Today in church my pastor preached the gospel during the service to prepare us for communion. When he was wrapping up the message he addressed the fact that God comes to you and softens your heart you can't just pick when you want to accept His gift and expect the Lord to come sprinting into your life when you say the time is right. No, This way of thinking is completely backwards - it is human nature to reject God and the gift he offers through the death of His Son, the only reason one might come to accept this gift is because the Lord came to them, softened their heart, and worked a miracle in their lives. The person themselves did nothing but the very desire to accept God's gift of eternal life with Him was brought into the person's mind by God's own doing. After this statement was made my pastor went on to talk about how the mindset that you can accept God and His gift later - after high school, after marriage, after retirement, whichever you choose, is entirely presumptuous because we are not all guaranteed time or a later.
The thought of a future that wasn't guaranteed really helped me to realize that it was about time I took action and turned my life around. Even though I am a christian I still wasn't trying my absolute hardest to walk the walk. James 2:16-18 says:
"16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do."
For this reason God has convicted my heart to the works that I've been doing and given me the desire too "shape up." In order to do this I created a contract that I'm going to read each morning and consciously make the decision to "sign" the contract with my Lord and Savior so that I can have a constant reminder of what God wants to see in my life.
::CONTRACT WITH MY SAVIOR::
1. I will strive to do ALL things to bring You more glory.
2. I will put the "me" in life to rest and instead fill up my being with You by doing things to benefit You.
3. I will fill my life with excellence so that there isn't any room left for evil to lurk and tempt me. (Philippians 4:7-8)
4. I won't hide my faith or deny Your name, but instead I'll pronounce my love for You for all to see which will hopefully result in more people coming to know Your love for them.
5. I will spend intimate time with You daily so that I can get to know my soon to be best friend in a deeper and more personal level.
6. I will give my whole life to You rather than keeping bits and pieces to myself for me to control.
7. I will love my neighbor as myself and work hard on not judging people as man sees them but instead as souls and people that can possibly come to know You and live with You for eternity.
8. Instead of living for this world I will strive to live for You and my future home on the New Earth.
*This contract is flexible and subject to additions in order to further my relationship with Christ and to live the life He wants me to. Without God's help none of these things would be possible so each day I shall look to God for strength and support in order to do my very best to be the person God wants me to be and to be set apart from this world. The purpose of this contract isn't to make rules and punish myself for failing (because I do know I'll make mistakes) but instead it is supposed to be a daily reminder to myself to show me what exactly it is that I'm Living For.
Thank you Lord for bringing this conviction on my heart and I pray that with Your help I can become the Christ Follower that You want me to be.