Philippians 3:8-9 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
Romans 10:9-10 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
A couple of years ago, I received a phone call out of the blue offering me a part time position as an in home assessment nurse practitioner. I wasn’t interested in another job. I already had (have) a full time clinic job that keeps me hopping all day long, and I have reached a point in life that I’d rather be home with family than out chasing the dollar. Yet the call nagged at me for a while, and I prayed about it and talked to my husband who suggested that I at least hear them out. I know that God knows just what I need in life, and when something falls in my lap that I wasn’t looking for, I have to question whether or not this was something from God that He knew I needed. I ended up accepting the position, and I truly love it. We had a hiatus from in home visits last year due to COVID, but I am back to seeing patients in their homes once a week and am loving it. I actually get to minister to patients from all walks of life, and it has been a blessing to me.
Two years ago, I entered the home of a heroin addict. I don’t think I have ever knowingly been in the home of a heroin addict prior to this or since. As I completed his health assessment, I’m pretty sure that a drug deal went down while I was there. I was well outside of my comfort zone. Oh yes, I was praying, and I also had the comfort of knowing that my husband was right outside in the vehicle waiting for me. This guy was scary. He was tattooed and scarred, but his scars were not merely on the outside of his body. His scars were deep inside the very core of his being. He talked very candidly and openly with me. He shared his heart. He didn’t hold anything back. He had stored away a whole lot of evil and hatred in his heart, and as I listened to the words, it was almost frightening. He was hurting badly. He didn’t want to be on drugs, but he didn’t know the way out. He had tried and failed rehab more than once, but he couldn’t find his way out of the darkness. He couldn’t see the light.
I listened to him intently, and after he had finished sharing his story, I asked permission to share my heart with him. I told him that I recognized that he was in a very dark place, and that I wanted him to come out of that darkness and see the Light. I tried to show him that the Light can be found in even the darkest of places. I shared my faith with him. I told him that I truly believe with 100% of my being that any addiction, any problem, and circumstance could be overcome if we only give Jesus full control. He told me that I was wrong. He informed me that his grandfather had told him that he could never become a Christian because he had hate in his heart. Oh y’all, he really had some hate in his heart…so much hate. He truly believed that he was lost forever because of the sins of his past and the hatred that he was holding on to.
As believers in Christ, we really need to make sure that the message that we are sharing with this lost and dying world is a message of truth. This man’s grandfather was wrong. If he were right, we would all be lost. Scripture is clear. If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. We only need to openly declare that Jesus is Lord of our heart and believe that He was resurrected to be saved. This makes us right with God. Jesus was the propitiation for our sins. He paid the price so that we don’t have to. I don’t think I was able to change this man’s mind, but I know that I at least planted a seed that day. I pray that someone waters that seed.
I don’t know where your heart is today. You may feel you have strayed too far from Christ. You may feel that your sin is too big to be forgiven. You may feel that you aren’t worthy. The fact is NO ONE is worthy of salvation. No one is worthy of God’s grace and mercy, but God took care of our unworthiness when He sent His Son to be the sacrificial Lamb. Jesus made us righteous. We only need to accept that tremendously amazing gift that keeps on giving. No matter how many steps or even miles you’ve traveled away from Christ, it only takes one step to get back to Him! Don’t turn away from God’s grace and mercy. We are not good enough, but HE IS!