Amazing Grace! I’m often asked, “What keeps you going?” Simply, the love of Christ “compels” me, or “holds me together” no matter how dim things look. The apostle Paul wrote:
“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” 1
An Inspiring Response…
“I am a senior at a small school in Pennsylvania. In my history class, we were discussing Helter Skelter and the Charlie Manson murders when I first heard of you.
“My history teacher mentioned how you had become a born-again believer and how you have your own ministry. I went home and looked it up.
“I am a Christian myself but was still inspired by your testimony. If the power of God could work in a lost soul like yours, imagine what He could do for anybody! One day in art class, the boy beside me was talking about and questioning my faith. He asked me the question, 'If someone killed your own family, would you forgive them?' I answered with my honest answer. I said that it would take time, but I would forgive them. He could not understand that, and that is when I told him about your story.
“I told him that sometimes people are not thinking right when things like that happen, but there is still hope. I mentioned that if God could forgive murderers and the worst of sinners, then I should be able to as well. He is not a Christian, and I was able to plant the seed and give a good response thanks to your story and testimony.
“The purpose of the letter is to tell you thank you. I want to let you know that there are people in the world who listen to your story and share it with others. It provides others with hope and humility. Thank you for staying strong all these years. Thank you for coming to Christ and starting your own ministry. God is doing and will continue to do a great work with you.
“I have one question for you, Mr. Watson; what is your favorite verse and why? My dad would also like to ask you, what keeps you going when things are looking pretty dim? Thank you for your time. Victoria, PA.”
An Inspiring Testimony…
Victoria’s letter reminded me of that old hymn, “I Love to Tell the Story” of Jesus, and His love, which was evident by the testimony she shared with her classmate. She was put to the test and passed with flying colors. In my excitement, I responded immediately, telling her how blessed I was to hear from a young lady who understands and testifies to the miracle of forgiveness. It was a pleasure to share some of my favorite verses, even chapters, and to answer her dad’s question. I know he is so proud of his daughter for serving the Lord.
As for me, the only reason I see myself healthy is to share the story of Jesus and His love. Victoria said it perfectly, “If the power of God could work in a lost soul like yours, imagine what He could do for anybody.” “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 The apostle Paul went on to say, “And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.” 3
“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’” 4
An Inspiring Message…
In these times of protesting, rioting and anarchy, people are searching for answers. Believers understand that Christ’s love for us holds us together spiritually, mentally and emotionally for Spirit-led choices and decisions, making His love and peace a reality in our hearts and lives, God’s Divine Flow. Isaiah prophesied hundreds of years before Christ that “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you [God], all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” 5
This doesn’t mean that we will have peace in this world, but rather peace within our hearts now and throughout His kingdom to come. Also, the prophet Isaiah spoke of Immanuel, “God with us,” Jesus inaugurating a superior kind of peace. “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end.” 6
Jesus said: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” 7
An Inspiring Life…
It’s impossible for those who aren’t born again to understand the peace Jesus promises because it is Spiritually discerned. But for us who are born again, “God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.” 8
“But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.” 9
Oh, how my heart cries out for you to receive Christ’s payment for your sins so that you can be made right with God. I long for you to experience His peace that He left for you, but “…unless you are born-again, you cannot see [understand] the kingdom of God.” 10 The Lord desires an intimate life-transforming relationship with you so that you can be established in God’s grace. Then, “…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” 11 This kind of peace comes only through being made right with God. “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 12
A Prayer for You…
“Jesus, I confess that You are my Lord, Savior and Righteousness. I believe in my heart that God raised You from the dead. By faith in Your Word of reconciliation, I receive salvation [healing and deliverance] now. Thank You for saving me!”
“Father, I recognize my need for Your power to live this new life. Please fill me to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit. By faith, I receive Your power right now in Jesus’ name. Thank You for baptizing me. Holy Spirit, you are welcome in my life. Amen!”
Scripture References (NLT):
1) 2 Cor. 5:14,15 NKJV
2) 2 Cor. 5:17 NKJV
3) 2 Cor. 5:18b, 19
4) 2 Cor. 5:20
5) Isa. 26:3
6) Isa. 9:6, 7a
7) John 14:27
8) 1 Cor. 2:10-12
9) 1 Cor. 2:14
10) John 3:3
11) Phil. 4:7, NKJV
12) 2 Cor. 5:21