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This is just a little note to clarify my last blog because there seems to be some misunderstanding, oops. The main point I was trying to make is that on my own, I am nothing. With Christ, anything is possible. So I can’t take credit for the good things that I have done the past few years since knowing Christ. It wasn’t me and still isn’t me. It is Christ in me. He deserves all the glory. Christ is my righteousness. He is all the good in me.

My confession is that the sin within me does not and cannot love. My sinful flesh looks only to please itself and isn’t interested in the needs of others. But I am no longer a slave to my sin, I am a slave to righteousness. I am not condemned by the things that I confessed. I am set free…”Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)

It is God’s spirit who now reigns in me so he gets all the glory. He is worthy to be praised. He is amazing. He loves the kids at Club Christ so, so much and I have the gift of experiencing that love every day. He has transformed me and I am just clay in his hands. He is in control.

Hope that makes sense now. I confessed those things to kinda shock you but those things are the reality of my sin nature. Those would be true of me today if it wasn’t for what Christ did on the cross. Because of his death and resurrection, there is actual meaning to my existence. I can’t take credit for his saving grace. “For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith -and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God- so that no one can boast.” I boast in Jesus.

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I must make a confession. I do this publicly because my conscience has driven me to. I don’t know if this will shock you or not. I just want you to know some things… Here they are:

· I don’t really love the kids at Club Christ. I don’t really care if they live or die. I could care less if they get an education or not.

· I am not particularly interested in the suffering of others. If I could live comfortably apart from anyone who is poor or in need, I would.

· I am not really a great friend. I don’t care about what other people think really. My opinion is what matters the most. I am number one.

· I am vain. I want to bring pleasure to myself, preferably in secret, lest I be ashamed.

· I am not just a sinner. I am sin. I embody all that sin is. I am not someone to be looked up to. You should not pat me on the back. I am not who you think I am.

I could keep going, but I will stop there. I stop because I know that you might be confused. What is the point, you might say. Or you might wonder if I have slipped into some kind of depression or fatalistic way of thinking. But this is actually a moment of clarity for me. I have lived a lie. I have at times used Christianity to proclaim the favor of my name. To seek my glory. I have not accomplished anything noteworthy. I am nothing special. I am not. Believe me.

I imagine if you are a Christian you kind of expect what I am going to say next. You have heard this before and the language that I will launch into might just bounce off your heart. I don’t care. I really could care less. So stop reading if you don’t care. Why waste your time. You have more important things to do, don’t you.

For those of you who have made it this far and haven’t navigated to another link, here it is. Here is why I am confessing all of this. It is because of this God inside of me. He has won the battle. He actually had victory over me before I even knew my left foot from my right. And I have pathetically surrendered, knowing I have failed.

“I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20. The only reason that I give a rip about the poor is Christ. The only reason I have compassion on people who suffer is Christ. The only reason I have friends is Christ. The only reason I deny myself secret pleasures is Christ. The only reason I am not characterized by sin is the “Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” He is the passionate one. He is the one who loves. He is the real leader here. Not I, but Christ.

Now that Christ lives in me, all that I have “done” or “gained” has no relevance to being me, Evan Hartsell. It has relevance in the cross which is now why I live with meaning and purpose. I am nothing, Christ is everything. Don’t look at me with admiration. I don’t want your praise. Give it to the one who is worthy. Give it to the one who has done all the work. Give it to the one who knows what He is doing.

In the words of John the Baptist, “He must become greater, I must become less.” –John 3:30