A Wisdom Retreat - January 25

I Believe I Will

John 3:17-18

"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

I remember, as a boy, visiting the home of an elderly couple in Wisconsin as we traveled on our way to Minnesota. The man, in his eighties and near death's door, was confined to his chair. We sat in the living room—my father and mother, my three brothers, and I.  

Although the man's children supported my missionary parents, he was not a Christian. I can still hear my father as he shared the plan of salvation with him and then asked, "Would you like to receive Christ as your own Savior? Would you like to ask Him into your life?"

The man said, "I don't believe I will."

Something pressed upon my father to risk offense, because he simply rewound his conversation and started over. He pulled his chair right up to the recliner where the old man was sitting wrapped in a comforter. I remember the urgency in my dad's voice. 

Here was a man who had lived a respectable life, raised decent children, attended church, and accomplished a lot of good things. Here was my father telling him that he was not good enough in himself!

After explaining the gospel yet another time, Dad put the question to him again: "Would you now place your faith in Christ and simply receive Him as your personal Savior?"

I held my breath. It was then that the man replied, "I believe I will."

Now there were tears running down my cheeks. None of us knew it at the time, but within a few months the man would die.

Death comes to all.  It's a reality of the planet we inhabit. This is the reason Jesus Christ came into the world—that it might be saved.

But why are we in this desperate condition? The Scriptures tell us that all men are sinners (Romans 3:10-23) and death is the result of that sin (Genesis 2:17Ephesians 2). It is spiritual death.

Now that's a problem, and the solution can't be found in mankind because all men are dead. Christ took the punishment that was ours and bore it Himself, offering us His righteousness in return. He paid the debt for our sin on the cross. This He did for all who will believe and accept His gift of salvation.

The death, burial, and resurrection of the Savior provide the proverbial life raft, the cure, the escape from death's everlasting clutches.  But the raft must be inflated; the cure must be swallowed; the escape must be made through the open door.

We would think it crazy that a drowning man would pass up a life raft and say, "I don't believe I'll get in it." It would be fatal to turn from the cure and say, "I don't believe I'll take it." It would be suicide to slam the escape door and say, "I don't believe I'll go." Yet, we seem quite unconcerned when a similar response comes from those with whom we've pled to accept Christ's love and sacrifice: "I don't believe I will."

How about you? As you start down this path of spiritual retreat, will you believe on His name and accept His shed blood as the payment for your sins?  Will you receive His saving forgiveness? There should be  only one answer . . . "I believe I will."

Prayer point:  If you have never come to know God through His Son, pray that He would show you the good news in John 3. If you do know Him, pray that God would help you keep in mind that everyone needs Jesus.

Extra Refreshment:  Romans 3:21-26, the passage that some call the "heart of the Gospel."


The Advent Event

December is one of the busiest months of the year. As Christians, we approach the Christmas season with the intention of focusing on the incarnation and making it a significant time. But it's so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season—the parties, the decorations, the presents and the special events at church. Before we know it, the month of December has flown by, and we wonder where the time went.

One of the most significant things a family can do in December is to be intentional about finding time every day to think about the true meaning of Christmas. The Advent Event is an easy, fun and enriching family project to help focus attention on the birth of Jesus while discovering the big picture of God's plan throughout the entire Bible.

Each day in December, the family sets aside a few minutes together for this activity. There is a simple coloring craft, a story from God's Word and a motion to learn that helps children remember the timeline of Scripture. Most importantly, this resources provides a special family time that Moms and Dads can use to reconnect their families to the spiritual significance of Christmas; the birth of Jesus, our Savior.

Receive this booklet as a thank you for any size donation this month!

 

Many ministries today expound on life and illustrate with Scripture;
we’re committed to expounding on Scripture and illustrating with life!

Editors' Picks

  • How to Read & Understand the Bible in 4 Simple Steps
    How to Read & Understand the Bible in 4 Simple Steps
  • What You Need to Know about the Anglican Church
    What You Need to Know about the Anglican Church
  • 10 Valuable Reasons to Know the History of Christian Theology
    10 Valuable Reasons to Know the History of Christian Theology