Thursday, September 16, 2010
Day 77: You Say Caffe' I say Cafe'
Walking through the local clearance store, Surplus City, I saw this piece on a shelf. My first thought "Ha, ha - they misspelled cafe'", then the second thought was "I guess that's why it's in Surplus City". Well, the jokes on me. I was incorrect and caffe' is the Italian word for coffee. Even though my spell-check is saying that it is a misspelled word it has been trumped by the online definition. I also learned that the word is likely from the region Kaffa in Ethiopia where coffee originated.
So, I can still learn a thing or two when I am wrong. And yes, I can admit when I am wrong. What happened when I discovered I was wrong? I first thought, "This can't be my picture of the day now, I'd better find something else in a hurry." Then my ego had a second thought, yes I need to show that I can be incorrect and learn from that. So there, I was wrong, but I learned from the experience and moved on, having a new bit of knowledge. Useless knowledge, albeit, but new knowledge.
I had to humble myself about 4 years ago to, when God showed me that I had been dangerously incorrect about my salvation. I had always banked on my experience at 8 years old, the preacher doing all of the talking and me doing a lot of head nodding. I didn't even know what sin was at 8, but I did get very good at it a little later in life. I always looked back at that moment as when I got saved, but all I wanted was to be saved from hell because I had heard a scary story about burning in a lake of fire forever. That is part of salvation, but should not be the focal point of salvation.
Christ is the focus of salvation, the cross the centrality, His sacrifice, His goodness, His righteousness, bestowed on me. I do deserve hell for how I did view myself in my sins. I was a good guy in the eyes of the world, and a super guy in my own eyes. I did do some bad stuff here and there, but I was nothing like those other guys that did much worse than I was doing. I was doing okay. That is okay for the next 30 years, mired in the filth of my sin but then God stepped in and opened my eyes to my true state. I had created a god of my own that was more of a senile old man that said "That's okay Jeff, I forgive you, you said the prayer, you took care of it when you were 8." And so goes many other people through life, looking to a moment in time to define their salvation. But true salvation is from far more than just the flames of hell. It is salvation from a sinful life that does not glorify God, it is a life of praise to God, a life of thanks to God, a life of sharing the gospel with others, a life in full submission to Him, His slave because He purchased us with the greatest price.
No where in scripture is salvation talked about in a past tense. Not that you gain salvation through your life, but that we are saved daily by God to walk the path He lays before us. Paul said it like this in 1 Cor. 1:18 "but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" and then again in 2 Cor. 2:15 " For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing." We are continually being saved from hell, from our own sinful desires and from, most of all, denying God in our actions, words and choices. We are being saved from us.
Are you being saved? Do you point to a single moment in time that bares nothing on your eternity? Does a fleeting profession define your salvation or does a life lived dedicated to God? Does living for God come natural to you or is it a burden? Do you think of Christianity as "a lot of rules you have to follow" and burdensome? Is it a joy to fellowship with others or is attending church "optional" in your eyes? Are you being saved daily? Are you repentant about your sins? Is your life a steady climb towards Christ-likeness? If you could still go to heaven without attending one more church service, reading one more verse or saying one more prayer - would you be content with that? Most people really want to go to heaven, they just don't want God to be there when they get there. They want an eternity of living as free as they can, doing what will make them happy and most of all not being in the alternative place. That's all it is, a salvation from from torment. Is that true salvation? Wipe the dust off of your bible and dig in deep to see.