This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:4b-5).

She rested on her deathbed with saddened eyes and asked her clergyman, “How do I know if I’ve been good enough?”

She had believed that Christ was the Son of God, trusted Him for salvation, confessed her hopelessness to absolve her sins, and given her life over to God. Yet, somewhere along the line, she held to a misconception that her good deeds, which were bountiful, measured her worth in God’s eyes rather than her relationship with the Savior.

A second woman lay dying. Although she struggled with the scars from her former life, she never wandered far from God, visiting him daily with her fears and joys. Because of the external blemishes, I experienced angst over where she would rest for eternity. God pinched my disbelief.

“All you see is the imperfection … I see a heart that loves me, and I’m bringing her home to be with me forever.” Peace that passed all understanding shrouded her last moments.

From John’s short epistle, one might assume the early church struggled with that same tendency to measure faith through accomplishment rather than a relationship with God. John reassures believers that those who love God will keep the commandments naturally as an extension of that belief rather than a pursuit of the commandments for the sake of pursuit.

I’m grateful for the lesson God taught me through observing the final hours in the lives of these two women. It is not our puny regimentation in spiritual exercise that enriches our spirituality, but rather a heart that stands ready to receive God, his Goodness, and His offer of salvation.

Linda Wood Rondeau, multi-published and award-winning author, is a veteran social worker. Her books examine the complexities of human relationships. Her blog, Snark and Sensibility, hosts writers of various genres. She manages a Facebook page, Having the Prime of My Life, a positive look at aging issues. Linda resides in Hagerstown with her husband of forty-plus years. Readers may visit her web site at www.lindarondeau.com. Contact the author on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

 

 

 

 

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Subsequent Inspiration by Linda Rondeau

“The remarkable thing about spiritual initiative is that the life and power come after we ‘get up and get going.’ God does not give us overcoming life—He gives us life as we overcome.” — Oswald Chambers

Chambers wrote these words a long time ago. How did he know I’d be so tired today I couldn’t think straight?

How am I supposed to inspire others when I can’t get inspired about what to make for supper?

There are days I think inspiration has permanently left the building.  

I’m a cancer survivor. Chemo and radiation treatments left me with permanent side effects of fatigue and memory loss. I count myself fortunate because I am 100 percent in remission. The side effects pale when I think of the alternative.

However, these drawbacks do impact my daily life. I tend to limit my to-do list according to how I feel when I wake up. That’s not what God wants.

But I don’t feel inspired today, Lord!”

I fail to remember the body eventually falls into sync with the mind. Inspiration is not a prerequisite to productivity.

The get-up-and-go mentality comes after we get up and go.  

This is true in the spiritual realm as well. There are days I don’t really feel inspired to read my Bible. Yet, God inspires me within a few verses after I start. Sometimes I don’t know what to pray. When I begin, God reminds me of what I need to pray about and for whom I need to pray.

God inspires most when I feel the least motivated. All I need to do is trust and start.

Award winning author Linda Wood Rondeau writes to demonstrate our worst past, surrendered to God, becomes our best future. A veteran social worker, Linda resides in Hagerstown, Maryland. Visit her web site www.lindarondeau.com or contact the author on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and Goodreads. 

 

 

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