Saturday, May 19, 2007

Everyday Salvation

This morning I've been reading Grace-Based Parenting, by Tim Kimmel. Mandy stumbled onto this book about a month ago, and is about half-way through, so I decided to start it this morning. It's spurred a lot of thoughts in me, and I decided that one of them might be worth blogging about. One of the chapters is on secure love. The premise of the chapter is that we need to love our children as God loves His children.

The author tells the story of being at a hotel for breakfast one morning when he spotted a mom with an infant and a four-year old boy. The boy was excited because there was an "all you can eat" buffet. When the waitress came to take their order, the mom said that she and her husband, who was on the way down from his room, would take the buffet, but the little boy was going to have cornflakes. You can imagine that the little boy was less than thrilled by this declaration. When the dad came down, and saw his son crying, he convinced the mom that since they were on vacation, they should let him have the buffet. She reluctantly agreed.

The little boy took a little of everything, including things that he normally wouldn't have tried...but this was vacation, and this was a buffet! When he sat back down, his mother scolded him for getting so much food, or more importantly, so much unhealthy food. The author points out that at this moment the little boy's countenance fell and his joy left him.

So what does this story have to do with the title of this post, "Everyday Salvation?" As I was reading this story, I thought back to the passage that Jason taught from a couple of weeks ago. Matthew 13 is the parable of the sower. You can read it here if you'd like.

We've all been like this mom, whether it was with a child, a spouse, or a friend. We've allowed, as Jesus puts it, "the worries of this life" to choke out the word. I don't believe that Jesus was referring just to the first time we hear the gospel, or even the first time we accept the gospel and put our trust in Christ. I believe that salvation comes everyday. In other words, the seeding of the gospel into our lives takes place everyday. The question is, "What is our soil like?"

On days when I am impatient, unloving, bitter, frustrated, unpleasant (the list can go on and on) - is it because my heart (my soil) has not been in a place to receive from God?

If so, then how do I prevent that from happening tomorrow?

First, I need to be aware that God longs to have a daily, intimate relationship with me. He didn't create me, save me, and then put things on auto-pilot. His desire is to commune with me daily. His desire is to plant the seeds of the gospel into me on a daily basis. Let's remind ourselves of that truth.

Second, I need to confess my sins. I need to be in a place where I can receive everything that God has for me.

Third, I need to have faith that God can change me, that He can change my heart. I need to believe that the gospel can make me into a different person - a more loving person, a more patient person, a person with self-control (for the rest of this list, read this passage).

Here’s the good news in all of this. When the gospel finds good soil, it produces a crop, up to 100 times what was sown.

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