The Gift

March 25, 2009
by Anne Russell

2 Corinthians 4:18 – So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (NIV)

A number of years ago while attending a course, I was confronted with the assignment of writing out a testimony about my life as a Christian, and telling when I was saved.

I began to write my testimony, but when I came to the question about when I was saved, there was a long pause, like a couple of days.

It was at a time in my life when I first began to write for the Daily. As it turned out, I had submitted a devotional, and the editor responded with this question: "Why don't you tell about the time you received Jesus?"

Wow! A double whammy! When was I saved? When did I receive Jesus?

It reminded me of "doubt as a companion of faith" — "I believe, help my unbelief." (Mark 9:24 NRSV)

It was then that I began to remember and acknowledge previous encounters I had had with God, and the times when I used to listen to Billy Graham's radio broadcasts. I had prayed the "Sinner's Prayer", but it had been so long before, and I didn't realize its significance at the time. But it was at that time, when I surrendered my heart to Jesus and His Holy Spirit and received Him and His forgiveness, that I could first say, "I am saved." It took years, a simple question, and a whole lot of soul-searching to realize what had happened, way back then.

Because of this time of wrestling with God, I think that it is good to be challenged (as I was) to give thought to one's own beliefs and to surrender all to God through Christ who saves us.

This led me to wondering how many people read these devotionals, go to church, and still lack assurance of their relationship with God. I know that it bothers some people to hear someone talk about "being saved" and knowing for certain that they are headed to heaven. But God intends for us to be sure.

1 John 5:13 – I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (NIV)

Romans 10:9-11 – That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." (NIV)

When it comes right down to it, once we have accepted Jesus into our hearts, we are justified and sealed by the Holy Spirit, and our names are written down in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we humbly come before You, confessing our love for You and for those who struggle with their salvation. We know that salvation is not an emotion, but rather it is the gift of Your grace to us. May many pray today that simple prayer, asking Jesus' forgiveness and inviting Him into our hearts. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

About the author:

Anne Russell <annerussell80@gmail.com>
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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