Recently while I was at church part of the sermon was about Making Your Faith Public. This caught my attention. I started writing about my faith and the three bible verses that have made the hugest impact in my life. Instead of writing one huge blog I decided to break it down into three parts this is part 1.
On June 13, 1980 I graduated from Whittier Christian High School. I was full of faith both in God's love and in my ability to accept God's plan in my life and to live a rich and full life in Christ. I left fully armed with the shield of my faith. I was well educated in my faith and inspired by three Bible verses. They were my banner that proceeded me, that declared my faith to the world.
The first was John 3:16 what I believe to be the very foundation of the Christian belief
For God so loved the world
He gave His only begotten Son
So whosoever believith in Him
Shall not perish
But have eternal life.
Pretty basic, God loved us enough to send His Son. To live as man, a perfect life then in His Prime, well I suppose due to the time He was probably pushing towards the end of the average life span but no matter. Anyway At the age of 33 He was accused, tried and convicted of I guess NOT being the Son of God. He was mocked, vilified and finally crucified left to die a horrid and torturous death. We all know the story it has been told over and over again, in film, on TV, in our homes, at our churches. It has been told so much it has taken on almost mythic proportions. Passed along until it has reached fairytale status. We will see the verse blazoned on poster board at a
What an arrogant child I was and like the sheep The Great Shepard claimed us to be I followed the path of least resistance. Seeing the verse I would shake my head, silently mock the person who dared post it, occasionally I would quote it to myself or to those around me, to show my intelligence and Christian education.
One day I started to think just what that verse means. I am a parent I have four beautiful, wonderful children. God more than blessed me with these fabulous shining stars. They constantly bring joy and light into my life. They make my world a wondrous place to be. I watch them grow and develop see them starting out on the paths of their lives, see the things they may accomplish and the people they may become. I have a fierce love for them, intense and proud as only a parent can be. Now as an adult a parent I look at that verse and think. God loved the world - ME - so much He sent His Son to die for me, to be mocked and tortured and crucified for me. So my sins can be washed away.
Let me put this into perspective, real honest perspective. I have a deep and true love for several people the love of a friend to others and general brotherly love to the world. The love that one of God's children should show to the world. Even then knowing that I care, that I want to spend eternity in heaven with you all. There is NO WAY, NO CONCEIVABLE WAY, that I would allow, let alone send forth one (let alone my ONLY one) of my children to suffer such humiliation. To sacrifice even a hair on their heads (ok that is extreme but you get my point) to die for anyone's sins. To let them go KNOWING in advance what would be done to them. Yet God, in His amazing grace did just that. He sent His perfect Son down to live among us, die for us, to die for me..
Oh arrogant vain me, never again will I presume to understand what real unconditional love is. I can only begin to discover what an amazing gift God gave me. Now when I see that verse, plastered on poster board waving in the end zone at a sporting event or on a leaflet, I will not mock that person. No I will give thanks to God because He loved me so much. I will give thanks to God that someone is out there reminding me how much God loved me. Shoot I may just go make a few poster boards myself. I will do what I can to make Jesus' sacrifice a commonplace fact. One every single person I know is aware of. Then I will rejoice that I was given such an opportunity.