I usually try to begin these devotional articles with a farm related story and then incorporate some spiritual truth into the story that may touch your life and show you the love that God has for you individually. This month however, I want to share with you what I would share if it were that last opportunity I would have to speak truth into your life.
When my children were growing up, and many times since then, I have always tried to make sure the last two things I told them each time one of us was leaving the other or hanging up the phone were: “I love you” and “Walk with Jesus”. I intentionally told them “I love You” because I wanted them—no matter what happened—to always remember that their daddy loved them unconditionally with all his heart. I told them “Walk with Jesus” because I wanted them to know unquestionably that because of my love for them, the most important thing to me was that they individually experience and maintain an intimate, life changing, saving, personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ—who loved them first, who loves them most, who shared them with me, and who gave His life so that they could have abundant life both here and for all eternity. I wanted this truth to be forever branded on their hearts and minds so that when death in this life comes to each of us—and it will, we can face it knowing that one day, we will be united and will live together forever and forever with the Lord Jesus in a Heaven He has prepared for us and for all who put their faith and trust in Him for their salvation.
When we each individually walk with Jesus in a personal intimate relationship, we can rest, knowing that our sufferings, diseases, tragedies and our pain of separation are only temporary and short lived, and that a day is surely coming when the Lord will raise us up with new, imperishable bodies. He then, will wipe away every tear from our eyes. There will be no more night, no more pain, no more death, never crying again—but praises to the Great “I AM”, we will live in the light of the Risen Lamb!
This is precisely why it is so important that I make this impression in the hearts and minds of my children and grandchildren, and why would I want to take this opportunity to make the same appeal to you? The reason is because no matter how good, decent, respected, likable, successful, charming, hard working, important or law abiding we are here on earth, we are all sinners and we all fall short of being perfect. Not one of us can honestly say that we have never done anything that contradicted even our own conscience, much less the Word of God, His commandments, His life’s example or the plans He has for our lives. We have all fallen short—therefore we are all sinners, condemned by our own sinfulness to eternal separation from God and from one another in a place of anguish and suffering called Hell.
BUT GOD, who loves us so much, so much more than we are able to love or even understand love, came to us in the person of His Son Jesus, to take away our sin—placing it and the penalty of it upon Himself when He was nailed to the cross to die in our place. He came and gave His life so that we could be forgiven, be made totally clean, innocent and acceptable in His sight. He died in our place, for our sin, so we could be forgiven and have eternal life. He paid our penalty and set us free from the power, the bondage and the guilt of sin.
When Jesus (God in the flesh) came as a man, He showed us Man and He showed us God. We see in Him absolute perfection and how much we fall short of what man should be and who God is. When He went to the cross, He took the very worst that life and sin could throw at Him and He suffered the penalty of it. It cost Him the worst of suffering, rejection, abandonment, humiliation, pain and even his life, but He did it. He did it voluntarily as the supreme act of love, mercy, grace and sacrifice. He did it all for you and for me. I once heard it said: “He paid a debt He did not owe, because we owed a debt we could not pay!”
Not only did he suffer and die to pay our sin debt, he conquered death. Just as had been prophesied centuries before and just as He had taught His disciples, after three days in the grave, He arose from the dead—forever taking away the sting of death and the penalty of sin for all those who follow and trust in Him. When He came to us he showed us God. When He went to the cross, He took our sin and placed it upon Himself. When He died on the cross His blood washed away and erased our sin—separating it from us as far as the east is from the west. When he arose from the dead, He forever defeated death and gave us the ‘Gift’ of eternal life. We can now stand before the Father both here and on judgment day and when He looks at us, instead of seeing our sinfulness and our guilt, He sees the blood of His Son Jesus that was shed to wash us and cleanse us from all that separates us from a Holy God. He sees us as sons and daughters that are sinless and acceptable in His sight. We are heirs and joint heirs with Jesus. We belong to the Kingdom of God. We are a child of the King of kings. We are set FREE!
Jesus is the Gospel! He is the Good News! He is alive! He has paid your ransom. He has purchased your salvation and offered it to you as a gift. As with any gift, it has to be accepted to be yours.
If I could only say one thing and had one last chance to say it—I’d say: Walk with Jesus! He loves you so.