Today was a story about Sam Jones (click here to read more) and his conversion. Sam was an alcoholic. But he had godly parents who prayed for him. When his father was on his deathbed Sam promised he'd meet him and his mother in Heaven.
"I went to the bar and begged for a glass of liquor and looked in the mirror. I saw my hair matted, the filth and vomit on my clothes, one of my eyes closed, and my lips swollen. I said, 'Is that all that is left of the proud and brilliant lawyer, Sam Jones?' I smashed the glass on the floor, fell to my knees and cried, 'Oh God! Oh God, have mercy!' The bartender ran to my side and thought I was dying. I staggered to my cheap rooming house and asked for black coffee. I went through three days and nights of hell, but when the morning came, something happened to old Sam Jones. I went to the clothing store and said, 'I want you to give me a new suit. I got saved last night.' I went to the barber for I had not had a shave in a month. I left to go to my wife whom I had beaten till she was black and blue. She didn't even recognize her own husband. I said, 'Honey, God has given you a new husband and the children have a new daddy, and I wonder if you will forgive me and start all over.' I have been going round the country bragging about Jesus ever since."
As Christians we each have bragging rights. Paul wrote in II Corinthians 12:9 ". . . I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me." And again in Galatians 6:14, "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (NLT)
I've been musing ever since we read that story this morning. What are our bragging rights? Our Jesus Who saved us. Some are filled with gratefulness to God for saving them out of deep sin. My gratefulness to God is that He rescued me before I walked into deep sin. But then as I pondered some more I realized that to God, sin is sin. Wow. Deep thought. When God rescued me from myself He said, "You have a rebellious heart." The Scripture is very clear about rebellion: it's the same as witchcraft. Yes, sin is still sin to God. No, I haven't the memories to deal with as some have, but I have been rescued just the same as a murderer, or a thief, or an adulterer. What a merciful God!
Bragging rights. I have them. I've been rescued. It was Jesus. He did it. He died so that I might have life. Not just life in Heaven with Him forever some day, in the sweet by and by. But life NOW.
And that's another reason I want to be salty. Jesus is Life. Go tell somebody.