Saturday, May 16, 2009

CrAZy About YOU!!

What’s so great about Jesus? Have you ever thought about that? That’s the current question that Chad began delving into last Sunday. Whether you’re a new Christian, mature Christian, or not at all, you’ll hopefully see in a very real and beautiful way what is so “great” about Jesus.

Above any other “god” or “religion” Jesus is a cut above the rest; not solely because the gospel is true, but because of His love and passion. It’s all about this point that Chad really drove home: He’s crazy about us!! Do you know that? He’s crazy about you!! He loves you and loves you deeply!! He sacrificed His own life for you and is (at this moment) preparing a place for you in heaven to join Him. He came once to save us and to spare us from condemnation (John 3:16-18) and is coming back AGAIN to take us home! Is there any other “god” that pursues like that? Is there any other “gospel” that speaks of such passionate love? Is there anything that promises and delivers like Jesus does? Is there any other that has sacrificed his life for you and is coming back for you (and that is WITH YOU in the meantime)? Jesus said He is always with us (Matthew 28:20). His presence comforts and sustains us in this world as we wait to be with Him.

You want to know how crazy God is for you? Consider the story in Luke 15:8-10: “Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”

The last verse is the kicker; about how there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Think about that. Someone is rejoicing like crazy in the presence of the angels. That someone is GOD Himself!! The Father in heaven is celebrating like CRAZY when a lost one is found!! He is CRAZY ABOUT YOU!!! It doesn’t matter if you have been lost a little while or a long time. Whenever you come home, there is rejoicing! He loves you; and it’s an amazing and passionate love like nothing else!! Unconditional, sacrificial, beautiful, perfect love!!

How do you feel about knowing that? Is it hard to take in for one reason or another? Maybe you feel like what Chad described as he held up a t-shirt; the dirtiest shirt he said he had seen. His son was wearing it one day and he commented about the filth. His son brought his arms inside his shirt, flipped it around, and put his arms back through the sleeves. So often, we do the same thing. Our lives are filthy. No matter how much we flip it around, or even turn it inside out, it’s dirty. How are we going to clean it? “We” can’t. The shirt (us) needs to be washed. Who’s the launderer? Jesus. His blood (detergent) washes and purifies that shirt. Ah, a clean shirt! Doesn’t that feel good?!! Chad said Jesus is just like a clean shirt. Indeed, He makes all things new!! Your life can be a clean shirt!! Come home! Surrender the “shirt.” Let Him wash it! Don’t be ashamed by the filth. He welcomes you and rejoices over you no matter how “dirty” you are! Every single one of us needs a clean shirt, and Jesus is there to provide it. That love on the cross is what washes us!

Isn’t that a beautiful and refreshing thought? Or, are you still not convinced? Is the idea of God’s craziness for you just plain foolishness in your mind? 1 Corinthians 1:18 says that the gospel is silly to those that are perishing but POWER to those who are being saved. Two perspectives based on two different choices; salvation/life or condemnation/death. If it’s foolishness to you now, know that it’s not too late to make a new and better choice; a choice of salvation, life, and power. Why miss the power of God NOW and for all eternity later?

Even if you are already a Christian, maybe it’s still a little “foolish” to you because you can’t comprehend how much He loves you. Whatever the case may be, perhaps you need a little more proof. Chad shared a website with us called “I Am Second”. It’s full of amazing video testimonies from people talking about their stories of how Jesus became first in their lives (and now they are second). In fact, Mitch loves the site so much that he’s watched nearly every video by now! Some of the videos that will likely catch your eye are those of Joe Gibbs, Josh Hamilton, Stephen Baldwin, Jason Castro (former American Idol contestant), Darrell Waltrip, and Brian Welch (former member of the band “Korn” - and fellow band member Fieldy has converted as well!). There are also many non-celebrity testimonies too, like the one of Richard Ellis that they showed during service last Sunday. I wish I could talk about each and every one of them, but I wouldn’t know where to begin!! They are all AMAZING!! I encourage you to visit the site for yourself and watch as many as you can whenever you can! Let them tell you their own stories (it’s better hearing it from them rather than me anyways). ;) I really liked Brian’s and Josh’s. They had some amazing stories and profound statements as they talked about the junk they went through, the turning points in their lives, and how Jesus changed it all!!! I also really liked how Chris Plekenpol talked about how he could have saved the life of a suicide bomber in Iraq, but that he wasn’t willing to risk his life for his enemy. Yet, Christ died for all of us; whether we care for Him or not. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

I hope that through those video testimonies (and even your own story) you can see what’s “great” about Jesus. There’s no one and nothing else like Him!! Maybe I’ll make a short video sometime and share my story as best as I can. As they all said in theirs, so I’ll say now, “My name is Melissa, and I am second.”

Grace and peace to all of you!! I would love to read (or watch) your “I am second” story!! Feel free to share!! God bless you!!

No comments: