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Just because I’m convicted,  that doesn’t make me a convict.

EPH 1:5-6 ESV
He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved.

Yes,  conviction is good. Without it,  we wouldn’t see the chains hanging from our arms that need to be cast off – even more importantly,  we wouldn’t see that the prison walls have fallen, and that we have been set free.

Without conviction, one is blind and still trapped in their prison of sin and death.

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Are we foolish enough to think we are His if we are not receiving His guidance and correction – or even worse if we are aware of it and still actively rebelling against God?

No, we can’t earn our way into heaven by the works of our life – but we sure can prove that we are on our way to death and destruction by the way that we choose to live each day.

Doesn’t this “freedom” and what we do with it speak louder in our actions than our words about the state of our heart and about either a softened heart with Christ alive inside or a hardened heart empty of love?

If I use this free gift of grace to still chase after sin, do I know grace at all,  or have I just bought snake oil from the traveling medicine man?

We were bought with a price.

Yes,  we were bought with a life,  paid for with blood and suffering.

A high price was paid.

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Do we believe that?

Do we remember that today?

Have we heard it so many times that we have become numb to it? Have our hearts grown cold and hard?

If we remember, don’t we have much reason for celebration?

Aren’t our lives purchased for a reason?

Isn’t that for us to walk in His will, to praise His glory, and to share with others this great Truth of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

My actions speak volumes louder than my words. And I find mistakes in both daily. If you are looking for perfection, don’t look at me,  look to the cross,  look to Jesus Christ. My shortcomings each day are a humbling reminder that I am but a child reaching forth my hand to follow in my Father’s footsteps.

But even a child can slay giants when God the Father is with him in Spirit,  so don’t think that because we are children that we are without power. I may not walk under my own power, but the power that raised Christ from the dead, the Holy Spirit of Christ who lives in me is stronger than any foe that I might face today.

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My problem is that I get distracted,  and I forget who I am,  and who I have with me. I may be weak,  but He is strong. And even though I am just a child,  He is teaching me,  He is growing me, I am beginning to reflect the glory of my risen Savior,  Jesus Christ.

But don’t mistake any of this light as being from me, He deserves the praise for that, He is my teacher and any crumbs that I drop along the way are not my bread,  but His.

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And understand my shortcomings – whether it be in my pitiful example of a life lived for Christ or whether it be my lackluster and unskilled delivery of His message – that these are mine because I get in the way of His work so often. I have tarnished my witness with the decisions and life that I lived before I believed,  and there is so much work that He still is accomplishing in my life.

So you will find misspelled words and mistakes in my written message at times. You will hear misspoken words at times. You will see missteps even in my actions at times. You might even witness my emotions getting the best of me at times.

I am not yet a perfected vessel, but I am a vessel.  And I’m no longer empty,  and I’m not a vessel headed to destruction – but I’m being remolded and equipped and used for His purpose,  for His will,  for His glory, for His honor,  and for His praise.

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That is what being a follower of Christ is about. It is more about Him and less about me.

Don’t buy the snake oil, thinking that it is just a get out of hell ticket bought with a prayer.

Don’t buy the snake oil,  thinking that you are earning rewards and favor with what you are doing with your life – because if YOU are doing it,  it is worthless,  it is only when HE is working through you that our lives are fulfilling His will.  No amount of our own striving can earn us anything in His eyes.

Don’t buy the snake oil,  thinking that Sundays are enough,  or that 10 percent is enough – know that a fully surrendered life is the measure,  because it reflects the state of our heart. And it is our heart,  not just our words,  and not just our actions, that speaks the truth about who we are.

So who are you?

What does your heart say today?

Proverbs 4:23-27 ESV
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life. 
Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.  
Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.  
Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.  
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.

So are you living the life sentence that you’ve been convicted to,  friend?

Do you know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior over your life,  over your whole life,  not just 10 percent?

Are you surrendered?

Are you convicted to LIFE?

Or are you still trapped in DEATH?

Awake, arise, children of God. YOU are predestined for adoption into the family of God.