WALKING IN GOD’S GRACE.050715

[The following are excerpts from a Kairos talk called “Walking in God’s Grace”.]                  Religious Words on Grunge BackgroundI wish I could tell you that living the Christian life, after you really commit to God, is going to be easy, that you’re going to feel God’s presence every day, more and more; that you’re going to be obedient, that you’re not going to do anything stupid, that you’re going to trust God all the time, that you’re going to love everybody and they’re going to love you; that there’s going to be a steady shining light in your life all the time and no more darkness.  Sorry, it’s just not going to be all sweetness and light, because we’re all still a bunch of sinners.

Let’s say that because of this Kairos weekend, everybody here has made a commitment to Jesus.  We’ve had good food and good fellowship; we’ve felt God’s unconditional love through the brothers, both those from inside and those from outside the prison; and we’re excited about the prospect of going back out in the world to share Jesus with other people out there in the dark.  How are we going to do that?  We can’t.  Why can’t we?  We’re heard the message; we’ve accepted it; we’ve made a commitment to Jesus; and He’s definitely made a commitment to us (to each one of us).  So what is holding us back?

It’s sin.  Oh, I’m not taking about regular sin like lying and cheating and stealing, drinking and drugs and sex and all that stuff.  I’m talking about fear and doubt, guilt and shame and unforgiveness, and most of all, thinking we can get along without God.

So how are we going to live with all the crap that’s going on in our lives?  Here’s the answer, and I know from personal experience that this is the only answer that really works; that will keep on working to the end:  Turn to God; develop a close personal relationship with Him.  Do it every day, every hour, every minute; every time the devil comes up to you and says, “You don’t really believe that stuff about God do you?  He won’t really take care of you, will He?”  And whatever may be happening, in the face of all evidence to the contrary; whether it’s death, or poverty, or neglect, even this prison, you look the devil in the eye and say, “Yep, I believe in God, I’m trusting Jesus to keep on taking care of me forever; so you Devil, can go back to hell where you came from.”

And how do you get to where you can do that?  How do you reach that place of total faith, total trust?  .  .  . You start; you start today; you turn your whole self over to Jesus today, like this, “Oh Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner, I need help today, right now, please take care of me today.  I’m trusting in you to live your life in me today.  I surrender to you today. Thank you for loving me and caring for me all this time, when I wasn’t even looking.”

I know for certain that focusing on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit every day, and getting closer and closer to Him, is the most important thing you have to do for the rest of your life.

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