My spiritual life has been rocky, to say the least.
When I was younger, I turned completely away from God and into an opposite direction for a while.
When I returned to Him, I still wasn't the person I could be.
Even now, I am not the model image of "Christian".
I am a sinner.
I am a gossip, a fornicator, a drunkard, and a liar.
I fail, quite often, and I can be quite good at it.
And the beauty of it is:
Christ doesn't see these sins.
When I chose to accept Him, my sins were wiped clean.
I begin each day free and clear.
Salvation is a gift, freely given, of God Himself.
He does not require that we do anything to receive it, other than accept it.
When he sent Christ to die on the cross, it wasn't with conditions or stipulations:
He did not say, "I'll do this, but you have to do something for me first . . ."
Nope. All he wants is for us to accept Him.
Recently I started reading a book called The Ragamuffin Gospel.
This book speaks about Christ in a way I've never heard before.
You see, out of all the holy people in Israel during his life: the pharisees, the rabbis, the sadducees . . . He did not associate himself with them.
Instead, Jesus hung out with the rif-raf.
He dined with prostitutes, tax collectors, thieves, murderers, and the like.
He sat with gossips, fornicators, drunkards, and liars.
Jesus' friends were all, to coin a phrase, ragamuffins.
He knew who needed him most.
He knew who needed salvation most.
Looking at my own life, I realize how big a ragamuffin I am, personally.
I am a sinner, sometimes in the worst way.
I hear a lot of "prosperity preaching", and have even heard some ministers and preachers say: "God has promised you blessings!" "You deserve to be blessed!" This is something that, no matter how hard I try, I just can't adhere to.
We do not deserve blessings. We are human, therefore we are sinners. Sin, according to the bible, is "punishable by death" (Romans 6:23). That punishment was taken by Jesus.
While God does promise blessings for His children, being blessed spiritually and being blessed secularly are two totally different things. God promises SPIRITUAL blessings. He doesn't promise financial, romantic, or any other blessing in that realm. In every scripture I've ever read about blessings, these are never addressed. (There are many of you out there that will disagree with me, and that's okay.)
Accept His Blessing (eternal life) - accept His Love - accept His Sacrifice (Jesus Christ) and you WILL be blessed.
I am His Ragamuffin.