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Thursday, June 04, 2009

CR Principle 3

Principle 3 says, “I consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.” (Step 3)

“Happy are the meek.” Matthew 5:5

Well, here was yet another challenge for me. Remember that “basically good” person who didn’t really need a Savior but didn’t want to burn in hell? I had him to contend with again in Principle 3!

I’ve always learned in life that people don’t always do what they say, but they will always do what they believe. I think that’s a simple law of human nature. My own Christian life revealed much in that regard. Not believing that I really needed a Savior had a significant impact on my personal commitment to Christ.

The preacher had convinced me that if you didn’t “get saved” you would burn in hell. So in a sense what I did was get me some eternal fire insurance. That’s all I wanted from Jesus --- to keep me from burning in hell. Of course that totally missed the mark in terms of being a true Christian. Quite honestly, I look back and don’t know if I was really saved or not. I said I was saved. I called myself a Christian. But as I began to identify and address the denial in my life, I found much that didn’t look like Christ. Unfortunately, I was doing what I believed.

As I began to understand what a personal relationship with Christ really looks like, I was drawn to Jesus’ words in the gospels. He said we are to follow Him, lay down our lives for Him, and be willing to sacrifice or even suffer for Him. This was not the Christian walk I’d had in mind all my life.

It turned out that Jesus wanted to give me eternal salvation, to cover me with grace and forgive my sins. He wanted to make me whole, righteous and fully acceptable and pleasing to God.

But He wanted something in return. He wanted my commitment. He wanted my time. He wanted my mind. He wanted my body. He wanted my money, my career, my family, my relationships, my sexuality, even my hopes and dreams. Oddly enough, He also wanted my hurts, my failures, my fears, my hang-ups and that load of condemnation I’d been carrying around most of my life.

So I found myself sitting in my pastor’s office, telling him that I’d been baptized years ago, but needed a “re-do” of that baptism. I explained that now I got it and was finally mature enough to make such a commitment to Christ.

We had my second baptism, and I began to daily turn my life and will over to Christ’s care and control. It has made the difference between carrying eternal fire insurance and having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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