Monday, February 6, 2006
I thought she was the cutest little thing in junior high. She didn't think I was the cutest little thing in junior high, though. See, I decided to make an all-or-nothing play for her. I went downtown and I spent all my allowance money on this necklace for her; the finest rhinestones you have ever seen. Then I wrote this eloquently mushy note to go with it and I sealed them both in an envelope which I proceeded to hand her one day as she passed by my desk in study hall. The next day, she passed by my desk again, and I looked down and there was a familiar looking envelope with the note and the necklace in it. Ouch!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "One-Way Love."
I'll tell you, it hurts to spend a lot on someone you care about and basically have them not care. It's a feeling Jesus Christ knows all too well. In fact, without even knowing it, you may have been responding to His love that way.
That love, and the response Jesus should get from us, is clearly described in 1 John 4:10, and then verse 19, our word for today from the Word of God. "This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." And what a sacrifice - the sinless Son of God taking the filth of our sin so we could be forgiven. God's one and only Son, abandoned by Father God because He was carrying our sin. The One angels worship, with nails driven angrily through His hands and feet, a spear thrust into His side, absorbing your hell so you would never have to go there. Amazing love - unspeakable love - love which demands a verdict from you and me. Will you give yourself to the man who gave His life for you? Or will you, however politely or religiously, withhold your life from Him?
1 John 4:19 explains the only response worthy of the sacrifice. "We love because He first loved us." As actor/director Mel Gibson immersed himself in the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus in preparation for his movie, "The Passion of the Christ," here's how he described its impact. "The full horror of what Jesus suffered didn't really strike me. But when you finally see it and understand what He went through, it makes you feel not only compassion, but also a debt. You want to repay Him for the enormity of His sacrifice. You want to love Him in return."
It's possible to appreciate Jesus' death on the cross, to respect Him for doing it, even to be grateful for it and still miss the only response that really matters to Him - the only response that makes what He did for you on the cross really yours. The incredible Bible verse that says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son" says He did that so that, "whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" ( John 3:16). "Believe" means you grab Jesus like He's your only hope - abandoning every other hope of getting to God.
You say to Jesus, "I cannot resist a love as great as yours any longer. Your death for me is my only hope of being forgiven and going to heaven. I'm Yours."
You may feel you've never rejected Jesus and His love. But if you've never accepted Jesus and His love, He's still on the outside and you're still lost. Not deciding is to decide. That's why He's come to you again today, stirring your heart to finally take for yourself what He sacrificed everything to give you. If you want to respond to this greatest love of all, I want to send you my little booklet about it called Yours For Life if you'll just let me know you want it.
After all God's Son gave for you, God will never forget what you do with His Son.