My daughter, Lily, had a freak accident several weeks back. She stood on a chair and went over on it with her hand over the top of the chair. When she and the chair hit the hardwood floor, her middle finger was severed completely (from the cuticle and up). The hand surgeon actually sewed her tiny little finger back. There was absolutely no guarantee that her finger would come back. In fact, the part of her finger that was sewn back was all dead flesh. If her finger was to be whole again, it would have to regenerate under the dead flesh…and grow. Crazy right?!!? I could not fathom how this works but prayed and prayed that she would have a normal looking and functioning finger again. During nearly 9 weeks of numerous casts, I got to witness the growth of this new finger. Over this period, I would see the shedding of this ugly, dead, black flesh…and the re-birth of this beautiful, perfect new finger.
As we say goodbye to Fall and we notice the once vibrant red, orange and yellow leaves fall to the ground to die…I’m reminded that God will resurrect yet another Spring, Summer & Fall season next year. And like Fall, Lily’s finger and so many other examples, I smile at God’s reflections of His ultimate desire …New Life…Salvation.
I’m reading Matthew. The introduction to this chapter is awesome and mind blowing to me. It reads: “The story of Jesus doesn’t begin with Jesus. God had been at work for a long time. Salvation, which is the main business of Jesus, is an old business. Jesus is the coming together in final form …that had been set in motion before the foundation of the world.” The chapter of Matthew accounts for the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus…and all the connections that happened before …for God’s fulfillment.
I “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” - 2 Cor 5:17
It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that someone told me about salvation. I didn’t know that you can just ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior and you were saved…that I would have eternal life with my heavenly Father after this life on earth. That seemed crazy to me. But after asking more questions and learning more about what Jesus did for every sinner on this earth… I get it. I wonder who out there does not know because no one told them. Maybe you are reading this and you know all this. I hope you pass it along. Maybe you don’t know any of this and think you don’t qualify. That is not true! God’s goal is to bring everyone home.
Our human nature is naturally selfish. We can’t fathom the enormity of love for Jesus to take on ALL of our sins at the cross. But when you open up your mind and heart to Jesus…and shed/let go of your own human flesh idealism… your life is made new.
Salvation is the shedding of your old self and coming into the new life that God designed specifically for you. And it starts very simply by whole-heartedly saying a prayer like this:
“God, I know that I am a sinner and that I need you to wash me clean. I turn from my current way of life and surrender my life, goals, and passions to you. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and invite him into my heart. I believe in Jesus and thank him for dying on the cross for my sins so that I could live eternally with you. I desire to follow you. Please guide me in your will for my life.” WHAT A GIFT!!!!
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8
I hope you decide to read Matthew and maybe get crazy and read the entire New Testament. “The Message” book is an easy read of the New Testament. And it’s small so it won’t overwhelm you. Get answers to your questions. The best way is to read the Bible and ask questions. Do yourself a favor…and find out the truth. Your life will be changed forever!
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” - Matthew 5:3 NKJV