When I accepted the Lord’s offer of salvation, I didn’t have to clean up my life first. I didn’t say “when I get my act together, then I will seek the Lord.” I just went to Him as I was and He saved me. Just as the words of the song say, my only plea was that He shed His blood for me. I didn’t have my own righteousness to trust in, so I had to trust in His.
Unfortunately, there are many who think they need to clean up their lives in order to be saved. All they really need to do is get saved and let Jesus help them clean up their lives. We are slaves to sin, but with His help, we can change.
1 Cor 15 : 10
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Gal 2 : 20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
As you can see from the above two verses, Paul accomplished as much as He did because Christ lived in him and through him and the grace of God was with him. That same grace is still available to us today. We can live our lives and labour abundantly when we receive God’s grace to do so. We can let go of our worldly desires to fulfill the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, when we let Christ live through us.
1 John 2 : 15-16
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Maybe you smoke and drink. Maybe you are an adulterer or adulteress. Maybe you are even a murderer. Saul was. He killed Christians. Yet God thought it good to not only save Him, but to use Him to spread the gospel to the gentiles. Praise the Lord for giving us Paul’s writings. You can be like Saul and get a new identity in Christ.
All things are possible through Him, so if you are waiting until you stop sinning, get a better job, quit drinking, quit smoking, go to church more frequently, sing in the choir, read your Bible all the way through, or any number of other things before you can come to Christ, forget it. Let go of the idea that you can save yourself, give up the fight and accept the grace of God which is so freely given to you. He will help you get things right in your life, you may have to face consequences for decisions you have made in the past, but He will be right by your side giving you strength and peace, while guiding you through the process.
I have a friend who accepted Christ’s sacrifice and was saved. After getting saved, he turned himself in for an old DUI. He did some prison time, but now he is out, and he is involved in ministering to others.
God can and will use you. He will use your hardships. Why do you think he let you go through the trials you did? He can use them. Do you have medical issues? Financial troubles? Childhood traumas? He can use them all for His glory and honour. You may be the only one who can reach someone who is going through something similar. But if you want to effectively share the gospel with them, you have to accept it yourself first. Don’t keep waiting. Your hardships are not an excuse not to get right with God. Fall down on your knees and thank Him for the grace He has offered you.
Do you have skills, talents and gifts? God will use those. Maybe you are talented in sports. Maybe you can play the banjo. Maybe your good with children. Maybe you can design an amazing building or plant an exquisite garden. God made you with your unique talents and abilities. God can use those. But don’t glory in yourself. He is the potter, He formed you. So, if you must glory, glory in Him who designed you. And use the gifts He gave you to bring Him glory and honour.
Job 10 : 9
Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?
2 Cor 10 : 17
But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
You didn’t make yourself beautiful. You didn’t give yourself a high IQ. You didn’t make yourself technologically capable. Sure, you may have gone to school. You may have studied. But how many people have you met that tried to do the same and failed? Some people aren’t given those gifts. Take what He gave you and make the most of it, but don’t wait until you make the most of it to seek Him. Fall at His feet now. Come to the cross. Ask for the salvation He so freely gives.
If you don’t know how to get saved, check out last week’s blog post: Are You Washed In His Blood?
Please stop waiting. Now is the time to get saved. Time is short. Hurry.
2 Cor 6 : 2
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
Come to the Lord Jesus Christ. His arms are open wide and He will not turn you away.
John 6 : 37
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Praise the Lord. Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.
(All verse references are taken from the Authorized Version of the Bible, commonly referred to as the King James Version.)
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Elle E. Kay shares her thoughts on the song, Just As I Am.