John 3:16

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

 

Let’s take a look at the LOVE God had for you and me.

1st – He loved each of us so much that He would send His only Son to pay our individual atonement for sin.

2nd – He loved each of us so much that He let it be our choice as to whether we accept His love – whosoever.

If you are not saved, why not receive Him now?  Just call out for Him to save you, accept His love, repent of your sin and commit to serve Him from this day forward.

If you are saved, I have 2 questions for you.

1. If you KNOW God loves you, why fear obedience?  Why would we think that any pain we might experience in the short here and now would outweigh eternal rewards?  Why can’t we pray “whatever it takes”?  He loves us!

In The Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life, Hannah Whitall Smith talks to a mother about how much the mother loves her son.  She asks the mother, “Would you ever do anything to harm your son?” NO came the immediate answer.  “Then why do you fear what God calls you to do when you know He loves you much more than you can love your child?”

Example – immunizations - They may hurt for a few minutes or even a day, but they benefit your child for a lifetime.

How much more does God love us that He would call us to great things; things for good and not for harm?

2. If you love others, then why aren’t you telling them about the grace, mercy and love of our Lord Jesus Christ? Why do we not share His grace, mercy and love that He gave to us with those around us? Why can’t we forgive, be kind (and mean it) and love those who hurt us, are not like us or don’t know us?

In The Case for Grace, Lee Strobel quoted someone who said, “How much do you have to HATE someone to NOT share the gospel with them?”

Tonight, before you go to sleep, think about where you are in your walk with Christ.  We are called to obedience to our Father who loves us more that we can imagine.  Why won’t we obey Him?  Choose to get to know Him more by studying His word and praying every day. Determine that you will obey Him not matter what.  He wants what’s best for you!

Now, think about the people you routinely come in contact with.  Have you shared the gospel with them?  Not, do they know you are a Christian?  Have YOU shared the GOSPEL with THEM?  If not, why not?  Do you hate them?  No? Then tell them the good news!

If we focus on knowing God more, we will want to do what He wants us to do, including sharing the gospel with others.  This may not be in the formal way we are taught to “witness”, but one on one because we love HIM and can’t help but to tell others about HIM!

Sisters' Getaway

The first of April, two of my sisters and I met at a bed and breakfast in Missouri.  It was a whirlwind of togetherness.  Not quite enough and certainly not too much.  You see, I'm from a family of seven.  That's right, seven!  Now mind you, all seven of us were not under the same roof with our parents at one time. I think Mom and Daddy would not have survived. It's almost like 2 or 3 different families.  You see, there are 23 years between my eldest sibling and myself.  Yep! I'm the baby.  I would say that I was NOT spoiled, but why bother. That phrase just seems to fall on deaf ears. (But I'm not!)

Anyway, back to the weekend.  There were three of us girls able to make it.  For pecking order sake, we were #1, #4 and #7.  I've already given away that I am #7. It was really great to get to know one another a little better.  We shared a room (not bed), we shopped, walked, dined out and did a few touristy things.

One of my sisters pointed out in our sharing that we were literally from different generations.  There is 8 years between #1 and #4 and 15 years between #4 and #7.  So you can see the different generations, right?  Well, as things turned out, while we were raised by the same wonderful parents, things remembered were very different.  When the oldest grew up, Mom and Daddy were young and had less "means".  When the middle child grew up, Mom and Daddy were in their most active years and had a little more.  When the last came along (SURPRISE!),  Mom and Daddy were older and on a fixed income.  Just with those variables, can you imagine some of the differences?

Even so, all 7 of us became Christians, have never been in "real" trouble and we all love one another.  Our parents, a brother and a sister have gone on to be with the Lord now, so we take our times of togetherness very serious.  We don't want to miss it!  You never know if we'll all be here next time.  Yikes, that sounds kind of morbid and I don't mean it that way.  But the point of the matter is we should not waste the time we have here. No fight, misunderstanding or outright meanness is worth missing time with the ones you love.

So, if you have siblings, don't miss a single minute of time with them.  God chose our families for us.  Make the most of it!

My Salvation Story

I know this blog has been all over the place.  But this week, I thought I'd tell you about my salvation testimony.  Here goes... Darkness. Heavy. Fearful. Terrified on my left.

Sunlight. Warmth. Calm. Welcoming on my right.

 I’m in the middle being pulled, like a tug-of-war rope, two steps to the right, then three steps to the left.  The darkness is chilling.  Sitting straight up in bed with a cold sweat beaded on my face and my heart racing, I realize it was just a dream.  The same dream comes to me night after night.  I just don’t know if I can take it anymore?  What does it mean?  This has been going on for months now, maybe longer. As a twelve year old girl, I do not watch horror movies.  I have attended Church for as far back as I can remember.  This horrible dream comes to me nearly every night.  I hate to go to sleep for fear I will be pulled to the left into the darkness.  What does this mean?

We are having a youth revival this weekend at an old gym.  The revival team is a family from south Louisiana.  There are four brothers and each one will preach a night of the revival.  They all play an instrument and sing.  Their mother plays the piano and their dad is the leader of the band.  They’ve been to our church a few times before.  My pastor is friends with them

Revival time arrives. This is so weird.  Whoever heard of having a revival in an old gym?  As the music cranked up, we all forgot we were in a gym.  It was loud and more modern that we could ever have at church!  I am sitting with a few friends who are older than me.  I am really not even supposed to be here since I’m twelve.  Our rules are say youth are 13 and up.

One of the brothers starts to speak.  I guess we are getting down to preaching now. No, he’s saying that tonight he is showing a film called “A Burning Hell”.  A large screen is brought out and the film reels are set up.  The lights go out and we girls start giggling.   Soon, we are enthralled in the film and the room is totally silent, except for the clicking of the film reels.

My palms are starting to sweat and my heart is racing just like when I wake up from that horrible nightmare.  I look around to see if people are noticing.  Surely, they can hear my heart beating.  It’s about to pound out of my chest!  I realize that I am just like those men in the movie.  I know about Jesus but I do not belong to Him.  He doesn’t “know” me.  Oh, no! One of the men is killed in a motorcycle wreck and he goes to hell.  I can’t watch, but I can’t tear my eyes away from the screen.  There is so much screaming and agony and all the people in hell can remember every time they said ‘no’ to Jesus!

The other man is back at a church and the preacher is telling him about Jesus.  He tells him salvation’s more than just believing in Jesus, it’s surrendering to Him.  It’s letting Jesus rule you. I don’t think I’ve done that…

The film goes off and the lights come on.  Thank God for that, but why is my heart still pounding and my hands sweating.  We all stand up as music starts to play. The speaker is asking if we know we would go to heaven if we died right now?  I don’t know!  Oh, I think so, but am I just like that man who thought he knew Jesus?  He’s in hell now, would I be?  I don’t know what the speaker is saying.  I’m wrestling with the chair in front of me.  My knuckles are white as I grip that chair. I want to go down and receive Jesus as my Savior, but everyone thinks I’m saved.  I’m not.  If I died right now, I’d go to hell just like that man in the film.

Finally, I battle with myself until I step out into the “isle” of the gymnasium.  Suddenly, I’m kneeling with the speaker.  He is asking if I understand that I’m a sinner? Yes, I know I am.  He asks if I believe Jesus is the Son of God, born of a virgin, died for me and rose again?  Yes, I believe.  Then he asks if I am willing to surrender my life to Jesus, will I turn from my sin (repent) and trust Him to save me from my sin?  Yes, yes, yes! He said the Bible says if we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth that God raised Jesus from the dead, we will be saved.  Yes, yes, I do believe that!  Repeating a prayer after him, I asked Jesus to save me! We stood up and he welcomed me into the Kingdom of God!

Turning, I ran up the “isle” to my brother who was in the back of the gym with the older youth and I jumped into his arms crying and laughing at the same time.

“Timmy, I’m not going to hell!  I’m not going to hell!” Wailing and smiling, I shouted my announcement.  For the first time in my life, I feel the ‘world has been lifted off my shoulders’.  I don’t know how to describe the excitement.  Somehow, I know that Jesus’ Holy Spirit entered me that night and I have never been the same!

Several days passed, before I realized that tormenting dream was not tormenting me.  That’s been 37 years ago and Jesus is still living in me.  Never again have I had that dream.  And every day, I hear my Savior’s voice in one way or another.  Yes, I know Jesus, but more important – He knows me!

I hope this reaches someone.  Blessings to you this week!

W