In being a “baby Christian” (as my fellow bible study ladies lovingly refer to me as), this IS all new to me. I’m like a sponge… I’m in the Word every day, sometimes multiple times per day. I believes it’s a living document, directing me where I need to be each day. I’ve poured over John 3:16 more times than I can count. When I was baptized last month, my testimony ended with, “I AM a ‘Whosoever’!”
In being raised Catholic, I memorized what was said during every Mass. I was taught that “Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary and became man… He suffered, died and was buried… and on the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures.”
Did I ever really understand what all of that meant? DID I? Not really, much to my embarrassment. It wasn’t until I turned my life over to Christ and got into the Word daily, that I began to fully understand His sacrifice.
The title of this blog, although I mean it with every fiber of my being, isn’t original to me. The wonderful woman that directs our bible study (she got me through Genesis!), shared with us that this is something she had heard our young Campus Pastor say, and it resonated with me. It made me stop and REALLY think about what Jesus DID for the world.
I had watched “The Passion of The Christ” a few years ago… struggling a little with what it all meant (as I had never read the bible), and the graphic nature of how Jesus suffered and was crucified was quite disturbing. After becoming a Christ follower in January of this year, as Easter approached (and since I had been in the bible every day), I decided it would be a pivotal time to watch it again. I did cry the first time, but the second time, I was a blubbering, snot-sobbing mess. As I watched it the second time, I was like, “I know this!” and “I know that!” and “I know him!” and “I know her!” It’s like I finally knew what the heck was going on! The second time I watched it, I didn’t look away like I did the first time… not once, as I felt like I was there, witnessing in person what had been prophesied. As Jesus hung on that cross, broken, bleeding and dying for all of our sins, the magnitude of His suffering was almost too much to bear. The words that I had simply memorized growing up became real, tangible, living and breathing as I finally realized ALL HE HAD DONE for us; for me.
Our Lead Pastor has told us many, many times that Jesus isn’t “mad at you”; he’s “mad ABOUT you!” He didn’t come here to teach us about “religion”; He came to save us…to rescue us… He came to do what we couldn’t do for ourselves. The coolest thing about Jesus is that He’ll meet you “wherever you are”. No matter where you are in your life, no matter what you’ve believed or done in the past, He’s waiting for you with His arms wide open. God knows each and every one of us, even before creating us in our mother’s womb. He knows everything about us before we even know. He has a plan for each of us. He is our greatest defender and protector. All we need to do is ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins and to be our Lord and Savior. So very simple but more importantly, it’s soul-saving! Heaven vs. Hell? I know where I want to be and I DO BELIEVE that all of my treasures await me in Heaven.
And I want everyone to be saved. I want everyone I know and love (and even those I don’t know!) to experience the love, joy, peace and salvation through Jesus Christ. I am fully aware that not everyone “thinks” they “need Jesus”. All I can do is keep doing what I’M doing, and they’ll see Jesus in me! When you see someone who is happy, fulfilled, joyful, and peaceful, I would think that you’d want to have what they have.
The Lord’s Supper, is MUCH more meaningful to me now. The countless times I received communion over the last several decades, although touching at times, was not as powerful and impactful as it is now. I’m not sure what other Christian churches do when it comes to Communion, but my church only does it every few months. Because it’s not an every week occurrence, when my church announces that Communion is “coming up”, I wait with the anticipation of a five year old on Christmas Eve for Christmas morning to arrive! Now, when I receive His “body” and His “blood”, I thank Him with my whole heart and soul, and “yes”, I cry. I cry not only for WHAT HE DID, I cry because He did for me what I couldn’t do for myself. I am forgiven…I’m saved, and I’m on fire for Jesus!
John 3:16 ~ “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”.
I AM a “Whosoever”!
~Let Love Lead The Way~ TP