The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do as a Christian
was something I’d put off for most of my adult life.
which was forgiveness.
A few blogs ago I described the three kinds of
Christians from my perspective:
               Stone-cold,  Luke-warm and On-fire!!
Unfortunately, I’d spent most of my life as the luke-
warm variety.  Then one beautiful autumn afternoon
I guess Jesus just flat-out got tired of waiting for me to
come around on my own, so He arranged a little perso-
nal epiphany for me.   Sort of an “aha” moment, you
could say.
Hubby says the only way he can explain it, is that I
walked upstairs to my office as one person and came
down 30 minutes later as someone totally different.  I
went from being a luke-warm Christian to a sizzling-for
-Christ believer almot overnight!
So what made the difference?   For me, it was forgiveness.
There was someone in my life that I had to forgive for
something pretty awful.    It had happened years ago and
we had been estranged for years.   Forgiveness wasn’t an
option on my end or in my heart because I simply didn’t
believe that this person deserved to be forgiven,   So I
never sincerely made an effort. 
Then, one afternoon, in a heart-to-heart talk with my pastor’s
wife, it was made clear to me, that forgiveness wasn’t about
what someone else deserved —- it was something I needed
to do.  For myself!   
I called myself a Christian, which is supposed to mean
‘Christ-like’, but was I?  Not hardly.    Forgetting is NOT
forgiving and ignoring something doesn’t mean it isn’t there
or that whatever it is will go away.    What it will do is fester,
grow and weigh you down as long as you allow it to.
I listened politely, knowing in my heart that she was right
and then explained that I had tried many times over the years
to forgive with no success at all.   “I simply can’t do it!” I
told her.   To which she replied, “Have you ever asked Jesus to
help you?”    That brought me up short.    I just assumed that
Jesus was waiting for me to get it done.    It never once
occurred to me that I should ask Him to help me do it!  
Well, to make a long story short ( which I’m NOT good at ) I did
ask Him, and then, almost immediately, He did! 
That’s when everything changed!   It was almost as if something
had flipped a switch and a flood of blessings came gushing out
filling my entire soul!   Everything I do now for Jesus started
right then, that minute, that afternoon! 
  *  I started building and launched Dustys Front Porch website —
  *  I joined the prison minisitry bringing story verse to inmates
  *  Began sending out my little thought for the Day emails which
             now go all over the world every weekday morning.
   * Started a yearly crocheting project called Hats for the
              Homeless.
   *  Painting Witness-Wear T-shirts and so much more!
Before that day, I believed in God, went to church, said grace
before meals, prayed at bedtime, etc.   But to actually go out and
speak to people about God?   Go out into the world and work to
bring people closer to Christ?    Share His Gospel?   This chick?
No way!   But now I can’t stop!  
And old pastor friend of mine named Clayton explained it this way:
“Girl, God blessed you from birth with many wonderful gifts!  You’re
a poet, a storyteller, a singer and an Irish colleen with a gift of gab
that won’t wait!    But He was unable to let you use those gifts on His
behalf because you weren’t 100% committed to Him.    Your inability
or unwillingness to forgive was like a wall keeping Him from using
you and your talents the way He wanted to!    He was waiting for
you to give Him what you never had — your whole heart and soul.”
Once I knocked that wall down — it was on — all if a sudden I
couldn’t do enough, fast enough and I haven’t slowed down or looked
back since!   Who would have thought that a single thing like
forgiveness could make such a difference?    But it did!
Look at it this way:     We don’t forgive because someone deserves
be forgiven.    We forgive others because Jesus forgave us!  
Completely, thoroughly and instantly.    
We should be spending our lives here on earth learning to love like He
loved, live like He lived, and becoming as much like Him as we possibly
can.    It’s why we’re here!
Others should see Christ when they look at us!   His love and His light
should pour out of us in such a way that those who don’t know Him
yet, simply can’t wait to figure out what it is we have that they’re
missing out on!
It’s called the Great Commission!   It’s what Jesus commanded His
disciples to do just before He ascended up to Heaven.   Go and tell
the whole world who He is and what He taught us and baptize them
in His name!    He even gave us the Holy Spirit to teach and guide
us.  He even promised that He’d always be with us and never leave us.
If there’s anything in your life that’s preventing you from giving
yourself 100% to Jesus?   Get rid of it today. Whether its forgiveness, 
unconfessed sin, a bad habit, a wrong attitude, whatever
it is, ask Jesus to help you eliminate it.  Tell Him you want to be completely
His and that you want to work for Him.   Accept Him as your Lord
and Savior, then hang on and watch what happens!   He’s been
waiting who knows how long for you to ask……you won’t wait long
for an answer!
Your life will change in ways you never thought possible and you’ll
never regret a single moment!   It won’t be easy, but it will be wonder-
ful as you watch the difference you can make for Jesus!
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