Monday, June 29, 2009

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

64 But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) 65 Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”

As I read that passage I was struck by the realization that my being saved really has very little to do with me and everything to do with Jesus. What I mean by that is that sometimes we Christ followers get a little full of ourselves because we think that because we asked Jesus into our hearts, we initiated the whole salvation process. I have come to realize that our asking the question is not the beginning of that process but the culmination of it.
Jesus said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.” In other words, God has been working tirelessly, through all the avenues open to Him to bring us to the point where we ask Jesus into our hearts. Think of it. Before you gave yourself to Jesus, how many times did you encounter someone, or find yourself in a situation that exposed or enlightened you to some attribute of God? Maybe it was a conversation with a friend, a book, or a television program, or a song on the radio?
You see, God was preparing us and encouraging us through all of these opportunities and more, for the time when we would finally accept Jesus as our savior. Take a moment and really think back over your life and I am confident that you will begin to remember some instances or situations in your past that you can now recognize as God preparing you for your salvation moment. Cool huh?
But why is it important to know this? Because it removes all our self-pride from the fact that we are saved. Or at least it should. One thing that disappoints me the most about the body of Christ is that we can be so judgmental and prideful. I include myself in this category at times as well. Christ followers can often come off as thinking themselves better than others because they have a relationship with Christ. Shame on us. How can we take credit for that relationship and become so prideful about it when we had so little to do with it?
Let's face it. All we really did was ask a question, "Jesus, will you please come into my heart?" or however you worded it. Everything prior to you asking that question and your relationship afterwards is totally God. We can't take any credit for it at all. That's very humbling, and it sure should make us realize that we are no better than anyone else. We are sheep in the same herd as everyone else. It's just that we have a close relationship with the shepherd. That he initiated, not us.
I think it is important to realize that becoming saved is not a major accomplishment for the person, but a stunning victory for God. All His hard work was to prepare us for the day when we would finally realize that we needed Jesus. All the glory goes to him.
I'm going to be praying for humility in both my relationship with Christ and with others. I am the recipient of a great gift that I neither earned or created. I pray everyone I come in contact with will see a difference in me and want to know what caused such a change. I pray the same for you as well.

It will be like Red Bull for the soul!

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