I went to throw something away today and took a second glance at a thank-you gift I received about three months ago.
I wasn’t throwing it away- I just didn’t really think that I could use it.
It was a Godiva chocolate coffee cup with treats in it. I like chocolate- but I thought, “I don’t really need this. It’d make a nice gift for someone else.”
Yes, I was going to re-gift.
Like I said, I liked it- but I thought someone else might like it more.
But my eyes spotted the Godiva chocolate truffles, and then the Godiva hot chocolate….
And two minutes later, this:
As I was eating the truffles, then the chocolate covered raisins, I thought to myself, “Why have I waited so long to eat this!?”
Answer: It was good for someone else, not me.
Even though it was intended for me.
I’ve hardly even glanced at it these last few months. Okay, that’s not true. I have glanced at it all the time, like everyday- but I glanced over it. I knew it was there, but I never really examined the contents.
Then it hit me- We do this all the time…with God and with people.
When it comes to God I’ve heard people say, “Yeah, that whole religion thing might work for some people but not me.”
And God is there. It’s not about religion at all. It’s about a relationship with Him.
So some people say, “That whole relationship with God thing might work for some people, but not me.”
The words of the apostle Paul-
And he [God] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for
“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;
as even some of your own poets have said,
“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” So Paul went out from their midst. But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them. –Acts 17:26-34, ESV
My friend Dave recently passed away. He loved Jesus. He made an incredible impact for the Lord. His Facebook wall is an awesome testament to God’s work in him and through him. But, I realized- we often don’t realize someone’s value or at least we don’t state someone’s value to us until they’re gone.
My friend Dave was bold for Jesus.
He’s inspired me to really think about what I want others to know. I hope I won’t just write about it. I hope I’ll tell them in person. But, in case I don’t see you- please think about what you’re living for…
God continues to impress upon me that I am not invincible. I am finite. I am but a tiny vapor on this earth. I will soon be gone. That’s a fact. We’re humans. We weren’t made to last in this body. We were made to last in spirit.
Jesus Christ has changed my life. He lives. He’s not a myth or a fad. I’m not just doing this whole religion thing. He’s the Son of the One True Living God. He wants a relationship with you- but first, you have to be honest with yourself. Because in order to have a relationship with Him, you have to admit that you are a sinner.
No one wants to do that.
I don’t want to do that.
It goes against everything we are. I mean, we aren’t that bad, right? Like nobody is perfect- c’mon Katie- chill.
But God is perfect. He is righteous and He is just.
This world is full of evil.
Jesus is King and He’s coming back to reign. But, He’s not about to let evil into His kingdom.
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. -John 3:19-20
It’s hard to admit that on my own I’m evil, selfish, and hate God – but the more the Lord opens my eyes to see my sin and the evil rampant in the world, the easier it is to run to the arms of my Savior and embrace His free gift of grace.
His grace is sitting there- maybe next to your garbage can, maybe on your bookshelf.
Are you going to throw it away? Are you just going to let it sit there? Are you going to keep existing- giving it a glance on Sundays?
If you’re going to throw it away- at least pick it up, look at it, and then make the conscious decision to discard it.
Neutrality is not an option. Indifference is unacceptable.
God demands an answer.
He deserves Your obedience.
He yearns for Your affection.
He hungers for Your love.
But He is not meek.
He is fierce.
And friends, I love you too much to not urgently ask you to seek the Lord. In Him you will find forgiveness through the blood shed by His Son on your behalf. And when you acknowledge your need for a Savior and ask Him to be the Lord of your life, the Holy Spirit will dwell within you and help you live a new life.
Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.
Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. -2 Peter 3
Some Pastors who have really helped me to grow include Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, Francis Chan and John Piper. But nothing beats authentic community. We can’t grow in our relationship with the Lord on our own. I hope you’ll share with someone if you have made a decision to follow Jesus or if you have more questions. Thanks for taking time to read this.