Grace For The Journey
Last week I didn’t have time to send out my blog. It was an extra busy week for me and our church family. We presented the Judgement House drama “Payback: When Revenge Turns To Ruin.” It is an 8 room walk-through drama that depicts the lives of people who go through challenging experiences in life and the decisions they make that affect their lives now and in eternity. This year’s script was on “bullying.” It was about a teenager who is bullied at school and who ultimately makes choices that harm him and others, some who are innocent victims.
The reality is that bullying is becoming epidemic in our nation and the tragic response of “payback” has brought heartache, hurt, and death to so many. The drama presented this reality a in clear way and also offered the solution to handling life’s struggles through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
That is why we as a church family put on the drama. Our also church family goes to all this effort because we are extremely passionate about helping people make an eternal connection with Jesus Christ that will impact their lives now and for eternity.
We also go to all the effort of presenting the drama because there are realities of life that we want people to leave thinking about and understanding. These realities are important because how we respond to them will affect our eternal destiny.
I have discovered through my years in the ministry that these realities are things that people don’t think about very much … people get so wrapped up in living life in the here-and-now that they don’t take the time to consider these important realities. We don’t present these realities to scare people but to get them to think about and understand that there is an urgency regarding the decision one makes about where they will spend eternity.
That is what the drama does. It drives home the realities we all need to know in this life and the rescue plan that God has provided to allow us to overcome these realities.
I want to talk about those two topics in my blog today.
- THERE ARE REALITIES IN LIFE THAT WE MUST NOT IGNORE.
The first reality is – You and I are not guaranteed tomorrow
The drama presented young people who had a lot going on in their lives. As they planned activities and looked forward to attending special events none of them knew when the last moment of their lives would come.
Secondly, the drama also presented what God says about us and the condition we are in. The folks going through the drama heard that …
1) Everyone has sinned, and
2) We all fall short of God’s standard.
What that means is this – God is a perfect God, and His standard is perfection … He can do no wrong – He is a good and perfect God. We, on the other hand, have all sinned – that is a word for coming short of God’s standard – there are things we do that displease God and hurt ourselves and others. The Bible teaches that nobody is perfect – even as much as we may want to be or try to do good all the time – it is impossible … even the greatest of people occasionally do wrong and slip up.
Now I think we would all agree that that is bad news. There is this perfect God and there is this imperfect me, who can’t do enough to be perfect … so how do I reconcile that?
But, the problem is that is gets works. The Bible goes on to teach us that the “wages of sin is death” – in other words, there is a cost or consequence for our sin – and that is eternal separation from God in a place called hell.
But, in the midst of all this bad news … God has given us some Good News …
- GOD HAS A RESCUE PLAN.
Here’s the good news … and this is my favorite part … because I never get tired of talking about this – hell was not meant for you and me. God could have easily said, “You owe me. I am a perfect God, you have gone against My standards, you have sinned, you have a debt to pay, good luck.” He could have walked out of the picture … but He didn’t … God came up with a rescue plan.
The Bible doesn’t stop with the bad news, “The wages of sin is death …” it goes on to say, “but” (that is a really great word – it indicates that there can be a different outcome, a different conclusion). Romans 6:23 goes on to say, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The Bible teaches that God has given us a gift and it is not something that is earned or deserved, and that gift is Jesus.
God explains to us all about it in a fantastic verse – John 3:16 – The first part of that verse says, “For God so loved the world” … that is a powerful statement … Think about that for a minute … God loves you … in spite of your imperfections , your brokenness, or how much you have done wrong. That is an incredible truth – that regardless of what I think of myself, or what other people think about me, God loves me!
This verse goes on to show us what God’s love led Him to do (“… that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him not perish (that’s hell) but will have eternal life (that’s heaven)” – God loves us so much that He did not want us to remain broken and separated from Him and so He sent Jesus to take our place and pay the penalty for our sin –God says you are broken, but I came up with a rescue and recovery plan … I have done all the work and all you have to do is accept what I have done for you.
God says all you have to do is put your faith and trust in what My Son has done for you and everything will be taken care of – your sins will be forgiven, you get a relationship with Jesus, you get to go to heaven when you die … all you have to do is say yes to Jesus.
Folks, that is the story of the Bible and it is the greatest news in the world!
Throughout the drama people saw all the choices we make in life, the most important one is the choice to accept Jesus before it is too late.
I am so glad that as a young child, I heard the realities of life and accepted God’s rescue plan! I recognized that I was a sinner, that I could not save myself, and I trusted in what Jesus did for me on the cross and His resurrection, and I am resting in that decision.
The question that the Judgement House drama drives home is . . .
What choice will you make? … Where will you spend eternity?
It is important that we think about this and accept God’s rescue plan before it is too late.
That is what our church is all about … That is what Christianity is all about!
This truth out to make us eager and excited to share the Good News to those around us.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”