This morning in my time with the Lord in His Word, He seemed to lead me from one passage to another–all throughout the Bible–that taught me that my salvation is something that is in large part up to me, especially after I have accepted the free gift of forgiveness made possible only by Christ’s death on the cross in my place.
As I read each passage, I was wrestling with the thought that I am called to live a life of faith and action that “overcomes”, that “endures” and that lasts until the end. If I do not, then I cannot rightfully expect God’s mercy to usher me into eternity with Him. Further, not living a life that is daily engaged with Him is like grabbing the boarding pass He purchased, walking away, and yelling over my shoulder, “I’ll see you on the plane!” while going off through the terminal of a selfish life, all the while thinking that my ticket secures my seat.
Based on the graciousness of God, heaven will likely be more crowded than I might guess.
Based on the holiness and justice of God, heaven will likely be not nearly as crowded as I imagine.
While reading the Bible this morning, I read that the new earth will not have oceans. My first thought was “Where am I supposed to surf?” I’m so selfish sometimes. I then began to surmise that God will probably give me my own surf pool with one of those perfect wave makers. How in the world did I get to the point where I think that God’s eternity is centered on me?
I can so easily fall into a self-centered attitude about life and even about God. But being reminded that God actually expects things from me as a child of His is sobering and re-aligning. And my life surrendered to Him is not one of perpetual cowering, trembling in fear that I’m doing it wrong, but it is a response to a love so magnanimous that it would dare to reunite the sinner with the sinless, the created with the Creator, the wrong with the right.
That is, as Francis Chan puts it, “Crazy Love”.
And so my salvation, just as it has been hard-fought by Christ to the cross, is now hard-fought by my life seeking to surrender so fully to God that you can’t tell where He begins and I end. Or perhaps it is better said that you can clearly tell where I end so that He begins. This, in my estimation is the hard-fought salvation. Not hard-fought in such a way that I must work to acheive His love and favor, but hard-fought in a way that daily seeks to surrender myself to Him, His will, His ways, and His wonder. As Dennis Kinlaw wrote, “The ways of the world are never the ways of God, and the people of the world are never the people of God.”
I’d like to know your thoughts on this.