I was getting ready for a craft fair and decided to include an excerpt from one of my novellas inside my brochure that lists all my books and contact information. Why? Because whether someone likes my stories or not, the most important thing is their relationship with God. Hopefully, all my stories have some thread or truth of the Gospel in them without being preachy it is usually covert. In my novella Slam-Dunk Christmas, I had a more overt moment, so this is the excerpt I took from that story.
“So tell me what’s on your mind.”
How did he know? “I think God is trying to get my attention.”
Blake grinned. “He’s been trying that for a long time, Sam.”
“Maybe so. I was too busy to listen. I guess I want to make sure I’m not heading down a wrong path. I’m trying to pray…”
“That’s a good start. Let me ask you a few questions.”
Sam nodded. “Go ahead.”
“Do you realize that you are a sinner who can in no way match up to God’s holiness?”
“Duh. Of course. I’ve done and thought unconscionable things. I’m sure every day I screw up in some way in spite of my best of intentions.”
“Do you believe that Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose again as the perfect solution to your sin problem?”
“Maybe I’m doing this wrong. Hold on.” Blake rose and left the room, returning with his Bible. “Here we go. Romans 3:23 says, ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ Do you agree with that?”
“Of course, after all the evil we’ve seen on this planet, it would be hard for anyone to deny that.”
“Romans 6:23 says, ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’”
“I’ve seen enough of death,” Sam said. “I want to know more about that life part.”
“Great. Romans 5:8 says, ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’”
“So like a criminal who is convicted of a crime, Jesus has taken my death sentence upon himself. Interesting. A substitution.” Sam marveled. He’d read stories about Jesus, but he’d never really studied the Bible or its tenets.
“Exactly. In Romans 10: 9-10 it says: ‘If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.’”
“So, I just need to accept the gift. Believe and state it out loud, much like we professed our commitment to the military once upon a time?”
“Correct. Verse 13 states, ‘For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ And when we look back at chapter 8:38-30 we see a wonderful promise, ‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’”
“Whoa. That’s amazingly all-encompassing. So the punishment for my sin is gone, I can live a life with Jesus forever?”
“I want that.”
“Would you like me to pray with you?”
“I think I need to do this myself. Thank you, Blake. Can I borrow your Bible?”
“You can keep it. I have several, and the verses are underlined in here.”
“Let me know how it goes.”
Sam nodded, took the book, and his coffee and headed to his room. Once he was inside, he closed the door. How did someone do this? He placed the book on the bed and knelt on the rug that was there, leaning against the mattress he folded his hands. He hadn’t read that this was important but he’d seen images of people praying that way so he figured it wouldn’t hurt.
“OK, God. You’ve been trying to get my attention and I’m ready. I know I’ve made some big mistakes. What did Blake call it? Oh, yeah, I sinned. I am a sinner, and desperately need You to rescue me from that. You’ve already done that, and I need to accept the gift You graciously offer me. So Jesus, I proclaim You to be the Lord and my Savior. My rescuer. My salvation. I desperately need You to help me live the rest of my life in a way that would honor you, my Commander-in-Chief. Thank you for dying for me, rising again, and finding me, calling me, to be Yours. Amen.”
How about you? Where do you stand with God? HE is the greatest gift of all. Let me know if you’ve taken that step. I’m praying for you!