Heart Attitudes: Whose Terms?

So many times, when we are confronted with the offer of salvation, we have certain reservations. For examples: “I’m willing to give it a try.” “I don’t think I can (or should be expected to) give up certain things that I really enjoy.” “I prayed earnestly for something and it didn’t happen, so I guess there’s nothing to it.” The point is that we are trying to persuade God to meet our terms. It simply doesn’t work that way! We deserve nothing, not one thing, from God. Before we come to Him, we are spiritually dead to God. We function in rebellion to God. Our wills come first. We choose what we want, even when it conflicts with what He wants. It is only His love for us and His desire for a relationship with us that moves Him to extend His offer of grace and mercy to us. Our only acceptable response to such love is a complete surrender to His Lordship. We commit unconditionally to His will initially, and then we learn to follow through from that point on. There will be “learning bumps” but no complete turning back. We may even get turned around temporarily, but as He works with us, we turn around and resume going His way. Total turning back indicates no genuine conversion has taken place (I John 1:19). In Matthew 16:24, Jesus explained to His disciples: “….If any (man) will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Charles W. L. Christien’s hymn, “Lord, I Make a Full Surrender,” expresses the response of the truly converted person: “Lord, I make a full surrender, all I have I yield to Thee, for Thy love, so great and tender, asks the gift of me. Lord, I bring my whole affection, claim it, take it for Thine own; safely kept by Thy protection, fixed on Thee alone. Lord, my will I here present Thee gladly, now no longer mine; let no evil thing prevent me blending it with Thine.  Lord, my life I lay before Thee, hear this hour the sacred vow!  All Thine own I now restore Thee, Thine forever now. Blessed Spirit, Thou hast brought me thus my will to Thee to give; for the blood of Christ has bought me, and by faith I live. Show Thyself, O God of power, my unchanging, loving Friend; keep me, till in death’s glad hour, faith in sight shall end.” Selah! Because of our failure to strongly press home the claims of Jesus, do the “tares” outnumber the “wheat” in our churches?   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

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