Sunday, November 7, 2010

{Scripture Challenge 2} Challenge #23, Assurance

Challenge Word #23: Assurance

This week I saw a thread online asking how we know that one religion is right and the others are wrong. How do we know that believing in Christ is the only way to eternal life? The thread broke my heart as I read the many different responses but it also made me think that we need to look at this issue. How do we have the assurance that we belong to God? How do we know that He is the only way to have eternal life? This is not a popular subject, and I hesitated even writing about this today. I even tried to work on another word and failed. God keeps bringing me back to this topic so I will obey, and we will see where He takes me.

Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Do you know in your heart that you belong to Him? Do you question whether or not you truly are His? Do you have that assurance? What is assurance? says that assurance is “full confidence; freedom from doubt; certainty.” Are you confident that you belong to God forever?

First, you must believe that the Bible is God’s true word and that it is without error. If you do not believe the Bible is true, how do you pick what is true and what is not? What if you pick and choose what you want to believe, and I pick and choose what I want believe out of God’s Word? Who gives us the authority to do that? No one! And if you believe one part is false, doesn’t that make the entire Bible false? Our assurance is based on the authority of His Word. God Himself has given us the Bible through human writers. It is truthful and authoritative. His Word alone has the power to save. If we don’t believe His entire Word or the power of God, it will lead us to faulty thinking and wrong behavior. John 5:24 says “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” In your heart, do you know His Word is absolute truth?

Second, we must understand that our salvation is not dependent upon works. God’s grace is a gift to us—the utterly undeserving. We don’t deserve to be saved. There is nothing in us that causes us to deserve anything from God. He sent His Son to die for our sins as a gift to us because He loves us not because of anything we have done. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “. . . it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." And Romans 11:6 says “and if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” God as our Creator has the right to say how we come to Him. He has authority over all of His creation—not just some but all! He has an absolute claim on us. Are you trying to assure your way into Heaven through works or do you know with full confidence that His grace is sufficient? 2 Corinthians 12:9a says “My grace is sufficient for you.

We must also understand the truth about sin. Jesus paid the price for my sin and your sin. He has forgiven our sins. The sin debt has been paid through Jesus. This certainly does not mean we don’t continue to sin, and we should strive not to but we all mess up daily. As we sin, we must confess it because we cannot approach a Holy God with unconfessed sin in our lives. I loved this quote from our BSF Teaching Leader “Believers aren’t perfect but are placed in the Perfect One.” Isn’t that wonderful? So do you look different and obey God, or do you look like the world and people cannot see Christ in you because you look like everyone else? Are you picking and choosing what constitutes sin and what does not? Only God’s true Word can tell us how to live, and what is right and what is wrong.

So, if you believe God’s Word is true, you have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, and you know that your salvation is through grace alone, then why might you be feeling like you do not belong to Him? Do you know that Jesus is yours? Maybe Satan is giving you doubts. Ask God to give you that assurance that you are His! He would love to whisper to you “child you are mine”!!!!! You may not know the date of your salvation but that’s okay. Some of us, like me, don’t have that life changing moment that we remember but as we grow in Him our assurance should be evidenced by—

**Obedience to Him—we can’t help but to try to obey Him because we are filled with the Holy Spirit.
**Having a joy for reading His Word and knowing with your whole heart that His Word is true.
**Having a great love and passion for Him.
**Having a great love for others—even when you don’t like someone, the Holy Spirit give us His love for others.
**Feeling the indwelling Holy Spirit guiding you each day.
**Grieving your sin, and asking for forgiveness.

Oh there is so much more that could be shared but this has already gotten so lengthy. Nothing in life is assured but we can be sure of our salvation in Christ! For my page today, I chose this verse:

Hebrews 10:22-23Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful."

I designed my page first by writing out my scripture. Since I knew it was a long one, I needed to write it out, and then design around it. I used lots of distress inks, Basic Grey papers, and the beautiful corner stamp is from Our Daily Bread Designs--the "Let Us Begin" set.
Papers: Basic Grey Oliver, Paper Trey Ink kraft cs
Stamps: Our Daily Bread Designs Let Us Begin
Stamp Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink old paper, peeled paint, and pumice stone, Ranger clear ep
Embellishments: Tim Holtz Journaling tickets, Deluxe Designs chipboard, hand-dyed seam binding, Stickles patina, Hero Arts flowers, Prima flowers, sewing machine

I pray that if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, that you are assured of your salvation and that you belong to Him. If you have not accepted Him, will you make that choice today? Feel free to e-mail me if you have questions. When sharing your page for this challenge be sure to use Keyword SCRC210 when posting in galleries. Also, please leave a link to your creation here using Inlinkz! To see all of our previous lessons, please visit this post here. I will be back with another study on November 21th. Have a blessed week ahead!



Laureen said...

I am glad that you let God bring you back to this Topic. It is something that we all should feel we can discuss. To let God use us to do the work he has for us. I think sometimes we choose to ignore and do some things we know we should not because it is easier to live in the world or think it really isn't that bad, what harm will it do. I have just resently found your blog and am glad I did.
Thank you Patter

Teresa said...

amen and amen. Praise His name and God's insistence on this message.
Not only do we need this message as a reminder of God's grace but in times of trouble we have the calm assurance of His love and grace. Many of us have loved ones who will lose as our dear friend Becca has lost her John. May we all have a burden on our hearts not only for our salvation but that of all we know and love - and most of all for those we don't know. love in Christ,

Anonymous said...

Amen, Sister! God is helping me through a tough issue right now, and the bone-deep assurance of His love and wisdom is helping me a lot. May we each listen for the Holy Spirit to guide us in our choices daily....even paper or ink that will speak love to another! I've begun experimenting with the sewing machine, and need more practice but am enjoying it! Thanks for your strong encouragement in faith and creativity.
Jennifer in Ohio

Anonymous said...

I just recently found your blog as well. I am so amazed how God will lead you if you let him. Thank you for your inspiration and sharing with us. By the way I have been singing Blessed Assurance for two days now. Blessings, Trudy in Illinois

Anne-Marie said...

Thank you for allowing the Lord to speak through you with the words you shared.
Your artwork is so nice.

Grace said...

So glad you listened to His leading and posted what He laid on your heart Pattter! This is so well written and clear and I know He will use it in ways you may never know! God bless you for your willing heart to minister! Love your page... beautifully done!

Jonia said...

What a wonderful word Patter! You listened and were obedient to God's call. Continue to let Him lead you. I hope to be able to do my page this week. God Bless you!

Sandee Shanabrough said...

WOW! Patter this is a beautiful page!!!! Just beautiful!

Nancy said...

Oh Patter! Thank you so much...for so much!! God things are happening! Have I ever enjoyed singing "Blessed Assurance" since this word came up! Brings up many good things for me!
Your page is beautiful and always!...Nancy :o)
(BTW...Your word link list was a bit out of date last time I looked!)

Gwen said...

Patter, thank you for a wonderful, powerful post! This message needs to be spoken. In a culture full of post-modern thinking where people want whatever they think to be their truth...we need more people proclaiming that God is truth and so is His ENTIRE Word!
I am thankful for His assurance that He is my Savior and Lord! (Hope to get my page done soon!)

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