Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Gospel Message (Romans 5:8)

I would like to think I would lay down my life for my children.  

I have never had to prove this claim so it is really hard to be certain, but I would like to think I would.  I'd also like to think I would do this for my husband.  I'm pretty sure he would do it for me.  

I would like to think I am the kind of person who just might even do this for a dear friend.  Again, I haven't ever had to test this theory so I am not 100% sure I could do it, but I would like to think maybe I could.

I am however, pretty positive I am not the type of person who would lay down my life for my enemy (not that I have a whole lot of enemies, but you know what I mean).   I probably wouldn't sacrifice a whole lot, let alone my life, for a person who beat me, teased me, made stuff up about me, or called me a liar.  I'm pretty sure I wouldn't lay down my life for that person.  I just don't have that kind of love in me.  I wish I did, I probably should, but I don't.

Today my journal had Romans 5:8 preprinted on it.  "But God demonstrates His own love toward us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (NIV).  I have read this verse quite possibly a hundred times in my life and it never hit me until today.  While we were still sinners…while we were actively sinning against Christ…while we were beating him, teasing him, making things up about him and calling him a liar...he died for us.  It wasn't because we were already in this love relationship with him.  He didn't die for me because I was his child, his bride or even a dear dear friend. He died to make me those things.  See the difference?

At the time when Christ died, I was nothing more than a sinner.  Ugly, broken, and lost.   But he died for me anyway.  Not because I loved him, but because I didn't.

Now THAT is love.

God's love is not based on our relationship with him.  It is not a reflection of what we have done in the past, the mistakes we have made,  or the person we once were.  He honestly doesn't care about those mistakes you made before you  knew Him.  Trust me, I have made PLENTY of mistakes, I still make mistakes every day.  God doesn't care about the person you were, he only cares about the person you are going to be in Him. 

Let me say that again, God doesn't care about the person you used to be, he only cares about the person you are going to be in Him, through the power of His Holy Spirit.

It is not because you are such an amazing person that Christ died for you, you very well might be an amazing person, but that isn't why he died.  It wasn't because you and he were in this amazing love relationship where you finished each other's sentences, knew just the right gift to buy for each other and were connected on a soul deep level.  It wasn't about how YOU were demonstrating your love for HIM.  It was a demonstration of HIS love for you, imperfect, sinful, you.  While you were sinning, while I was sinning, Christ died to save us, you and me.  

Don't miss that.  

Let that sink in. 

It will never be about what you have done or can do to deserve his love and affection.  Yes, now you are his child, his bride and his dear, dear friend, and he would lay down his life for you.  Of that there is ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT!!! 

 How do I know that? 

 Because my friend he already has!

If you are not yet a child of God, if you are still stuck in the sinning stage of life and you just don't know how to stop, my friend this message is for you.  God LOVES you.  He loves YOU!!! And while you are sinning, lost and lonely and broken, you  need to know that Christ has died for you, to save you, from those very sins.  HE is your savior, HE is your salvation.  He wants you to be his child, his bride and his dear friend.  He wants to talk to you, to teach you, and to wrap you in his love.  Because sweet friend he DOES LOVE YOU!  He knows who you are, what you have done and he loves you ANYWAY!!!!  

Believe that.

Trust in that.  

That, my friends is the gospel message!

How do you grab on to that?  Where do you go from here?  Talk to him.  Close your eyes, bow your head and talk to him.  Tell him about your mistakes (he already knows anyway) and ask for forgiveness.  Open your Bible, if you don't have one, google one.  And start reading.  Start in the gospels.  Read what Jesus said, read what he did for you.  Read it, believe it, live it.  Your life will change.

If you have questions, let me know, I would love to walk with you on this journey.