I was thinking last night,
If someone asked,
How I'd say I know I'm saved,
What my testimony would be.
It's a tough question for me,
Because there are times,
Every now and then,
When I doubt that myself.
But there's so much evidence,
So much that nothing else could ever explain.
I can't use the feelings of my heart as evidence.
"The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately sick;
Who can understand it?"
(Jeremiah 17:9, ESV)
Besides, that desperately sick heart is completely apathetic about as often as it's completely caught up in love and wonder
And spends most of its time just about exactly in the middle of that continuum.
The heart's not good evidence,
And faith is nothing if it's all feeling.
I could say it's my theology,
All that head knowledge,
That search for truth.
The problem there is that head knowledge isn't heart knowledge.
What my head knows, my heart usually doesn't.
(Otherwise I'd be caught up in love and wonder a whole lot more often.)
Besides, I don't even come close to knowing it all.
Faith is nothing if it's always emotionless knowledge.
I've been listening to some Paul Washer lately
(Mixed in with my John Piper).
I seem to recall him saying (I think it was here) that repentance is changing your mind -
Not in the trivial sense of the word, like "I'm going to wear pink instead of blue",
In the sense that everything you believed to be true has changed
The control center for your entire being has changed,
Changed like Saul was changed on the road to Damascus,
Over those next few days -
Changed so much he changed his name.
Everything he once hated because he thought it was completely, utterly false
He now loved because he was convinced,
In the very core of his being,
That it was absolutely true.
If you're saved,
That sin that you once loved
You'll now hate.
There's a problem with that, too.
(No, I'm not about to contradict one of my favorite preachers. Stay with me here.)
The problem is, part of me is still sinful.
The Bible makes it clear that's to be expected.
So how do I know I'm saved if I still sin?
That analytical mind of mine starts to put things together,
And I think maybe I've got it:
I'm going to sin,
But I'm not going to be able to do it for long.
As He works in my heart,
Those things I love, I'll start to hate.
Those things that I used to do all the time, I'll now only do in moderation,
And when I try to do them more often,
I'll find myself unable to keep going like that,
I'll find my soul suffocating.
I'll have no choice but to go back to Him.
I remember that Paul Washer said that, too,
(I think it was here)
That it's not just a narrow gate, but a narrow path,
And if you're truly saved,
God won't let you wander off the path for long.
I wander off that path a lot.
It should be easy to tell,
As much as I write here about my own apathy and lack of love,
But He keeps pulling me back.
He keeps saving me.
Saving . . .
And there's something else there, too,
Something else I listened to not too long ago.
Weeping because God saved him.
And all these people ask him,
"How can you do what you're doing?
What's your motivation?
Is there some Bible verse?"
"He saved me.
That's my secret.
I have nothing.
That's my secret.
You don't understand.
He saved me from what I was.
He saved me.
What else needs to be done to motivate me?
Isn't salvation enough?"
And, remembering that,
The sound of his voice as he said that,
The thought that it ought to be enough combines with the thought that He keeps saving me,
I ought to be undone.
I'm not perfect,
My heart's not what I'd like it to be,
And I can't force myself to genuinely weep over the fact that I don't love God the way I should.
But I want to.
I want to love Him the way I should.
I get out my laptop,
Putting down the captivating books I've been reading
In order to take the time to do what really matters,
Look on Bible Gateway for 1 Samuel,
And start counting 'til I've found way more reasons than I planned on finding and have to make myself stop.
And who He is -
That head knowledge -
It's right there on the screen in front of me,
Oh, so slowly,
It's working its way into my heart.
And I'm glad,
Because I know that I must know Him before I love Him,
That I must know why I ought to be undone before I can be,
And maybe these things He's brought about in the smallest degree in my life
Will be just a little more evident tomorrow,
The day after.
Maybe someday soon I'll be the one weeping.
"He saved me,
He keeps saving me,
And I finally understand what that means.
What more motivation do I need?
Don't you get it?
He saved me!"
6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6 (emphasis added)New International Version (NIV)
(I reached 1,000!!!!!)
- He answers those who do not stop crying out to Him (1 Samuel 7:8-9)
- He answers those who cry out on behalf of their people (1 Samuel 7:9)
- He thunders with loud thunder against His people's enemies (1 Samuel 7:10)
- He throws entire peoples into great panic (1 Samuel 7:10)
- He helps His people (1 Samuel 7:12)
- He gives His people what they ask for, even when it will harm them (1 Samuel 8:10-22)
- He sends men to be anointed as rulers (1 Samuel 9:16)
- He looks on His people (1 Samuel 9:16)
- The cry of His people reaches Him (1 Samuel 9:16)
- He gives leadership to those from the smallest tribe (1 Samuel 9:18-21)
- He gives leadership to those from the least clans in their tribes (1 Samuel 9:18-21)
- He anoints rulers over His inheritance (1 Samuel 10:1)
- He changes one He has chosen into a different person (1 Samuel 10:6)
- He changes people's hearts (1 Samuel 10:9)
- He fulfills the signs He has promised (1 Samuel 10:9)
- His Spirit comes upon people powerfully, and they prophesy (1 Samuel 10:10)
- He delivers His people from the power of all the kingdoms that oppress them (1 Samuel 10:18)
- He chooses those who are unlike any other (1 Samuel 10:23)
- His Spirit comes powerfully upon people, and they burn with anger at injustice (1 Samuel 11:1-6)
- He causes His terror to fall on His people, and they come out together as one (1 Samuel 11:7)
- He is witness (1 Samuel 12:5)
- He appoints leaders and brings His people out of oppression (1 Samuel 12:6)
- He performs righteous acts (1 Samuel 12:7)
- He sends rescuers to those who cry for help (1 Samuel 12:8)
- He brings His people out of oppression and settles them in the home He has chosen for them (1 Samuel 12:8)
- He sells the people who have forgotten Him into the hands of many foreign kings (1 Samuel 12:9)
- He hears the cries of His people, their promises to serve Him if He brings deliverance (1 Samuel 12:10)
- He sends people to deliver those who cried out from the hands of the enemies all around them (1 Samuel 12:11)
- He makes His people to dwell in safety (1 Samuel 12:11)
- He Himself is King (1 Samuel 12:12)
- He is King over His people (1 Samuel 12:12)
- He sets people as kings over His people – people who have cried out and begged for a king (1 Samuel 12:13)
- His hand is against those who do not obey Him (1 Samuel 12:15)
- His hand is against those who rebel against His commands (1 Samuel 12:15)
- He does great things before the eyes of His people (1 Samuel 12:16)
- He sends thunder and rain in the midst of the wheat harvest (1 Samuel 12:17-18)
- He sends thunder and rain when His servant calls on Him to do so (1 Samuel 12:17-18)
- His people stand in awe of Him (1 Samuel 12:18)
- His people stand in awe of how He works through those whom He has chosen (1 Samuel 12:18)
- He causes people to understand how evil their deeds are in His eyes (1 Samuel 12:17-19)
- For the sake of His Great Name, He will not reject His people (1 Samuel 12:22)
- He was pleased to make His people His own (1 Samuel 12:22)
- He has done great things for His people (1 Samuel 12:24)
- He establishes kingdoms over Israel for all time if His kings keep His commandments (1 Samuel 13:13)
- He does not allow kingdoms to endure when kings do not keep the commands He has given them (1 Samuel 13:13-14)
- He seeks out those after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14)
- He appoints those who are after His own heart as rulers of His people (1 Samuel 13:14)
- Nothing can hinder Him from saving, whether by many or by few (1 Samuel 13:6)
- He sends panic (1 Samuel 14:15)
- He strikes entire armies with panic – those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties (1 Samuel 14:15)
- He causes the ground to shake (1 Samuel 14:15)
- He saves His nation (1 Samuel 14:23)
- He punishes nations (1 Samuel 15:2)
- He punishes those who waylaid His people as they came up from Egypt (1 Samuel 15:2)
- He calls for total destruction (1 Samuel 15:3)
- He decides who should be spared and who should be put to death (1 Samuel 15:3)
- He regrets making people king when they do not obey His commandments (1 Samuel 15:11)
- He makes the small head of the tribes of Israel (1 Samuel 15:17)
- He delights in obedience (1 Samuel 15:22)
- He prefers obedience to burnt offerings and sacrifices (1 Samuel 15:22)
- He rejects as king those who reject His word (1 Samuel 15:23)
- He tears the kingdom of Israel from the king who rejects His commands (1 Samuel 15:28)
- He gives the kingdom of Israel from one who does not keep His commands to one better (1 Samuel 15:28)
- He does not lie (1 Samuel 15:29)
- He does not change His mind (1 Samuel 15:29)
- He is not a human being (1 Samuel 15:29)
- He does not consider outward appearance important (1 Samuel 16:7)
- He does not consider physical height important (1 Samuel 16:7)
- He does not look at the things people look at (1 Samuel 16:7)
- He looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7)
- He sends evil spirits to torment people (1 Samuel 16:14)
- He rescues from the paw of the lion (1 Samuel 17:37)
- He rescues from the paw of the bear (1 Samuel 17:37)
- He is the God of the armies of Israel (1 Samuel 17:45)
- He does not save by sword or spear (1 Samuel 17:47)
- The battle is His and His alone (1 Samuel 17:47)
- He departs from people (1 Samuel 18:12)
- He gives great success to those He is with (1 Samuel 18:14)
- He wins great victories for His people (1 Samuel 19:5)
- His Spirit comes even on those who have turned away from Him (1 Samuel 19:23)
- His kindness is unfailing (1 Samuel 20:14)
- He is witness between people forever (1 Samuel 20:23)
- He answers those who inquire (1 Samuel 20:4)
- He protects His servants from those who seek to kill them (1 Samuel 23:14)
- He provides distractions to save His servants (1 Samuel 23:26-28)
- He judges between people (1 Samuel 24:12)
- He avenges wrongs (1 Samuel 24:13)
- He rewards (1 Samuel 24:19)
- He upholds worthy causes (1 Samuel 25:39)
- He puts people into a deep sleep (1 Samuel 26:12)
- He rewards everyone for his or her righteousness (1 Samuel 26:23)
- He rewards everyone for his or her faithfulness (1 Samuel 26:23)
- He departs from people and becomes their enemy (1 Samuel 28:16)
- He does not answer those who do not obey Him (1 Samuel 28:15-18)
- He tells people to go up (2 Samuel 2:1)
- He tells people where to go (2 Samuel 2:1)
- He tells people how to attack (2 Samuel 5:23)
- He goes out before His people to strike their enemies with the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees (2 Samuel 5:24)
- He gives great victories to those who follow His commands (2 Samuel 2:25)
- His anger burns against those who act irreverently (2 Samuel 6:7)
- He strikes down those who act irreverently (2 Samuel 6:7)
- He blesses those who have His ark (2 Samuel 6:11-12)
- He gives rest from enemies (2 Samuel 7:1)
- He has not dwelt in a house (2 Samuel 7:6)
- He moves from place to place (2 Samuel 7:6)
- He does not command His people to build Him a house of cedar (2 Samuel 7:7)
- He takes His servant from the pasture (2 Samuel 7:8)
- He takes His servant from tending the flock (2 Samuel 7:8)
- He appoints His servant ruler over His people Israel (2 Samuel 7:8)
- He is with His servant wherever His servant goes (2 Samuel 7:9)
- He cuts off the enemies of His servant before His servant (2 Samuel 7:9)
- He makes the name of His servant great (2 Samuel 7:9)
- He makes the name of His servant like the names of the greatest men on earth (2 Samuel 7:9)
- He provides a place for His people (2 Samuel 7:10)
- He plants His people so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed (2 Samuel 7:10)
- He keeps wicked people from oppressing His people (2 Samuel 7:10)
- He gives His people rest from all their enemies (2 Samuel 7:11)
- He Himself establishes a house for His servant (2 Samuel 7:11)
- He raises up offspring to succeed His servant as king (2 Samuel 7:12)
- He establishes the kingdom of His servant's offspring (2 Samuel 7:12)
- He determines who will build a house for His Name (2 Samuel 7:13)
- He establishes the throne of the kingdom of the one He has chosen to build a house for His name forever (2 Samuel 7:13)
- He is the father of the one He has chosen to build a house for His name (2 Samuel 7:14)
- He punishes His son when His son does wrong (2 Samuel 7:14)
- He punishes His son who has done wrong with a rod wielded by men (2 Samuel 7:14)
- He punishes His son who has done wrong with floggings inflicted by human hands (2 Samuel 7:14)
- His love will never be taken away from His son (2 Samuel 7:15)
- He causes the house and kingdom of His servant to endure forever before Him (2 Samuel 7:16)
- He establishes the throne of His servant forever (2 Samuel 7:16)
- He brings His servant and His servant's family farther than they deserve (2 Samuel 7:18)
- He speaks about the future of the house of His servant (2 Samuel 7:19)
- He speaks wondrous decrees for mere humans (2 Samuel 7:19)
- He knows His servant (2 Samuel 7:20)
- He does great things for the sake of His Word (2 Samuel 7:21)
- He does great things according to His will (2 Samuel 7:21)
- He does great things and makes them known to His servant (2 Samuel 7:21)
- There is no one like Him (2 Samuel 7:22)
- There is no God but Him (2 Samuel 7:22)
- He went out to redeem His people Israel (2 Samuel 7:23)
- He went out to redeem Israel as a people for Himself (2 Samuel 7:23)
- He went out to redeem one nation on earth (2 Samuel 7:23)
- He went out to make a name for Himself (2 Samuel 7:23)
- He went out to perform great and awesome wonders (2 Samuel 7:23)
- He performed great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods before His people (2 Samuel 7:23)
- He establishes His people Israel as His very own forever (2 Samuel 7:24)
- He has become the God of His people (2 Samuel 7:24)
- He does as He promises so that His name will be great forever (2 Samuel 7:25-26)
- He reveals His plans to His servant (2 Samuel 7:27)
- His covenant is trustworthy (2 Samuel 7:28)
- He has promised good things to His servant (2 Samuel 7:28)
- He has spoken (2 Samuel 7:29)
- With His blessing, the house of His servant will be blessed forever (2 Samuel 7:29)
Counting 10,000 Reasons to worship Him:
<a href="http://maryschieferstein.blogspot.com/search/label/10000%20Reasons" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8zkGH23srZ8/T2i3Bun0O9I/AAAAAAAABSw/8giPvnJmCPI/s320/10000ReasonsButton.jpg" /></a>Counting in community: