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Pushing or Pulled?
Theme of the Week: What We're Saved From
Michael Westerfield
Tuesday, May 4, 2004

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Key Bible Verse: So that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:7, NIV). Bonus Reading:Romans 5:6–11, 20–21

As a freshman, I attended a study group in a favorite professor's home. The subject was the path to salvation. Each was to share his view of the journey toward God.

I'd grown up in a home centered on going to church, serving in various ministries, and believing in the justice of God. If I worked hard and stayed fairly distant from sin, I believed, my salvation was assured. But I was frequently discouraged because I lacked the necessary self-control.

So I offered my view that God sat on a mountain, and that our task was to make our way to the top. The journey was difficult, I said, because every time we sin we fall back down the mountain. When that happens, I concluded, we must pick ourselves up, retrace our lost steps, and continue the climb.

My professor asked me to consider a different view: If I must put God on a mountain, I should understand that God has placed a rope of grace around me to pull me toward Him. That alteration to the metaphor brought immediate change to my life. I realized that my salvation was a gift, providing all the motivation I needed to serve a loving God. Discouragement gave way to joy. Defeat turned to victory.

—Michael Westerfield in College Faith

My Response: How do I view the path to salvation? Do I need to alter that view?

Thought to Apply: Repentance is the process by which we see ourselves as we really are: sinful, needy, dependent people.

—Charles Colson (Prison Fellowship founder)

Adapted from College Faith: 150 Christian Leaders and Educators Share Faith Stories from Their Student Days (Andrews Univ. Press, 2002) by permission.

Prayer for the Week
God, You sent Your Son because mankind needed rescuing. I'm ready to admit that I'm no exception, and ask You to take charge of my life.

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