Joys of Christian life

(Picture is from http://www.undergracecaroline.wordpress.com)

God is amazing, He’s good, and He’s always on time. The more trials we experience, the more testimonies we can attest to. I am a living witness to God’s grace and His hand in my life but it took me 34 years to appreciate just how good He really is.  I’ve experienced many heartaches including financial distress, illness, divorce, loneliness, addiction, homelessness, abuse, rejection, abandonment and so much more yet I am still standing. I’m still here because “…The Lord will never leave you or forsake you…” (Deuteronomy 31:8) He keeps His promises at all times and He always takes care of His children.

God gave me so many chances to get my life together. He opened my eyes and showed me how sinful my decisions I made in life were and I finally repented and started living for Him. Previously I would sin, ask God to forgive me, live righteously for a few months, then backslide and repeat the cycle all over again. Until one day He showed me the sinful things I used to do for entertainment weren’t enjoyable anymore, I was disappointing Him, and I was being a hypocrite. I’m so glad and grateful He showed me the truth and I was finally receptive to receive it. The truth is the evil things of this world offer short term gain and long term pain.  God is the center of my joy and the center of joy for all who follow Him. There is no vacation, no car, no food, or anything else that can compare to the joy that comes with living a Christ-centered life. The Bible blesses us as well by giving us spiritual insight and wisdom to live our best lives this side of Heaven.

Following Christ puts me in a better mood, makes me want to be a positive person, more loving to others, and more forgiving. I am so grateful that “…The Lord is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) The joys of living a Christian life are limitless just like His love.

 

Lost now found!

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http://www.gregolsen.com

Amazing grace is a revered song among many regardless of faith, nationalities and ages. It is because there is no mention of a specific religion in the song so anyone can find comfort in the lyrics. The words in the song “ I once was lost but now I’m found” can apply to anyone who was lost, wandering in the world but later found and serving God. The writer of the song, John Newton a former slave trader knew all too well what being lost was about. Thankfully he denounced the profession and wrote the renowned song so that many also now sing what it is really like to be set free.

Jesus is the only one who can set us free. Jesus said in John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Jesus is the one I trust and if anyone desires to be set free they will be free. I am a living testimony. I have done almost everything you SHALL NOT do but Jesus set me free from it all. He has made everything that I used to desire that was wicked and made it undesirable. He can and will do the same for you. It was a very long process for me because I didn’t truly desire to be set free. There was a part of me that still enjoyed doing things I shouldn’t have done. But one day in December I went to the altar at church. I grew sick and tired of being sick and tired of repeating the same disobedient offenses to God. I was anointed with oil and walked back to my seat and a few days later I felt different. My eyes were opened to all the darkness and wickedness I enjoyed. I finally saw it for what it really was. It was all temporary and did nothing to satisfy me eternally. I finally realized that my life has a purpose: to be the light Christ called His followers to be. I also have a responsibility to tell others going down the same wayward path I was on that there is a way out: His name is Jesus.

I take 1 step forward and 3 steps back at times because I am a sinner that still messes up. I’ve come a long way but I also know I have a long way to go. (I’m not perfect which is why I serve the one who is). I am greatly appreciative of God’s patience, forgiveness, and mercy. It is because of these aspects that I could insert myself in the Amazing Grace song because I am also one who was lost but am now found.