Confrontation. Conviction. Conversion. (Part I of II)
A young Christian mother was explaining to her five-year-old son that there would come a time when he would be old enough to truly understand what Jesus is saying in the Bible, take that understanding deep into his heart and his life would change forever.
“Mommy,” the young boy asked, “Is Jesus in your heart?”
“Yes, He is,” the mother replied.
Leaning over and putting an ear on his mother’s chest and listening for a few seconds, the boy said, “I hear Jesus and I think He is making coffee!”
Jesus is the point of it all.
• Not the job.
• Not the money.
• Not the ambition.
• Not the politics.
• Not the economics.
• Not even the family.
Only Jesus Christ is the point of it all. And this young mother explained to her five-year-old concisely and clearly how Jesus becomes the point of it all for you and for me.
Confrontation – When we are old enough and mature enough, God’s Word will be understandable and comprehensible and Godly right and wrong will speak forcefully to our hearts. This may cause a spiritual battle within our lives as we choose how to live life. Matthew 10:34, . . . I came not to send peace, but a sword. This spiritual confrontation with the Truth of Christ may last for years if we try to be a “cafeteria Christian” by believing the words of Christ but picking and choosing which words we will obey. When Christ confronts you with His truth, it’s all or nothing.
Conviction – Conviction is when we, deep in our hearts, accept and believe in all of Holy Scripture and we realize how futile and foolish it is to live life without God. Conviction is admitting to ourselves that living apart from God and scripture is hurting ourselves, others and it is all so unnecessary.
Conversion – Because of spiritual confrontation and conviction, of the Truth of Christ, we see ourselves as we truly are and we want to be changed, to be Christlike in all we say and do; because of conversion, we will want to be of service to Christ. So we “convert” our lives from a self-centered life to a Christ-centered life.
In the story of the Apostle Paul, these three spiritual elements are part of his coming to Christ.
Acts 9: 1 & 2, …Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the WAY, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. Just like so many who do not personally and intimately
Just like so many who do not personally and intimately know and worship Christ, Saul possessed a fierce anger and wrath against Christ and His followers. Saul actually hunted down and slaughtered Christians – women as well as men.
This anger and hatred toward Christ separated Saul from Christ and His TRUTH, preventing Saul from surrendering his heart and life to the Gospel. Like Saul, what issue or emotion spiritually isolates you and holds you back from giving your all to the Lord of lords and King of kings?
Next time: Confrontation, conviction, and conversion in the life of Saul (Paul), considered, in the conclusion to Confrontation. Conviction. Conversion.
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Chris Voss is a pastor at First Christian Church, 317 S. Main, Donna.