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Salvation is only the beginning…

Now Let Us Build

Our story as Christians does not end with our salvation. We are saved already. That is God’s work, which we accept or reject, but even that acceptance or rejection is never truly finished in this life.

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

~ Luke 9:23

God’s work alone is finished.

Ours is not, and never will be while we remain in this universe.

God stands already at the end of time, and at its beginning, and at its many middles.

We, in this life, stand only in the middle – of time and of God’s work. We will stand at the end, one day, but not in this life.

salvation is only the beginning | shanna terese booksAnd even that end is only a truer beginning. This universe is not some stagnant thing. It is neither set nor rigid. Its whole purpose – our whole purpose – is to change into something else…

…something… better…

This universe is a chrysalis, and we are the thing inside – the thing becoming.

The caterpillar is the nothing, the nonexistence, that we were before creation. The butterfly is the truer existence, the thing we will be.

We are, right now, neither caterpillar nor butterfly.

We are the thing inside the chrysalis, the thing in an active state of transformation.

God alone IS.

We are still unfinished…

God IS.

We are becoming…

This universe is like a chrysalis. We are the thing inside. The thing becoming... something new and better

Salvation does not change this.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

~ 2 Corinthians 3:18

Accepting Jesus as Savior does not end our transformation.

Salvation, in this life, is merely our acknowledgment that the transformation is happening. To accept salvation is merely to acknowledge that God is still now working in this chrysalis – still how helping us to become the butterfly.

To accept salvation is not to end the work. It is, rather to accept that there is work to do. Salvation accepts that there is, still, a long way still to go between end and beginning, what we are and what we can become, caterpillar and butterfly.

To be saved is to take up that work and join God in the making of a better world.

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you … for I was hungry and you gave me no food; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take me in, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me … When you fail to do these things for the most insignifcant person in the world, it is as if you did not do it to me.’

~ Matthew 7:21-2325:42-45

Salvation is the beginning of a journey during which, each day, faith grows us and moves us into the work God has for us to do. In salvation, we find our strength to act, to work, to become more than what we were.

At Shanna Terese Books

I write stories books and stories to help other Christians plan their lives – including their entertainment – around their faith, and not their faith around their lives.

I write these stories in the hopes of inspiring other Christians – after the highs of their salvation experiences, or those who never had a “salvation moment” to begin with – to keep at the journey, keep up the work when all the very real pressures in life would let our faith slip and our devotion fade.

Pressures including our deep and real need for entertainment.

I write these things because I needed them first

I write what I write because the altar call ending to all the Christian stories of my youth did not satisfy the needs of my faith life, and because forgetting to put God at the center of my to-do list was all too easy.

I write fiction because I need to. Because the consumption and writing of stories IS my prayer life.

I write fiction because I need to. Because the consumption and writing of stories IS my prayer life.

I write fiction, and speculative fiction at that, because traditional prayer has never been easy for me. But, whenever I have read or watched TV, I have all my life felt God on the couch beside me, talking to me about the themes, values, positive and negative, of the story put before me. The consumption and writing of stories is my prayer life.

…and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

~ Hebrews 12:1b-2

There is a reason, after all, that most of our bible is narrative. God is the first and greatest storyteller.

I write the stories and devotions that I write because they are the things that I always needed to read: Stories that begin by asking,

“So yeah, great, we’re saved… Now what?”

I write stories in which characters move forward through their already established faith into the work God is calling them to do. I write such stories because I need them to move forward in my own faith.

I share them because I hope to inspire others to move forward in their faith.

If you want simplistic answers, one-dimensional non-Christian villains who finally learn the error of their unrepentant ways, and the message that God has done all the work for us so we can just sit back now and pray, then my books are not for you.

Salvation is only the beginning…

Now let us build…


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