I would like to take a moment and tell you about the greatest thing that ever happened to me. When I was 17 years old, I had made some really poor life choices and was in desperate need of some direction. There in the bedroom of my parents’ home, I located the little Gideon’s New Testament that a kind man had presented to me when I was in the 5th grade and opened it to read. It was not by coincidence that God had me open that Bible to John 3:16!
That night I trusted Christ as my personal Savior and committed my life to following Him. That decision was not based on John 3:16 alone. Over the years I had been in church enough to know the plan of salvation as well as most anyone. I knew that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). I understood that I was not to be comparing myself to anyone but Jesus and that He was God’s divine standard by which every life would be measured. As a result, I knew that my sinful condition bore a heavy price. Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death.” Just as surely as physical death comes when our spirit is separated from our bodies, spiritual death comes when we are separated from God. However, God completed Romans 6:23 by saying, “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
A wage is something that you earn and a gift is something that is given to you freely. If you have to earn it, or deserve it, then it ceases to be a gift. That night, I opened my heart to Christ and asked Him to be my Savior. I have often said that, “The stars did not line up to spell my name, and the angels did not come to speak to me, but there, that night, I was born again and became a child of God.”
Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20). As powerful as God is, He is not going to conquer you by force. He simply waits for an invitation to come into your life – and, when He does, He brings His gift of eternal life with Him. It was true for me and it will also be true for you.
If you would like to speak personally with someone about your salvation, please feel free to call our church offices and someone will be happy to talk to you.
Pastor Gary Linton