Life is a vapor

24 10 2006

A video like the one below serves to remind us how our lives could end at any moment. And how all of us must be ready to stand before the Lord God himself to give an account…at any moment. This guy is just walking accross the street…he, no doubt had the walk signal.

May an image like this, taken from everyday life, help to refresh a passion for Christ, specifically in holiness, love, and evangelism. If you are not confident to stand before the Lord God, the judge of all the earth, click here…i want to talk further with you.

<<due to some requests from weaker stomaches (kinda like weaker brothers), i’ve bumped the pic to the next page, click here to see the image>>


image001.gif

(ht: erik bauer)

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7 responses

24 10 2006
storbakken

That’s twisted. But so is a life of unrepentant sin. That image got me to start praying for my family and friends who aren’t saved, and praising Him for those who are. I’m pretty new to blogging. Your site is encouraging. If you’d like to check out my site and offer a suggestion or comment check it out at morefire.wordpress.com. God bless.

24 10 2006
erik

I’m glad to hear that it caused you to pray and thank God for his goodness.

I tried to access your site but it did not go thru…i’d be happy to help in any way that i can.

::erik

25 10 2006
Jane

Hi Erik,

I came upon your blog a couple of weeks ago and have been reading ever since. It’s very interesting and I’ve enjoyed it a lot; thanks for taking time to write.

I especially wanted to reply to this entry as I have been struggling for the past several months with assurance of my salvation. I grew up in an Armenian/slightly charismatic home and was given an argument for Calvinism about two and a half years ago. It’s the first reasonable argument I’ve heard and it made sense to me; enough that I believe it.

However, to come from a background where I choose God to a place where He chooses me and I can do nothing to cause Him to choose me…well, that’s sometimes hard to grasp. Don’t get me wrong…I believe it but it makes me question my salvation.

There are other areas of my life that make me question my salvation as well. It seems as if all of my life I’ve been trying to create zeal for God. It’s impossible for me to study (I don’t feel like I know how) and many times I have no desire to do so. I often have a terrible attitude and simply don’t care. During worship services my mind constantly wanders. There are tons of things that contribute to me believing I’m not a Christian. I feel like I am the worst person I know, not necessarily because of the things I do but definitely because of the things I think.

And that REALLY upsets and scares me. My husband is a very strong Christian and has been trying to encourage me, saying I would not have these thoughts if God hadn’t elected me. I sometimes wonder though, if I am most scared becuase I would be separated from my husband. I know this is terrible and a huge injustice to God but…I don’t know what else to think.

I keep trying to belive that I just don’t completely understand my sin and how bad it is, or God’s grace and justice and that maybe if I just understood one more thing then…well, I would be saved. But then that isn’t consistent with the argument for Calvinism. I’m not sure.

My husband and I have been considering counseling in the church but I am afraid of condemnation.

I would certainly appreciate your thoughts on this. Hopefully it’s clear enough for you to understand but I’m so confused lately…it makes sense to me if you don’t.

– Jane

25 10 2006
erik

Hi Jane,

Thanks for reading, i do hope it is encouraging. There are so many aspects to your questions here. I want to lovingly refer you to your husband as your spiritual leader and the one who is accountable for his own work/leadership in your life (Eph. 5.24-30). If you are in Omaha (or nearby or able to come) you guys are invited to come to church and talk and go from there (not sure where you guys are) but we’d love to help.

As far as a couple of quick comments on your post:

-1- “been considering counseling in the church but I am afraid of condemnation.” There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8.1). This is the fear of man and is a dangerous tool of the flesh (cf. Rom. 3.18). If you go to a biblical church then counseling is a great idea!
-2- Read the book of 1 John; it is written for the purpose of distinquishing true and false faith.
-3- Try not to get caught up in theological systems ( i.e. Calvinism, Arminism, Charismatics…etc) but instead be caught up in being biblical.
-4- The faith comes through the word…(Rom. 10.17; Jn. 17.17) read it!!
-5- I will pray for you both.

25 10 2006
bygrace

Jane,
Thank you for your transparency. It just so happens that my son told me the same things this morning. I encouraged him with many scriptures and a song. Let me tell you what I shared with him.

First, test your salvation to see if you are of the faith. 2 Cor 13:5. If you are a Christian it is biblical to test yourself and question your sin. It really could be that you see your sin for the disgusting nature it is, hate it and wonder how on earth you could actually love God. Of course, your hunches may also be right…you may not have Jesus.

Second, we see that those who love God love His word. It is sprinkled throughout the Bible, but let us focus on Psalm 1:2. The blessed man’s delight is in the law of the Lord and in HIS law he (the blessed man) meditates day and night. If you have been neglecting the word you are like a person who doesn’t eat healthy food. He won’t crave it or understand its goodness. Get yourself in the Word…perhaps you will start craving it and through it, the Word, God can make your salvation clear.

Since you do not know how to do devotions let me make a suggestion. Start in 1john, or perhaps James or John. 1.) read on chapter every day 2.) Do a CRAM** on a section of the verses each day 3.) Commit to memorizing or meditating on these sections every day.
How do you do 2 &3? CRAM – C stands for Character and Truth of God. Observe what this section tells you about the Character and Truth of God. R – Responsibility – what is your responsibility with this reality? A – Attitudes and Actions what attitudes and actions do you need to change and repent of in light of the first two. M – Meditation on an index card write a brief note as to the first 3 to jog your memory throughout the day. Keep it in your pocket and when your mind starts thinking on fleeting this STOP and meditate on that which is eternal. Use this note card to help you. Perhaps you write the memory verse too. Keep your Bible open on the counter and do not neglect it any longer. It is the food for a Christian’s soul.

Lastly, pray. Do not neglect prayer. It’s so easy to forget or to simply rely on ourselves. Remember that when we do not pray we are declaring our on sufficiency, and independence when God wants us to be dependant and HE is sufficient.

One last thing, I sort hit it a few lines ago but let me have a thorough go at it…you said your mind wonders. TAKE your thoughts CAPTIVE to the glory and Praise of God. 2 Cor 10:5. Keep that not card on you and when your mind starts wondering take it out, if you’re in church, tell yourself “The fruit of the spirit is self control”. The mind is a spiritual battleground too.

Here is the song I shared with my son:
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Listen Jane, if you are in Omaha, come on out to Omaha Bible Church. Let me know you’re coming through this post and I will meet you in the entryway on Sunday. I hope this has been helpful.

26 10 2006
Jane

Erik and bygrace,

Thank you for your responses. I’ll admit I was nervous when I wrote but it was encouraging to hear that bygrace had just encountered this same question. I’m glad I did comment.

My husband and I talked about these things last night. Though we don’t live nearby (actually, small town New Mexico…VERY close to Arizona and VERY close to Mexico…how much further away could we be? : ), we did look up the website for Omaha Bible Church. it is encouraging to see online sermons. We haven’t listened to them yet but we are looking at a couple to listen to and discuss this weekend.

Like I said, we do attend a good church – one that is driven to study and keep God’s word. What I said about fearing condemnation (and yes…that would be the fear of man…thanks for pointing that out) came about because of speaking will a few other well intentioned (but innacurate and not-so-gentle) believers that attend with us – not from the church leadership. We’re still discussing counseling but I’m sure we’ll talk to someone about it. This has been a come-and-go issue for most of our marriage (only 2 years but it seems like long enought to struggle with this) and my husband (poor guy!) is so dedicated to getting through this with me but I think I have left him at a loss for what to say more than a few times. I know he would appreciate talking to one of the church leaders.

Also, I think we will begin studying in 1 John tonight (as that was the recommendation from both of you). The CRAM thing looks pretty simple. Thanks so much! I suppose I’ve just tried a few things and failed at studying (or simply not understood what I thought I should have) and come to complete frustration. It will be good to start with something basic like that. And, of course, it is always good to be reminded of the basic responsibilities I have…to read and not neglect the word or prayer. I certainly appreciate it.

Again, thatnk you for your thoughts on this matter. It is encouraging to be reminded by other believers that it is good to examine ourselves to be sure we are in the faith and we appreciate your prayers as we begin this process.

Thanks (and keep writing eirk),

Jane

26 10 2006
bygrace

Jane,
Awesome! I will pray for you and your husband now and as the Lord brings you to mind. You can do it in Him!

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