So many today have not yet given their hearts and minds into the meaningful faith toward Christ that we all need. Peter wrote many centuries ago: “Wherefore the rather, brethren (and sisters), give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (2 Peter 1:10).

Our hearts greatly need the assurance of a right purpose for life. There is only one truth to direct ourselves toward, and that is Christ. The Bible says we will be with Him joyfully, forever, one day, or else horribly in Hell wishing we had received Him as Savior.

Salvation is the forgiveness of sin we so desperately need. It is a gift we cannot earn but must gratefully receive from God’s will. It is amazing that it can be accomplished outside our proud ability, and that is actually required. The Savior said in John 15:6 that “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man (or woman) cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

That is the absolute truth that so many folks try to overlook as they proceed through the days of life. As decades pass by, it seems that folks count upon personal sacrifices and mentally count upon themselves for their own eternity. It thrills the Devil to bring more into Hell by rejecting Christ in one’s final decision of life.

The truth that God gives must be grafted or set into our hearts by the Spirit of God. Without Him, we cannot know any spiritual truth we need so greatly. It can only grieve the Lord if we depend upon our own good works and worldly accomplishments. The greatest freedom we can have is to “know the truth” and then to allow “the Son therefore (to) make you free … indeed” (John 8:32,36). That freedom comes when the Bible starts to make more and more sense, and the light shines in the heart.

Paul writes to Titus, in chapter three, that it is: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (verses five and six).

A person’s love for God must not be minor and superficial. Jesus said in Matthew 22 that the love of a saved person needs to grow in being “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (verse 37). We cannot do this by our own might, obviously. We must have asked God to birth us into the new life of Christ. The prayer must not be casual and then easily forgotten. It is not to just get us out of a tight spot in life and then be forgotten until next time.

Our calling into life with Jesus as Savior is to step by step have us “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1). Our lives as Christians fail in such tests more often than we want them to, so we obviously need to: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobate?” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

We are not called from God to be saved and to just lay it behind us and go on with our lives. It is a baptism within our hearts that needs to continually change us in our lives. It is daily new to us, and so should we be to it every day!

A saved person no longer owns his or her life. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 23: “Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man (or woman), wherein he is called, therein abide with God” (verses 23-24). The Lord has always been serious about us, and it is only right that we be so with Him. There is nothing more important and proper than that we “resolve in our hearts no longer to linger” in our sin and to be “charmed by the world’s delight” (says the song “I Am Resolved”).

We need to stay with the truths we have gotten when we started life in Christ. America is something we should greatly rejoice as Christians. She was begun as “One Nation Under God,” and there is every right reason that we do everything we can in order to keep her in that precious possession.

The Bible takes us on into the future to show us what changes as the Devil gets more into politics, education and the sinful accolades of television and news media. We need God’s great help!

Once a person has yielded the heart to the Lord, then it is a daily joy to “make that calling and election sure.” We are never to throw up over our heads the hopes we have for America to get back to real Bible truth and away from the Satanic directions we see.

God is in charge, and He heads real believers “toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). That final residence will be in Heaven for anyone who has their heart, eyesight and conversation about Heaven like Samuel F. Smith has in writing “My Country ’Tis of Thee:”

“My country ’tis of Thee, Sweet land of Liberty,
Of Thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountainside, Let freedom ring!”

That is joyful to the Christian heart – even today. The Bible keeps this joy in us – no matter what. Verses two and three are thrilling to our hearts and hope.

The fourth verse prays, in the last verse:

“Our fathers’ God — to Thee, Author of Liberty,
To Thee we sing. Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light;
Protect us by Thy might — Great God our King!”

That prayer of song needs to keep going in our hearts as we strongly need our calling to be sure!

R.D. “Bob” Hottle is a retired schoolteacher, farmer and pastor of the Anchor Baptist Church.