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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

"What Are You Saved From?"

Recently, I had a conversation with a good friend about the timing of salvation. I came to Jesus for the first time at the age of 27. I occasionaly mourn for those lost years and wonder why He allowed me to wait so long. By then, I had so much to be saved from that I had no idea where He might begin with me. In brief moments of self-pity I might ask, "God, why did you let me go through so much - if You had just reached me earlier... Just think of all I could have done for You..."

My friend's salvation experience was opposite. She grew up knowing Jesus and was saved as a young girl. Most of my Christian friends have been Christians all their lives and many have shared the same thing with me: they wonder why God called them to Him before they had a chance to accumulate some baggage - before they could develop the future opportunity to look back and say, "oh, let me tell you what Jesus saved me from."

The thing that fascinates me is that God's timing truly is perfect. I don't think my friends or I would really want to change the way God has worked in our individual lives - but it does make for interesting conversation. I said to one of my friends once, "but what if I had died before I turned 27 and had not yet been saved." She said, "But you didn't because God had already chosen you, and He had a work planned for you that started with you being 27 when you came to know Jesus." Those of you who were saved young touched people for God at a young age - people you don't even know you touched.

I read a book about a year ago called, Room of Marvels, by James Bryan Smith. It's sort of a supernatural book about a man who visits Heaven while he's still alive. When he gets there he visits his house that his Father prepared for him and the first thing he sees in his house is a wall filled with tiny 1" pictures. Some are people he recognizes and others are not. He realizes he can touch each picture and the person on it speaks to him about how he shared the love of Jesus with them in some way - some are big like sharing the gospel and some are small like giving a lady a $5 bill she dropped instead of keeping it for himself (these may not be exact examples from the book - they are my interpretation).

The book made me wonder how many pictures my wall might have, but I know that God already knows. There are specific people God wants each of us to touch for Him and He provides us with our salvation at just the right time - whether we are 7, 27, 57, or 87.

Our conversation made me think of one more thing: What was I saved from? What did my salvation convict me of and what do I work on through the process of sanctification each and every day? I often tell my kids as I bury my throbbing head in my hands, "haven't we already talked about this - didn't I just tell you not to do this, again - do we really have to go through this every single day." I comically think of God looking down at me saying the same thing many days.

I love this quote from Leonard Ravenhill in The Heart of the Matter (the video link I sent you in my "Have you Rewarded Jesus Today" post. I'll try to add the link to my sidebar, but you can go to the post for now to watch it:

"If I was to ask you tonight,
'were you saved?'
Do you say, 'Yes, I'm saved.'
When?
'Oh, so and so preached, I got baptised and...'
Are you saved? What are you saved from... Hell?
Are you saved from bitterness?
Are you saved from lust?
Are you saved from cheating?
Are you saved from lying?
Are you saved from bad manners?
Are you saved from rebelling against your parents?
Come on, what are you saved from?"

Are you saved tonight? What are you saved from?


2 comments :

  1. Barbara J. Robinson said...

    Beautiful post. Jesus saved me from sooo much. I had hte opportunity to accumulate baggage. I can look back now and see patterns.

  2. Melissa said...

    No matter at what age we come to Christ, we still sin and carry the effects of it (the baggage). I am a walking testament to that! Lies I told, people I hurt, being a bad witness in front of unsaved coworkers, being a stumbling block to those who were saved...I could go on. Yet, Jesus reminded me that I became his at the age of 5 and that He was not done with me yet. The even neater thing is that He uses me because of and in spite of my sin. He truly does work all things together for good.