April 20, 2019
Do you like receiving gifts? If God offered you a gift, would you accept it?
John 3:16 is the keynote text of the Good News that Jesus preached. It is a simple message that even a child could understand.
- God loves us.
- Loves us so much that he will do whatever it takes to give us the gift of eternal life.
Do you want to live for ever? Who doesn't? Then why are so few willing to pay the price?
Wait a minute, I thought salvation was free. Didn't Jesus pay the price? Absolutely, eternal life is a free gift. All we have to do is walk follow Jesus. But that requires walking away from our own appetites, our dreams, and our fears. Far too many of us judge that "a heavy-handed, simplistic cliché." (In the side bar you will find links to two iconic gifts that were once similarly rejected.)
Jesus' parables often speak of the experience of rejection. He talked about the "weeping and gnashing of teeth." Tears of loss and tears of anger. Tears from those who suddenly recognize what they have lost. Tears of anger from those who are convinced that a massive miscarriage of justice is occurring. They DESERVE to be included! They are good people. But they rejected the gift because they didn't want to pay the price.
What Jesus doesn't mention are the tears in God's eyes as He loses his children - forever. Tears of a heartbroken parent.
This weekend, I was challenged to look anew into the mirror of the tears of God. Have I accepted the gift God offers? Is my life focused on loving Him and my fellow humans?