When I was a child, it was a major concern of my grandmother that I become a Christian. The family belonged to First Baptist Church here in Nevada, and I did understand that it was necessary to join the church and to “go forward“. The latter was a Baptist term for accepting Christ, but sounds like a fundamental strategy of football or a buzzword for socialism!
Bless her heart, Grandmother did make sure that I knew the basics, that Jesus had given His blood for me, but it took years for me to really understand the nature of the precious gift that the Lord had presented me with, and to actually apply it to my life. He had literally traded all of my sins (past, present, and future – and there were to be plenty!) for His righteousness, which He gave me as a gift! The Bible tells us that as Christians we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Think about that. As a Christian, you are the righteousness of God! You may not feel that way, in fact you may be constantly aware of your shortcomings. This “sin-consciousness” hinders the flow of God’s grace in your life, and Satan likes nothing more than reminding us of our failures. But, we are not made right with God by any of our own activity. We are made right with God by what Jesus did – His finished work on the cross.
Don’t focus on your love for God and whether it “measures up”; focus, like John the apostle did, on how much Jesus loves YOU. John described himself as “the apostle whom Jesus loved”. BTW, he was the only apostle who died a natural death, and he was the one whom Jesus charged with looking after His mother. I consider myself as “the pediatrician whom Jesus loves”, not based at all on my accomplishments, but only on Jesus’ own nature.
God is the great gift-giver. The best of all is that He gave us His Son to take our place on the cross, and Jesus gives us His righteousness in return for taking our sins. He “became sin”, though He never once sinned. We are righteous, though there is no goodness in us. Enjoy the fact that we are no longer under the Ten Commandments, which are good, but cannot make us good. Jesus brought grace and truth, and gives us new life. Everything changed at the cross!
Expect goodness and mercy to follow you all of your days, and for God’s favor to flow into your life daily. I will list some of the instances of God’s favor showing up in my life.
When I was around 10 years old, my family was visiting my grandfather’s coal mine between Nevada and Ft. Scott on a Sunday afternoon. We were the only ones around and I noticed a length of dynamite fuse sticking up out of the rocks and tried to light it! There was enough breeze to blow out my matches, or else I would likely have died that day along with my whole family. I consider that it was “the breath of God” that saved us.
I have related how I was phoned on a Saturday morning by the dean of students at John Brown University with the offer of a full-ride scholarship and I had never been to JBU! It was based on some science awards and led to my choice of career and my life mate, Valo.
I was favored with a 10-minute emergency air supply when I ran out of air 110 feet down on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico while diving on the sunken ship V.A. Fogg. (the lever was in the correct position)
I was favored as an intern in pediatrics at Baylor to be asked by my resident, Sandy Lewis, if I would like to take a ride on the Goodyear Blimp! (well, yes, and we did)
I was favored with the services of a Christian mechanic when our van broke down on highway 65 ten miles north of Branson at 5 pm on a Saturday evening. What are the chances of making that connection in the natural?
I was assisted by a young man on a bicycle along highway 13 after a blow-out of a tire. He found just the right piece of wood to allow my jack to raise up our van, and he “disappeared” afterward. (he took off riding north, and when we drove northward he was nowhere to be seen, and there were no turn offs!)
I was favored to have the disintegration of the differential in my Triumph GT6+ take place right here in Nevada in front of St. Mary’s church where I was to give a talk, instead out miles away out in the “boonies” which was much more likely.
I was favored by the decision of the Houston “Mass Murderers” to drive on after they forced me to the side of the road and asked to “borrow some money”. ( I still am nervous when I am behind a white Ford van)
I was favored to have been offered a contract to work for NRMC by then CEO Kevin Leeper after I had been retired for 5 years. I was likewise favored to be able to complete all of the required continuing medical education and to obtain the necessary licenses and certifications, and to acquire an excellent Pediatric Review Course, and to continue working to this day, seeing both children and adults at NOW Care.
I am favored with excellent health that requires no prescription medications (only eye drops) and with enough wisdom and discernment to allow me to have taught adult Sunday School in the Assemblies of God for 20 years or so (it was more of a blessing to me than to anyone else, I’m sure). We are now favored with a new pastor at First Baptist Church.
I was favored to travel along with my wife last year to Israel and to visit so many historical sites there, including places where Jesus walked. It was like a “fire hose of Biblical history”. And this year we are heading to Egypt!
These are just a few of the favors that God has sent my way, and they occur daily. I am thankful.
I am favored with the knowledge that ALL of my sins are wiped away, and I will never be subjected to God’s condemnation. There is no fear, there is no bitterness (which is a health-wrecker), and it is easy for me to forgive, as I know how much I have been forgiven of.
If you are not currently experiencing the love that only God can give, then replace your future of unbearable pain and suffering with the indescribable joy and happiness that await all believers. TODAY is the day of salvation!