Thoughts to Ponder

Do you really believe?

Sometimes I am afraid that we as Christians just mouth the words. We know what the lines are supposed to be so we say them. We say things like God loved us enough that He sent His Son to die for us. Or we quote (John 3:16 NIV) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Don't get me wrong, I believe that verse with all my heart, but do we really understand what God is saying?

Do we really understand how God feels about us? Not humanity as a whole, but about us individually? For that matter do we care? Do we just accept the fact that God loves all mankind and therefore He loves us, as if we are riding the coat tails of the rest of humanity? And what difference does it make?

To me it makes a lot of difference. First if God just loves me because I am one of His creation, just one more human being, then God would not care about my little individual problems. My car insurance coming due, or my up coming root canal, or whatever.., would not mean much to God. After all He has plenty just like me.

Second, if we are all just a group to God, why would He care if I accepted Christ? What difference would it make to Him if I was the 28th million and 1 person to accept Christ? What is the difference between 28 million and 28 million and 1?

Third, it would make a difference in my witnessing. If I felt that God just cared about humanity as a whole, not people individually, then I would be much more cavalier towards other individuals. So what if I did not get around to witnessing to Bill, I will just hit Jim up and it will be all the same.

It seems like a subtle difference at first, but when you really think about it, there is a great difference between loving us individually and loving us as a whole. So which is it? Does God care about us individually or not? Let's look at what His Word has to say about it. (Luke 12:6-7a NIV) Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies ? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Jesus was not just talking to those people standing near Him at this time. He was talking to all of us. Notice that Jesus says not one sparrow is forgotten by God. If God did not care about you as an individual why would He bother numbering the very hairs of your head?

Jesus said many great and wonderful things, but one of the things that He said that I love the most was: (Matthew 13:44-46 NIV) "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. I love these verses because I see God's love for us in them. I think many people take these verses to mean that getting to heaven entails selling everything or at least being willing to sell everything to follow Christ. I can see that but yet I have always had a problem with it because we don't have to do anything other than accept the 'free' gift of salvation. Who sold everything to buy us? God did, He gave His only Son to die for us. So I see us as the treasure that God loved enough to buy at a high price.

Next let's look at some of the individuals that God has saved. Noah, comes to mind. Out of all the world God spared Noah and his family. God looked down and although the whole earth was corrupt He spared the one righteous man and his family. God cared about Noah as an individual. God spared Lot and his family. The list goes on and on. God does care about the individual.

If you are a Christian then you have accepted the fact that Jesus died for your sins, because without that there is no forgiveness for sins. That brings me to my central question; do you really believe that if you were the only person in human history to accept Jesus as their Savior that He would still have come and died for your sins? If God had known beforehand that there would not be any Peter's, Paul's, D.L. Moody's, Billy Graham's, or anyone else other than you, would He have still sent Jesus to die for you?

I believe He would have. I believe that when you witness to someone you can honestly say that God loves them so much that He sent His only Son to die for their sins. Jesus said: (Luke 15:10 NIV) In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Why is there rejoicing; because God cares about that one soul!

Satan might try to convince you that it is prideful or arrogant to believe that Jesus would have died just for you. That is a lie, your pride, if there is any involved, is a pride over the limitless love of God, not over anything that you did or deserved. There is nothing wrong with being proud of God, He deserves our pride. There is nothing arrogant about saying we serve and have been redeemed by the most awesome God, the King of kings, Lord of lords, the great I AM.

We have done nothing to deserve salvation or to deserve the love that God has shown us. It is a free gift that He gives us because He loves us. He loves us because of who He is not because of anything we do or don't do, so don't ever let Satan convince you that God does not love you as much as He does humanity as a whole.

I want to make sure there is no doubt in anyone's mind that when I talk about the fact that I believe that Jesus would have died for anyone of us alone, I am trying to explain God's great love. It has nothing to do with our worth; apart from God we have no worth at all. God loves us not because we are worth anything, but because He is a loving God. All the glory, the worth, the praise, the pride, everything belongs to God and God alone.

E-Mail Ralph

These devotionals are written by Ralph Dettwiler, and reflect his views.

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