Katy has just blogged about her experience of being asked to be Josh’s wife and helper. It’s a powerful testimony of what “saving yourself” looks like and it lets young ladies know that they can “save” themselves for their future (God-chosen) mate.
No, ladies…you don’t have to “find Mr. Right,” God already knows who he is and God will bring the revelation of who that young man is to you. He’s not hiding under a bush and you don’t have to help God do His job of orchestrating providence in your life. Trust Him. Wait on Him. Don’t put yourself on a meat market and give pieces of yourself, your heart, your emotions and even your virginity to someone else. Trust…wait…rest in Him.
Here’s Katy’s story…
By the way, speaking of writing. I must tell you that when I was in Mexico/TX 3 weeks ago, the Lord has pierced my heart about the plight of my lost family members and friends. After I got home, I penned the letter below.
Why a letter? Because it’s hard to talk to some people about faith in Christ. They stop you and give all kinds of excuses and you can never get to the heart of the matter. However, with a letter, you have their full attention. So, I’ve now sent this letter out to three family members that I’ve very concerned about spiritually. I’m convinced they are lost and would go to Hell if they die. You read it and see what you think and if you like any part of it and if the Holy Spirit prompts you (and I’m praying He will), please copy it and send a letter to your family, friends or neighbors.
I know the Lord has put you on my heart. I have felt led to write you a letter and share the greatest news of all time.
I was to a large part raised in church. But, I strayed from the church and from the Lord. I prayed as a boy to receive Jesus Christ in my life and I kind of checked that off my list of things to do and moved on with life. Life for me was making money and having a good time for many years (even my early years of marriage with Pam). But, I’ve made good many and experienced many things in this life and there is certainly no lasting joy in that. All the new things get old and I look in the mirror and see that I’m getting old too.
I have lived a good life, but I know one day this life will end. I will die and so will you. When I was in Mexico last week I saw all kinds of poverty. I’ve seen even worse in China and Ethiopia. But, worse than the poverty is the condition of the heart of mankind. I have learned that I can try to help a man and give him food or clothes or even try to provide shelter, but in the end, we are all going to die. Then what?
That’s the question of this life in a nutshell. Why are we here? Who put us here? What’s it all for? If life is simply about the accumulation of things and pursuing comfort and pleasure as we seek retirement, then that seems pretty empty to me. But, if we die and just go into the ground and there is nothing after that…then, so be it. Let’s get all we can out of this life and live it up. But, what if this life is not the end? What if there is more? What if there is a life after death?
You know that I’m a pastor, but before the Lord called me to this work, I worked a job just like everyone else. I busted my rump for many years for companies. I did what the boss-man told me to do. I still work hard today. As hard as I’ve ever worked. But, back to the boss-man. I did what I was told and I abided by the company rules. Doing so brought me a paycheck and promotions and such. There were rewards to the sacrifice of working hard and that’s a good thing. But, beyond that, it’s also the way of God.
I’m convinced we didn’t show up here because of a cosmic boom in space (Big Bang). I’m convinced God created everything. It’s the same as you or me getting home and finding a horse in our den. We know the horse didn’t get there on its on… No…someone had to put it there. The same is true if someone were knocking on your front door. If you went to the door and you saw no one there, you would have to conclude that someone was knocking on it and then left before you got to the door. A door doesn’t just “knock itself.” The same is true of the universe. I look around and I see people…birds, trees…streams…oceans…stars…sun…etc. I know that just as sure as a horse doesn’t just show up in people’s dens out of thin air, neither does all of this. I think of the intricacies of the human eye and the human ear and I’m convinced the eye and the ear are products of an infinite, all powerful God.
It’s sort of like…He’s the boss. He is the Creator of the universe and all things and us. He designed and made mankind in a perfect place called the Garden of Eden and He gave mankind a choice. We could choose what we wanted to choose. Adam and Eve sinned. They had free will to choose and they chose to go against God’s design. And so every person born is born sinful. You don’t have to teach a child how to be bad; you have to teach them how to be good. A child is born sinful and has to be taught right and wrong. Where does this come from? A sense of right and wrong comes from God. Why? Because we are created in His image. This image is not in appearance…but in spirit. We are created with a spirit that will live forever…just like God’s. When we die, our bodies are buried and placed in the ground, but our spirit lives on. This is being made in the “image of God.”
We are also born with a sense of justice and fairness. Again, coming from a Creator. Evolution could never design these things into a person. Take a toy away from a three-year old child and say “Mine.” That child will pitch a fit, because he knows that toy is “his.” You don’t have to teach this. The child is born with a sense of fairness and justice, right and wrong. All are products of God.
So, as I’ve lived through life (more than half of it is likely gone), I’ve realized that death will come. And if there is a God…then he is the owner, he is the boss and so I must abide by his rules. Just as I abided by Broyhill Furniture’s rules, Ithaca Industries rules and William Church and Woody Buchanan’s rules at The Hardwood Company to be successful, I must do the same to the ultimate boss…the master of all…God.
What are His rules? To be perfect so that we may come to him. Well, that’s impossible. Adam and Eve blew that in the Garden of Eden, right? Yes, that’s right. So, we have a problem. We have a holy and righteous boss and master and the only way to get promoted to heaven and live with him is by being able to come before a perfect God. That’s impossible. Why? Because we are born sinful. We are sinners and we can’t come before a holy God in this manner. God knew this so He sent a sacrifice to make the payment for us. His son, Jesus Christ. That’s the familiar verse John 3:16,
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
The only way to please the boss is to come to him on his terms and that’s to be right before him. The only way to be right before him is if someone perfect paid our price.
A few months ago I was at a restaurant and I asked the waitress for the bill. She said, “It’s been taken care of.” I said, “Oh wow! By who?” She said, “They didn’t want me to tell.” Well, I looked around the restaurant and I made I contact with an old friend of mine. He looked away real quickly and I could tell he had paid my bill. I walked over to his table and thanked him. He said, “What are you talking about?” I smiled and patted him on the back and said, “Thanks!” He smiled and said, “You’re welcome.” That was so nice. I didn’t deserve it and hadn’t earned it…but that man paid my bill.
That’s what Jesus Christ did. He came to this earth to pay our sin-bill, our debt. He didn’t it whether we like it or not. It’s already been paid. The key is that we must receive Him (Jesus) in order to satisfy the boss…the master. Why? Because that’s his rules. There are many things that we abide by in this life (rules) whether we like them or not. We do so in our jobs in order to please a boss or company and get a pay check. We abide by traffic laws so we won’t get tickets. We do what a coach tells us so we’ll get playing time and not ride the bench. All of this is of God.
This passage from the Bible struck my heart about you.
Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. 2 Corinthians 5:11
And that is honestly what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to persuade you to give your life to Jesus Christ. Why? Because his father is the boss and these are his requirements. Just like the time you are required to work by your boss to get a paycheck.
Later in that same chapter, the Bible says:
15 He (Jesus) died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them…. 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 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. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 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. 2 Corinthians 5:15, 17-21
I’m making a plea on behalf of Jesus Christ. Come back to God.
Now as you read this you might think, “Who does he think he is judging me…telling me to come back to God. He doesn’t know my heart.” That is all true. I don’t. But, Jesus said, “You will know them by the fruit they bear.” People can tell that I’m a Carolina fan. That don’t have to be around me long to know that I like Tar Heel basketball. I try to catch as many games on TV as I can. I really like Carolina Basketball. Well, some people like racing or hunting or shopping or fishing or surfing the internet. But, if you are around a person, it won’t take you long to see what they like and ultimately what they love.
I know you have been out of church for a long time. I don’t know the reasons and they really don’t matter. But, I’m not concerned about you going to church as my primary reason for writing you this letter. I’m most concerned about your soul and what will happen when you die. What you will say to the boss, God. That’s what matters. Church attendance is a by-product of our desire to be with other folks that love what we love (Jesus). So, that comes just as sure as turning your faucet handle brings water.
So I am an ambassador for the boss, the King, the Master. And just as I would tell you if you were a co-worker and the company had changed a policy or implemented a new pay plan, and you would appreciate me doing that… I hope you will appreciate the fact that I’m imploring you to consider giving your life to Jesus Christ by repenting of your sins and asking him to come into your life by faith.
Again, you might think, “He’s telling me to repent of my sins. Who is he to tell me that?” Well, it’s like I said before. We are all born sinners. You don’t have to teach a child how to be bad…they come out of the womb hard-wired knowing how to do that. So, this is not a question of judging… I’m a sinner too! This is a question of abiding by the rules of the master. Because the truth is, God is the master of the universe and we are all going to die. Do you know why mankind dies? Sin. That’s why we die. If Adam and Eve had never sinned, we would live forever. But, they did and so we die as well. There is no question about death. It’s 100% guaranteed. The real question is then what? What happens next?
Many people are gambling there is nothing. Many gamble on the fact that they are a good person and somehow, a good and loving God will let them into heaven. The problem is that these are not part of the owner’s operating manual. The operating manual, the Bible, says that:
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23
The Bible says there is a payment or a penalty for sin…
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
The wonderful thing is that even though we were sinners (born that way), Jesus still died for us…
8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8
And this is the critical thing that we must get right…
9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. Romans 10:9-10
And the most wonderful thing is this…
13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13
Believing is more than just saying, “I believe.” It means placing your trust in Jesus. It’s like seeing a chair. You can say all day long, “I believe that chair will hold me up if I sit down on it.” But, it’s not really belief until you surrender the weight of your body to the four legs of the chair and place all your faith in the chair to hold you up. It’s not till you sit in the chair that someone can know that you truly believe the chair will hold you up. Faith requires belief and then action to demonstrate that you sincerely believe. A lot of so-called “Christians,” the hypocrites of this world do not demonstrate they are truly believers, so please don’t pay attention to these people. They are not working for the master…but for themselves. They may be church-goers, but they are not part of the kingdom of God.
I write this letter to you in love and with tears because I love you! Pam loves you! We want you to know Jesus. We want you to go to heaven. We want you to escape Hell. We want you to truly know peace in your life. Yes, you are doing well. You have done well in this life. Yes, if the Lord lets us live we might see 90 or 100 years on this earth if we are really blessed, but then what? If you stand before the boss, the judge, the master…what will you say? When he asks, “Why should I let you into my kingdom,” the only right answer is:
I did what you asked. I received your Son. I repented of my sins and I gave my life to him.
Any other answer is wrong. You can’t be good enough to pay your sin debt. Neither can I. If we could be good enough to get to heaven, then Jesus died for no reason. He’s the only way. In fact Jesus said:
6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Jesus is it! He’s the way. No other way works. All the other religions are counterfeits to the truth of Christ. Jesus is alive. He is the only religious leader who ever conquered death. How do I know he is alive? Simple. Today’s date. As I write this letter it’s June 25, 2012. It’s been exactly 2012 since Jesus’ birth. We keep time by this man. We wouldn’t be keeping time by a lying, dead man. Jesus is as alive as today’s date. The world keeps time by this man…the God-man…Jesus Christ. So, just as with Adam and Eve, the choice is ours.
So, I share with you my heart and all my love because I love you dearly! I want you to know Jesus and to know that your payment for sin has been made and received, but you will have to choose him. If you do…sincerely and genuinely then you will be changed. You will know a fullness of life that you’ve never known. Why? Because you will be doing what the boss says and there is great reward in doing what the owner says.
I want you to know that I’m here for you. You are dearly loved!! You are respected, admired and cherished! I implore you to call on the name of the Jesus. Pray and invite him by faith into your life. I would count it a great honor and privilege to talk with you about any questions you have and to help you in any way. My cell number is _______. Home number is ________.
I love you!
I received this response back from one of my family members and it’s all I can hope and pray for at this point…
…thank you so much for keeping me in your thoughts, and prayers. I have been thinking a lot about the letter you wrote, and have actually read it several times. Everything that you said is so completely true, and it really made me consider many things in a whole new light. Thank you. Tell Pam and the kids I said hello, I love you.
I’ll continue to pray. Maybe you might consider writing a letter. Blessings on you day…