Born again, again

It happened again. You know, that thing.

I don’t know what it is for you, but for me it’s always that one thing which seems to be the measure of my faith. If I do this thing, or don’t do that thing, then I know I’m a Christian. I know I’m saved.

But I failed again. I did that act or thought that thought or didn’t do that thing I was supposed to do.

And so, I know I must again pray:

Dear God, forgive me.
I’m sorry for failing you.
Help me not do do it again, please be near me now

Amen

I’ve memorised several of these prayers and I cycle them round each time I fail God. I pray them fairly often. I come to Christ to be forgiven and receive new birth, again.

What about you? I spend vast amounts of my time feeling like a failure, failing God, failing the expectations of others and failing my expectations of myself.

I just don’t want to do that one thing anymore!

Yet, have I made this the measure of my salvation? For me, honestly, this becomes a cycle of hurt and shame. Because when I do, or don’t do, that thing, I feel less saved.

Today I did that thing. And it hurts. So much.

I’m getting quite bored with the prayer I pray each time. Bored of feeling like a failure, bored of being something disgraceful.

Disgraced, out of grace, unsaved. Thats how I acted.

But that’s not the reality. Salvation does not depend on my works. So my moral failures do not make me less saved. God’s plan is just as much in action when I am successful as when I am a failure.

I have a really hard time believing that. Though I thought I had it nailed. The concept is simple enough – Human beings can’t do anything to earn God’s love. Simple. But to my mind, it is tempting to add a disclaimer: Unless Ian can control himself, God will not love him.

Do you do that, too?

Do you forget that salvation does not depend on you?

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”

Ephesians 2:8

Escape, then, your endless cycle. Stop trying to save yourself with shallow prayers and superficial repentance. Ask God for the gift, the gift of salvation. I know I will. What else can I do? Nothing else works.

I’m going to ask God to again show me salvation. I’m going to ask God to save me. I’m not going to manufacture repentance, nor feign sorrow for my sin.

I’ll confess this, though. I’m a little scared by what might happen.

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4 Comments

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  1. Ian, I love that short verse. for by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of god. Amazing words, sounds very similar to a great memory verse.

    My mum, says I must start reading the bible more, if I going to become really good friends, with you lot. She has said I shuld start with John, then Mark, then perhaps Luke. Wuld you have any other good suggestions of nice books to read in the bible. For instance, are there many courageous books in the bible, I know about David and Goliath, but I think I am a bit ignorant with the bible otherwise.

    This is a very interesting website.

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    • You don’t have to read the bible to be friends with us at cliff! But it is a good idea to read it. I use a year reading plan for the whole bible, but there are reading plans to get through the New Testament in a year.

      I’d suggest starting with the Gospels.

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  2. I SO hear you Ian!!

    And thru this heartfelt cry I also hear God too.

    Thank you for your blatant honesty and admission that you grapple with the reality of what it is to walk BY faith, IN grace and WITH Christ!

    Bless you big time guy!
    KA xx

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  3. Thanx Ian, I am glad you have said that, don’t know what my mum was thinking really. Hope to see you at Pharoah to Freedom on Saturday, from 12, it’ll be really great to see you!!!

    From Poppy. XX.

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