Saturday, April 18, 2009

God Is No T-Rex

Last week, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. With His triumph over death, He was much more than a life brought back from the grave; He was and is the Almighty Conqueror over sin and death (Romans 6:10)! Who else in history can own what He did but Him alone? What other person (or god) has EVER laid down His life for YOU and the sins of the whole world so that YOU could live eternally? As Chad said once before, “He’s the only way because He’s THE ONLY ONE!” There’s no other “religion” that speaks of a god that passionately loves you, pursues you, sacrificed for you, and is COMING BACK for you!!! 

It is because of that truth that many have also laid down their own lives. Many of His disciples (both then and now) have suffered and died because of Him. Who would be willing to live and die for the sake of Christ if He weren’t for REAL?! As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:14: “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” Paul knew that there would be nothing to live and hope for if the gospel wasn’t true. Paul was smart and well educated. And, as most know well, he wasn’t always a believer in Christ until Jesus (quite literally) brought him to his knees! Someone like Paul doesn’t go around preaching about a Jesus He hasn’t experienced and believed in! His preaching and faith wasn’t useless because He was a living testimony that Jesus lives!!

Paul isn’t the only one with a great testimony. In the Bible, we have numerous testimonies from countless witnesses. Records upon records, manuscripts upon manuscripts, and they all proclaim the truth that JESUS LIVES! Those that seen and witnessed the miracle on the cross want us to experience Him and believe as well (1 John 1:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8). No matter who has tried to silence the gospel, they have not succeeded! Christ (the truth) lives on, and all His children and creation sing of His glory as they continue to experience the presence of Jesus every day!! I wouldn’t be talking about Jesus if I hadn’t experienced Him in miraculous ways firsthand!! Jesus is no joke!! HE IS VERY REAL!!

Of course, as Chad spoke about, we all know that there are “scoffers” and those that don’t believe. Paul was one who refused to believe for a very long time. Though, as a friend of mine has always said: “No one is beyond redemption….if I can change, anyone can change.” He should know, he was a hardcore atheist and hated Christians just as much as Paul did! Yet, He was brought to his knees by observing the wonderful and amazing power of Jesus Christ working in his heart and in his life. A man who couldn’t “rationalize” that there was a Creator of the universe finally “seen the light” (so to speak) just as Paul did on the road to Damascus. 

So, if you’re finding it hard to believe that there is a God (and that Jesus lived and died for YOU) consider those examples. Or, if you are one that WANTS to believe (but you feel you can’t because of guilt, shame, fear, etc.) consider the infamous story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:20-24). Chad illustrated it with his two little boys. Jack and John came onstage and he gave one of his sons his “portion.” It was a little treasure box. Jack went away (off to the side) and spilled all that “inheritance” on the floor. Gone. Wasted. How could he ever return to his father after squandering his wealth? Yet, Chad said that there was nothing his son could ever do that would cause him not to take him back. Jack returned to his father, and Chad put a robe on him (which was actually John’s robe) and “celebrated”- even though he didn’t “deserve” it (John shook his head “no” when Chad asked him if he “deserved” it LOL). The father took him back. That’s HIS SON! HE LOVES HIM!! Always has and always will - NO MATTER WHAT!!! If we who are human can love like that, how much MORE does God loves us??!

Some may still not be convinced of the Father’s love. Many of us compare our earthly father to what we think the heavenly Father is. Some of us may even think of him the way Chad showed us with another illustration. He had a little plastic container with some lizards in it. He said that John loved to take his huge T-Rex and try to scare the lizards. Got to keep ‘em in line! ;) I think many of us think of God as the big T-Rex. He’s just sittin’ up there with lightning bolts; waiting for us to screw up. He’s sittin’ on the throne, shakin’ his head, and just hates it when us pathetic humans can’t get it “right.” Unconsciously, I used to pretty much think that that was how God thought of me. I could never get it “right.” I was/am a BIG screw up!! Uh-oh!! Here comes the T-Rex!! Let me have it!! Get me in line!! Fortunately, as I have finally learned, God isn’t a tyrant. He’s SLOW to anger and ABOUNDING in love (Psalm 103:8). It’s BECAUSE of His great love for us that He allowed His OWN SON to take OUR punishment for us; so that through His AMAZING GRACE, we can have forgiveness and redemption!! I don’t think T-Rexes are that merciful, do you??

In closing, please consider coming (or returning) to Christ. He will ALWAYS take you back!! He will embrace you and CELEBRATE!! He DELIGHTS in you and rejoices over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). Let that sink in as you watch these videos and hear the beautiful messages of these touching songs. “Prodigal“ talks of our desperate need for God and how we have returned to Him after wallowing in the “pig slop“ of the world. “When God Ran” speaks of how He RUNS TO US and welcomes us back!! “Take You Back” affirms us of the fact that He ALWAYS WILL take us back!!! (Also, consider renting/buying “The Wonderful Wizard of Ha’s .” It’s a Veggie Tales video on the prodigal son that will touch hearts of all ages - it’s one of my favorites!!). 

Grace and peace to all of you!! I pray that each and every one of you will find peace, rest, and joy in the Father’s arms!! Comment or message me if you want to know more and need to talk about it!! God bless you!! 

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