Are You Religious or Are You a Christian? – Part 3
God does not always make things easy, and He is not a genie in a bottle. We truly reap what we sow, and there are consequences for our actions. He disciplines us, and He does not always give us our way.
Many people wonder how someone in prison, especially people who have committed heinous crimes, can find their way into heaven, but they can. The day you give your heart to Christ, regardless of past sins, you are going to spend eternity with Him in heaven. It doesn’t unlock the prison doors and allow you physical freedom, but it does give you a freedom no one else can provide. You still have to answer for your wrongs, but you now have a hope that gives you strength to move on.
We have no right to say whether a person is going to heaven or hell. Only God knows the condition of a person’s heart when they take their last breath. Only God knows where that person will spend eternity. I have heard it said many times that we will be shocked when we get to heaven and see who is not there verses who is there. I still enjoy many of the things I used to do before giving my heart to Christ. I love to travel. I love to play pool. I love to laugh. I love dancing. I love a wide variety of music. I love being around people. I love to party, but it is a different kind of partying. A lot of things in my life have not changed, but I have changed because of Him.
He has made me a better person. I used to be so self-centered. I was filled with bitterness and anger. I was jealous. I was unforgiving. I was materialistic. I had to have the best … be the best. Looking back, I am not sure how people even stood to be around me. Today, I am secure in who I am in Him. I long for others to love me, but if not, then I accept that. I forgive and I seek forgiveness. If others choose to judge me by my past or continually hold me accountable for the wrongs I did to them, then there is nothing I can do about that. I am free today. I am not carrying all that garbage around.
The other day, as I was travelling to work, I saw this baby calf frolicking in a field. It was so carefree and full of joy. Right there, I heard God say, “That is the life I desire for My children. I want them to be completely free and full of joy.” I smiled because, though life still bombards me daily, I am free. I am not always joyful, but I am working on it. However, I have a peace that surpasses human understanding. A peace that can only be found in Him. It is through that peace I find the strength to overcome and realize that the joy of the Lord is my salvation. What about you?
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