My daughter asked me an honest question the other day. She was getting mixed signals from teachers at our church. She asked why sometimes they say there is nothing you can do to make God love you more or less and once you choose Christ no one can ever take you from His hand. Other times they talk (at laudanum) about how you need to work for Christ and try to please Him. They talk of how people only "think" they are saved but because their lives aren't producing enough they should question their faith. So which one is true?
So I told her what it's taken me my whole life to learn.
There is a reason God created marriage. You see, it is a picture of our relationship with Him. That is why we are called the Bride of Christ. That is why there will be a great wedding feast in Heaven. The first thing you learn about marriage is never to compare yours with anyone else's. If God had wanted 5 billion of the same people that is what he would have created. Instead, He made us in every size, shape, color, attitude, style and gifting. He loves you differently then anyone else. You have a unique relationship with Him. If you want to please him then do just what you would do in a healthy marriage. Find out what He likes and like it too. Figure out what He doesn't like and try not to do it. If you are married to a man who you know loves long hair and you cut it short, he will be disappointed that you didn't care about how he felt more then about what you wanted. You can make mistakes or even get angry with each other and you're still married. You can do things that delight or disappoint God and you are still His Bride. Take time to know Him. Don't just say Amen and walk away. Take time to listen. Take everything back to scripture. If you want to know what God thinks about something, read what He has to say. Do not listen to what other people think... listen to what He thinks. He never changes. He is always faithful. He will never leave you. If you want out of that marriage it will be you that leaves because He will not. He promised and He keeps His promises.
God doesn't care nearly as much what you do as why you do it. People will judge you based on what they see you do. They will use their own rules and dishonest scales to measure the fruit of your life but it isn't theirs to measure. God does not judge the way men do. He looks at the heart. You can be in the right place at the right time in the right clothes every week and if you are just there because you want to be good, you gained nothing for your trouble. You can be in the wrong place and the wrong time and with all the wrong people but if you did it because you believed it was the right thing, God knows it, and He can still use it for good. Just like in an earthly marriage, never compare yourself to another women and never compare your marriage with anyone else's. You are different and your relationship is different.
Love people. Even when it is inconvenient. Even when it doesn't make you look "good". Even if it means going places that don't look "good". One thing I can tell you is that God doesn't care how it "looks". The Bible says to avoid the appearance of evil, not avoid the appearance of messy, socially awkward, poor, uneducated or anything that might make other people uncomfortable. The Bible says to not make your brother stumble. Nothing drives a person deeper into the dark then being surrounded by people who pretend to have it all together, all the time, and only love you when you are as plastic as they are.
Do not doubt your salvation unless you have stopped caring what God wants. If you love Him and listen to His Word and work on your relationship, then you know Him and He knows you. It's been my experience, that the more people focus on the "are you really saved" issue, the more likely it is that, they have resulted to "resaving" people, to avoid going out and loving an unlovable world full of broken people. Love, listen, care and be you, all the other positions are filled and this is the one you were created for.