Joy's Pretend Faith
Jesus said unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.
~ John 14:6
I have women who have sent me their testimonies of how God worked in their lives. Some of the stories are very heart wrenching. Joy, a friend of mine was one such person.
She started by telling me that she did not have the privilege to grow up in a Christian home, even though her family was always in church. That seems like an odd statement, but her story may very well be a reflection of many people.
When she was young, her father forced her to do a church ritualistic act, to show that she knew Christ. Joy went on to say, that she had never made a real decision to make Jesus her Lord, Master, and Savior. She was just being obedient to her father.
Years of living a lie put a great strain on Joy. Later in life, after a divorce, she felt as if there was no hope for Christ to ever be a part of her life; a sad misconception. In her misery, Joy began to choose paths that were not healthy. Drinking, drugs and men, were some of the ways Joy used to cope with the pain she was feeling inside. Now she had fallen for the lie that she was beyond all hope of redemption.
Many times we do fall for lies. We think that if we are too bad, we cannot gain Christ, or if we follow all the rules we can have Him. The Bible clearly states in Ephesians, that we cannot work to earn salvation. It also says in Romans, that no one can be so bad that God’s love can’t reach them. God gave us a gift when He gave His one and only Son to be a propitiation for our sins. It is a gift for anyone who chooses to accept it.
Many are lead into a false sense of security by living by a moral code, but the real change comes from within. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” And in Romans 3:10, “There is no one righteous, not even one.” We can’t be good enough to gain the moral standard of God. The only way is by accepting Jesus Christ; a personal inward decision. We know our sinful state, and give it over to Christ. He comes into our heart and soul, and does a house cleaning. Now when God sees us, He does not see filth, but sees the purity of Christ in us. We become His and He becomes ours.
When we hear the message of redemption, the only act we do is acceptance or rejection. Both decisions take faith. No church ritual will reflect the inward condition of the heart.
Joy’s story has a good ending. After received a letter from her mother, telling her that she had just invited Christ into her life, admitting that she had been living a lie of pretend faith, Joy’s heart was stirred. She too eventually made the same decision, to accept Jesus gift of salvation. At that moment, she was forever changed! Now her life is a reflection of her name; Joy!
Joy’s message was clear; “Do away with the outwards appearance of pretend faith. There is nothing you can do to earn Christ. Instead, pray and ask Jesus into your heart. He is the only way, truth and life.”
Dear Savior, Thank you for being our only way to salvation. Amen
~ Jenny Calvert