Friday, June 27, 2014

GOD'S NOT DEAD

If you've read any of my ramblings, you're guaranteed to find scripture, worship songs, experiences I tend to relate back to my life as a Christian. It's infiltrated into every aspect of my who I am. I don't think it comes as any surprise where I stand in my faith.

It should not be a secret that I am committed to my relationship with the Lord. I profess Christ as my Savior. I believe the Bible is God's infallible Word of instruction and encouragement to us in our daily faith walk. So often I relate everyday experiences back to what I know God is challenging me to do or learn. In most of my writings I incorporate scripture or devotionals to further offer encouragement and guidance. Never had it donned on me that someone reading might not accept what I share as truth, God's truth.

We finally saw the movie God's Not Dead last night. I cannot give it a high enough review. I can't stop thinking about it! It has so challenged me and deepened my faith. If you haven't seen it, PLEASE go see it! All of this to say, the movie also caused me to realize that not everyone reading what I say may share in my belief in God.

I'm unashamed of my faith. I'm not afraid to share it. I remember daily debates in 11th grade Algebra when two of my classmates proclaimed to be atheists. We all agreed to take on the challenge of reading the bible. I just knew, oh how I knew, that the God-breathed verses were going to speak directly to their souls and convince them the error in their thinking. The only problem was the error in my own school of thought. They came back to debate me now armed with scripture and what they tried to use against me. I couldn't use the Bible to convince them of anything because they didn't believe the Bible was anything more than a history book written by men, infused with opinions and stories.

How could I ever forget the college study tour in Israel, when Bible stories became real places I've walked and visited. Our tour guide was a devout Jew and even as she led us down the Via Dolorosa and pointed out Galgotha, she stood firm in telling us she was still waiting for Messiah. Jesus, she told us, was a good man, a carpenter, nothing more. A group of Christian college students on a New Testament study tour could not leave the country without repeatedly sharing our faith and trying to convince her otherwise.

A few months ago I celebrated my 30th spiritual birthday - the day I know and remember saying a prayer and asking Jesus to forgive me of my sins and give me eternal life. I certainly didn't understand the full extent of my relationship with Christ at just 5 years old, but I was certain that I wanted to spend eternity in Heaven with my Savior. I can still picture the room. Throughout my life I can honestly look back and say that even though I may not have always remained faithfully committed to my Lord in my daily decisions or the choices I've made, my faith never wavered in Him as my Savior.

It may seem like a contradiction to you and I do understand. But I'm not here to debate my life choices. What I am here to share is the knowledge of the saving grace that God has given me and that you can have too.

You see, I walked that street where Jesus Christ carried His own cross. I stood atop the skull-looking mountain where He was crucified. I saw the empty tomb with the sign over it that reads "He is Not Here, He is Risen!" I've been there but so had my tour guide, only she'd been there hundreds of times, telling the same story over and over. And to her, that's all it was - a story. Fiction.

You don't have to have traveled to Israel to believe what I'm saying. You don't have to understand every word of scripture written to have faith in God. What you need to know is that Christ died for YOU. Yes, YOU. And even if you were the ONLY ONE, He would have still died JUST FOR YOU. Why did He die? To save you from your sins, to make a way between your sinful, fallen flesh and the divide that separated you from a perfect and Holy God. The one true God.

You may not choose to believe any of it, but ultimately God left the choice up to you.

Why do bad things happen? Why is there pain? Why are there struggles? I can't answer all those questions except to say that our earth, our world, our culture is not perfect. But we can have the hope and assurance of perfect eternity with God if we accept the gift of salvation He's provided through His blameless Son, Jesus.

God's not dead. His Word is alive and active, His creation bursts forth in praise, His Spirit is at work. If you read this blog, or any other of my writings, I pray the only thing that you'll ever take away is that this relationship with a Holy God can be personally yours. If you want to know how, please ask me.

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