God’s Indescribable Gift

Have you ever forgiven a loved one who wronged you and said they were sorry? It’s difficult, but to save the relationship, often we find it in our heart to forgive – especially if the other person is sincerely sorry. But how about the person who wrongs you and is not sorry? Would they be dead to you? Should that relationship be pursued? Should they be shown forgiveness? Actually, it happened to each of us … about 2,000 years ago.

All of us, at one time or another, chooses wrong over right: to lie, steal, curse, or to be resentful, bitter, or jealous of another person. Because we are made in God’s image and created to be in relationship with Him, when we violate His character, we separate ourselves from Him and sever the relationship. Still, as a loving Father, God wants to restore this relationship and is willing to forgive even when we’re not sorry. Romans 5:8 says:

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

God did not wait for us to come to Him; for God knew that left to ourselves, it would never happen:

“The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God. They have all turned aside, … There is none who seeks for God.” Psalm 14:2-3; Romans 3:11

And so, before the beginning of time, God arranged a rescue mission to extend forgiveness to those who didn’t know to ask.

Easter has just passed and is the celebration of this amazing gift. 2,000 years ago, the Son of God, Jesus Christ willingly left the glory of Heaven and came to earth, wrapped in human flesh, to become the complete sacrifice for sin. Yet, when we look at the Cross, we often forget that Jesus suffered something far greater than physical death: He suffered spiritual separation from God the Father so we wouldn’t have to. Jesus laid bare His greatest agony when He cried out,

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

The eternal God-head was torn apart for us. The penalty for sin is not the Cross; that’s the symbol. The penalty for sin is eternal separation from God, and only the eternal God could pay that price.

The greatest gift ever given is not God’s forgiveness that is now available to us, but rather God’s Son through whom forgiveness was made possible.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

The person who looks upon God’s Son who, as He was being nailed to the Cross, said,

“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

… and turns away, will not spend an eternity regretting his sin – that’s done and paid for. Rather, he will be left to agonize over all the ways God tried to reach out to him, reveal Himself to him, and demonstrate His love in an endless pursuit to have a relationship with him — that God even decided he was worth dying for — but he turned away … however:

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, …” John 1:12

On that first glorious Easter morning, the dark tomb was empty. God the Father raised Jesus from the dead, restoring Him to His rightful throne in Heaven, demonstrating God’s complete satisfaction that the penalty for all sin, for all people, for all time, has been paid in full. Easter is resurrection day! The day Christians all over the world celebrate that their relationship to God the Father, once dead, has been restored to life — and not just life, eternal life!

God wants to restore a relationship with you and He is only a prayer away. If you want to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior – God’s greatest gift — you can pray a simple prayer something like this:

Precious Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me and sending your beloved Son, Jesus to pay the penalty for my sin. Jesus, thank you for dying for me on the Cross & for rising from the dead. I am sorry for living my life apart from You and choose today to follow You. I repent, turn away from sin and accept you as my personal Lord & Savior. Please come into my heart and make me the person You created me to be. Thank You Lord for hearing my prayer and saving me from the curse of sin. In Jesus’ Name I Pray, Amen.

And one day, when you enter your heavenly Home, you will run to your Father who will scoop you up into His arms saying, “Welcome home, my child!”

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

What love! What a gift! What an amazing God!


Seeing Myself Through God’s Eyes

I have been Blessed with 8 Precious Children, 5 Sons, 3 Daughters, all adults now. Many decades ago, through terrible circumstances that I will not attempt to describe here at the end of the Vietnam war, I was tragically torn-apart from My Precious Children.

My Precious Children needed me and I couldn’t rescue them. I had to just stand there knowing my Children would suffer at the hands of others. It was more than I could bare – I had no idea how to cope with such devastating loss.

All in an instant the Holy Spirit ministered to me in what was the most supernatural way I had ever felt Him. What was conveyed was, “Dennis, do you now have some vague understanding of what I went through when strangers beat my Son senseless? I had to watch my Son suffer in ways you’ll never have to.” This thought was more than profound, but it was what He said next that almost brought me to my knees instantly.

He said, “I know how much you love your children and how their tears hurt you. But you can’t comprehend how much I love mine. And I endured his tears and suffering for you.”

I closed my eyes and saw red words from my Bible that said,

“…Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

I was reunited with My Children and All 8 of my Precious Children are adults now and most with Children of their own.

Along the way, it dawned on me the that sometimes I didn’t even see them as babies, I just saw their standing in my family. I’d do anything for My Precious Children. As they were growing up, I would have to step back from time to time and remind myself that they are completely unable to relate to a single thing that happens in my life. I could not confide in them or ask them for advice. I could never ask them for a favor or lean on them during a rough spot. But I loved each one enough to die for them the minute they were born. My love for them changes as they each grow, but I don’t love them more. My love for them is 100% unconditional, and 100% of what I have to give.

I felt God say to my spirit, “I love you. I love you EVEN THOUGH you’re a baby. You can’t relate to me. You’re incapable of understanding anything at my level. But when I look at you I don’t see baby Dennis. I see a family member. Dennis, no matter how spiritually immature you are, you’re part of my family.

I was reminded of 1 John 3:1 which says,

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”

I’m starting to realize that My Precious Children were given to me so that God could use each of them to help raise me.

Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!!!


Be A Sheep – Not A Goat

In Matthew 25:31-46 you can see that The Lord Jesus speaks of a day when He will judge the earth. Verses 31-33 state this:

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.” Matthew 25:31-33

Jesus goes on to clarify what He means. In the story, the sheep represent true believers and goats represent those who claim to be believers but are not. The ‘goats’ show they are not true believers by their lack of action.

I’m not saying that anyone earns his or her way to heaven, not only is that impossible, and it’s not Biblical. I’m just sharing with you what God’s Son, Jesus said.

And what The Lord Jesus says is important. Life-giving. His Word clearly defines life eternal and death eternal in damnation – like that passage.

In a world where people mention God or Jesus or spirituality, it’s important to understand what it means – or perhaps, what it doesn’t mean.

When people mention god, it doesn’t mean they are speaking of the God of the Bible. People like to dress god up to look like them. Kind of like the Greeks did — a god who is okay with promiscuity or lying or cruelty.

The Great Jehovah far, far transcends all of that.

These ‘goats’ today and throughout history talk about Jesus as a great man or a prophet, or one way to God. Yet Jesus says

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6

Jesus demands exclusivity.

Someone might say, “I’m a spiritual person.”

My response is “But are you a Born-Again person?”

You might receive a shocked face if you say those words to someone — even an angry face, and in some countries, you may receive imprisonment or torture or even death. That simply means you’re a sheep.

And then some of you who are reading this may be goats and may not even be aware of it. You may be serving in your church and receive a perfect attendance Sunday School pin. But it means nothing because you do it all for the wrong reasons. Perhaps pressure from your family, or tradition, or church is another form of social networking for you.

I have one word for you now – repent! Turn from trusting in your works or your idea of God and turn to Jesus Christ today.

Or face His judgment tomorrow.

Listen to verse 41 in the last part of our Matthew passage:

“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;” Matthew 25:41

Don’t be a goat, be a sheep.

Your eternal life depends on it.

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