Saturday, August 8, 2009

Crazy In Love

...First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first. (1 John 4:19, MSG)

In the movie ELF, the character Buddy barges into a key Board meeting, spinning in a circle, casting off his furry winter hat to proclaim, "I'm in love! I'm in love! And I don't care who knows it!" I giggle as I recollect actor Will Ferrell playing out this contrived scene. But at the same time, it aptly displays the emotions I persistently carry inside, scarcely expressing.

Allow me a small amount of time to explain to you why Jesus Christ is the object of this obsessive affection. About 15 years ago, a flame was lit that continues to grow brighter with each day of my life. Despite having grown up a Christian church and family, my mindset and behavior sure didn't reflect it. After a series of personal tragedies, my friend, Jody and her husband, Mike, took the daring risk of introducing me to the One I call Savior. That began an intimate, personal interaction with Jesus which I had never known before.

So what? All sorts of people claim they've discovered a spiritual epiphany of some sort in their lives. What sets apart my Jesus experience from any other belief system is the marriage of passion and logic. I am still amazed as I contemplate the fact that this human from Nazareth fulfills dozens of prophecies from the Old Testament Jewish scriptures. Many of these prediction were things he would have no control over, like who his mother was and where he was born. Statistically, the probability that one man could fulfill even 8 of these prophecies is calculated to be 1 in 10 to the 17th power. (See Josh McDowell's EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT) Now that gets me going, but it's only the start.

Being secure in my belief that Jesus is who he claims he is, I can trust the Word of God. And what that Word tells me is amazing! It tells me that, in this vast world with all its people throughout all of history, God loves me, little old me! I matter to Him on so many levels. And this is true for each person on the face of this earth! We all have infinite value to the One who created us.

God's word also tells me that I'm forgiven. I'll spare you the details of all the wild, foolish living I've done over the years. In addition to that lifestyle, I've had attitudes and a self-serving spirit that I shudder to recollect. I spent too many years walking a fine line between living life on my own terms, yet trying to be good enough to assure that I'll make it to Heaven. That's a stressful tension to needlessly maintain! Jesus assures me that I can never be good enough to make it to Heaven. He represents the gold standard that I can never achieve. And then He brazenly steps up and pays the price, by His own torture, to guarantee that I can be with Him in eternity. Wow!

I can name hundreds of other reasons that emerge over the years that make me love Him more and more. There's the provision when we're desperately down to our last dime. There's the "coincidences" of right people and right circumstances at the right time, which are really no coincidence at all. There's the incredible fact that the God of the Universe, who put the very planets in orbit, can call little old me His friend. Wow! There's the grateful confidence that He gives my life purpose and meaning. There's the steadfastness that He's there through every circumstance, good or bad, holding me up, getting me through.

My hope is that EVERY human being would be introduced to and have relationship with this Lover of their soul! He offers boundless hope that no other can provide, and a joyful peace that transcends any circumstance. Jesus is too good to keep to myself! Thanks for allowing me a small piece of your time, so I can share Him with you!

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