by Pastor Tim Burt
Early this morning, I was on my elliptical machine which is a part of my usual morning routine. As I was working out, I was meditating on the verses that represent the beginning of the greatest gift ever given to mankind. When this gift is received, life truly begins. I was meditating on the verses in Romans 10:9-13. (NKJV) They say, “…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
These words given to us by God through the Apostle Paul represent the birth of a miracle. They represent an answer to a prayer request. The majority of people, will at some point in their life, have the thought, If only I could start over and do it right. The words from those verses in Romans are the starting gate of the answer to that request, If only I could start over and do it right.
They are the words that represent the asking of Jesus into your life to be your Lord and Savior. They are the words that initiate from God the forgiveness of all your sins. They are the words that clean your spiritual house so the Holy Spirit can come and live within you. They are the words that open your eyes to see life through God’s eyes. They are the words that open your heart to understanding God’s word and that make His Word powerful and effective and produce life change. They are the words that trigger an intimate relationship between you and God almighty. Those are the words that instructed me to pray and ask Jesus to come into my life, be my Lord and Savior, and let me start life over and do it right. I prayed this prayer when I was 24 years old. Life truly did start over and God’s promise of making me a new person through Jesus came true. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
As I was meditating on these verses, I suddenly had a flashback to a very old memory. It was when I was 16 years old. My oldest sister was married and had four young children. They were the cutest kids and I loved spending time with them. My sister had asked me if I could come over and babysit them. I was glad to do that and came over at supper time that night. Dinner was on the table, the kids were around the table and my sister and her husband had to leave right away. I told them no problem. I had dinner with the kids which was great fun. They all talked a mile a minute and made me laugh throughout. When we were done, we cleaned up the kitchen, and then went to play. As we were walking through the living room I was admiring the new wall paper my sister had put up. It was beautiful. As I walked by one of those walls, I gasped. One of them was covered with color crayon drawings and scribbling. I looked at the kids, and said, What happened? Who did this? One of the girls said, Oh, we did that. I asked, What did your parents do? She said, Well, mom cried for a while, got mad at us, and then told us never to do that again.
Their innocence was so cute. They knew they had done something wrong and they wouldn't do it again, but I could tell that they just didn't get it yet. How could they? They were so young and inexperienced in life.
When I had this flashback to this memory, the Lord began to speak to my heart about some young Christians I have been observing. They have sincerely asked Jesus into their heart, but are young in the Lord and know little of the Bible yet. They have done what Romans 9:9-13 instructs and are walking out this new life in Christ, but still had a lot of old way of thinking in them that if others looked at would judge them and say, How can they call themselves Christians and yet think and act like that?
They are new Christians and God will continue to teach and shape them, but they remind me of my sister’s children who colored all over her new wallpaper. They are young and innocent and just don't realize or have enough spiritual maturity to know that some of how they are living their life is a problem. .
Christians aren't looking for someone to condemn them. They are looking for someone to love and guide them in God's ways. They are looking for loving mentors to guide them and help them grow in Christ. Truth can come as loving guidance or can come across as judgment and condemning which will chase someone away. Love never fails but condemnation causes one to close up and withdraw.
So, let’s realize that Christians are all over the map in their Christian walk. They just need to be loved, encouraged, and shown through God’s word and our example, the better way to live. Eventually they will quit coloring on the wall paper and appreciate the new life in Christ they have been given! And we can be those that they will look back on and thank God for, not for judging, but for helping them!
Philippians 1:6 (NLT) “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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