Friday, October 19, 2007

That you may know Him

"Do you know Jesus?" This question came from Christy's lips many times. She spoke them wherever she went throughout her life. One of her deepest desires on earth was that she could have the privilege of introducing others to her Lord. Christy came to know Jesus as her Savior at a young age, and gave her heart and life to Him. No, she didn't get "religion." Christy passionately followed her Lord Jesus because He loved her! And that same God desires to be your God. He is seeking you. He loves you with an infinite and unconditional and deep love. He is the One who loves your soul and has loved you long before you were born. He is the One who loves you and cares about you as no one else has ever cared.

His name is Jesus. He is the Son of God, the Creator of all living things. He has been working and pleading with mankind to know and love Him for thousands of years. Ever since the beginning in the Garden of Eden when the first man and woman sinned and brought a curse on themselves and every one of their descendants, God has been seeking a way to restore His relationship with men and women. Most people are blinded by the hardness of their hearts and stubborn wills. Many seek their own way to God and have devised every form of religion they can think of to find their own way to God or have made up false gods. They think that by "doing" something, they can earn their way to heaven. Others completely refuse to believe that there is a God at all. But God has made Himself quite clear in Creation, and the Word of God, the Bible. Let Him introduce Himself to you: "Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things" Isaiah 44:24.

He made us for His pleasure and to have fellowship with. "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you" Isaiah 59:1,2. Yes, there is a little word that has separated man from his Creator: Sin. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23. We like to hear that God is love, but we do not want to hear that God is holy. He is so holy that He cannot have sin in His presence. Sin not only separates us from God, but man's refusal to acknowledge his own sinful nature prevents him from being restored to his God. Newspapers are the testimony of our society's sins; our conscience, if we let it, convicts us; and our memories are our own partial record; but God has the absolute record for each one of us. The moral condition of man was declared guilty from the first act of rebellion in Eden, "…but after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared" Titus 3:4. For He is "not willing that any should perish [eternal separation from God] but that all should come to repentance" II Peter 3:9.

God is Love, and desires to pour out His love on His creatures, us. But there is only one way to God, and that is through Jesus Christ, God's Son. He gave His life and shed His blood on a cross between two thieves outside of Jerusalem about 2000 years ago. Why? Because "Christ...once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God" I Peter 3:18. The Creator of life went through death and paid the just punishment for sin, so that YOU might have eternal life and a relationship with Him forever. It is "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son [that] cleanseth us from all sin" I John 1:7. There is no act of good works, no prayer you can chant, nothing you can do to get to heaven except by believing that Jesus shed His blood for your sins. You must admit and confess to God that you are in fact a sinner, and that there is nothing you can do about it. You absolutely must realize that you are completely helpless to do anything about your condition before Him. You must accept simply His mercy and His grace, realizing that it is "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life" Titus 3:4-7.

Christy has that hope of eternal life, and is soon to see it fulfilled! She has no fear of death, even while staring it in the face. Christy has perfect peace because her faith is reality. She knows that death is only a portal to being in the presence of her Lord. When she draws her last breath here on earth, her spirit will depart and be forever with Christ, where sin and death and pain can never enter. Further, she knows that there is a day coming, probably very soon, when her dead body will be raised in a moment at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and she will be reunited with her body and also with every other believer in God and Jesus Christ. The following verses explain why Christy can have this very real hope and promise. It is because "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and…was buried, and…rose again the third day, according to the scriptures." Christy knows that she also will rise from the dead "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, 'Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?' Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" I Corinthians 15:52-57.

Christy's hope, and the hope of every believer in Jesus, is in heaven! She never had her hopes and dreams here. She understood that "if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable!" I Corinthians 15:19. Her Home is in heaven with God, and He has been her object, the One who has filled her heart and soul, and put in her an insatiable longing to be with Him. May this hope become yours also, dear reader!

by Susie, Christy's daughter-in-love (aka daughter-in-law!)

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