I'm not saved because I feel good. I feel good because I'm saved.
I'm not saved because I'm different than who I used to be. I'm different because I'm saved.
I'm not saved because I'm convicted. I'm convicted because I'm saved.
I'm not saved because my prayers are answered. My prayers are answered because I'm saved.
I'm not saved because I can hear the Holy Spirit speak through His Word. I hear Him because I'm saved.
I'm not saved because I no longer smoke, drink, cuss, or anything else you might have seen me do back in the day. That ended because I'm saved.
I'm not saved because I got baptized. I got baptized to share that I'm saved.
I'm not saved because I go to church. I have a desire to go because I'm saved.
I'm not saved because I walk in the Spirit. I walk in the Spirit because I'm saved.
I'm not saved by any works. I work now because I'm saved.
You know what I am saved by, though??
Jesus. I was a self righteous, self reformed, do good person before I met Him. I thought that walking in the Spirit meant you were saved and walking in the flesh meant you were lost. I thought that being a Christian was an attitude you put on one day just because you felt like it. I did good and that meant I was saved. Only I wasn't. It was a huge misunderstanding that thankfully the Lord set straight for me and I was able to accept His free gift of salvation in 2010. That was a decision that simply depended on me for one thing - making the choice to accept Him. I needed to realize I was a sinner and that my good deeds weren't going to keep me out of Hell, that I needed Jesus. All I had to do was touch Him. He paid the rest of my price on Calvary and defeated death by raising from the grave on the 3rd day.
I'm saved by the blood of Jesus. He began the work in my heart on the night I accepted Him and changed my life forever. There are many things about me that are not the same, but I can say it's all a result of that time. I couldn't have done it without Him. God truly is the difference between the religious life and true salvation. As the apostle Paul said, I am what I am by the grace of God. I still have many flaws, many things to overcome, but I can say I know I'll get there with my Lord who promised to finish the good work in me! And I know that anything you see in me today, it's all because of that moment when I trusted Him. And when I stand before Him ... I'll know that I can say that my name being written in the book of life is because of what He did. I just had to accept Him.