Pushing or Pulled?
Theme of the Week: What We're Saved From
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.
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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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