life is valued less every day.

Accepting Christ into my heart and making Him the Lord of my life was the most important decision I ever made. My faith isn’t magic. Faith is better than magic because it is based upon divine truth and not any sleight of hand. When I opened my mind in belief and Jesus entered, I became a spiritual person, a new creature in Christ. I received new life and a new beginning. My attitude changed and I found the guidance I needed in the Bible to transform my lifestyle from unhealthy to healthy. I received the strength needed to correct my dysfunctional behaviors and world view. Jesus turned my upside down world right side up. Without Him, I would die in my sin and carry that sin with me into eternity. I would never know anything but cruelty. Because of Jesus I know the unconditional love of my Heavenly Father even though I presently, remain in a cruel world. I will not die in my sin. I will die once and be free from sin to live eternally in Christ. What I have received from Jesus is available to all. My hope and prayer for anyone, who reads this testimony and is tired of their sin, will open their hearts in faith to receive Jesus and His gift of eternal life. He doesn’t promise to make you rich, famous, or powerful but He will give you a new desire for God that leads to a future free from your sin.

John 12: 23-26

 


31 thoughts on “The Cost

      1. No, I’m not alone and not afraid of dying. I don’t want to leave my husband alone or make my kids and grandkids cry but I’m very tired. I fight on but I look forward to no longer having to struggle for health. I look forward to the end of pain. I’m not depressed and I know I might wake up tomorrow, feel better, and see everything differently but in this moment, this is the reality of my life. I think I’ll take a nap.:0) while listening to some beautiful music…

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Such a beautiful post. “The thought of my complete transformation into the likeness of Christ is more than my mind can fully comprehend…” Yes, I know the feeling well, and give Him all the credit. I identify with so much you have said here. The fullness of my heart can never be outdone by human effort or earthly things. Only Jesus, His Spirit who is with me every moment, and our Father who embraces me with unconditional love and grace.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow what a powerful essay filled with passion for the Lord, wisdom from having walk around the block and telling it as it is. I pray the secularist you mentioned, those who are proud to think they are “fit,” would read this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I recently listened to a sermon that pronounced “sin” as “missing the mark” — not to minimize wrong doings or that which would draw us away from God — but it seemed to me to be a much more understandable version of how to become better aligned with God, Love, Christ, Holy Spirit — and that hit the mark for me 😉 … thank you for your thought filled, faith filled post –

    Liked by 1 person

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