Our study in Bible Talk Today is:
23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" It will be a month next week celebrating that my beautiful and gracious Danish mermaid allowed me to be her husband. 4-1/2 years of chasing each other around the planet and the gift, as she is to me, as is the Danish way, was granted. It is a global love story that I will share over time in my upcoming writings. Marriage is supposed to be for life. Short of catastrophic circumstances such as death, I believe in the Biblically prescribed method of maintaining the relationship. For those of you who may not know me, I have conveyed in Bible studies and in writings that I have been the worst example of Christian behavior and I have and will try to use my ugly personal experiences of various Biblical passages to highlight or illustrate a particular Biblical point. Since life is the subject matter and not marriage, but more importantly eternal life, I want to say that I want to spend the rest of my natural life with my new gift and that we be together in heaven with Jesus for eternity, forever.
Chapter 6 verse 23 in Romans awakens us to a concept about a gift and then eternal life. Gifts, are something that we all know and can talk about. Do you remember your time as a kid at birthday parties and at Christmas? Gifts were the one thing that you knew you would receive and depending on the circumstances, you would receive plenty during those occasions. There is a time also, very rare and special, that a gift is delivered to you unexpectedly and without warning. Those are usually the most precious and appreciated because you received something that you didn't expect or deserve.
Which brings me to this viewpoint. At a certain point in time in my life and maybe yours, I didn't know or understand that I would have a need for life beyond what I see and know today. I could not attain or grasp the idea of eternal life. Living 80 years ok, but 800 years? 8000 years? 8 million years? Crazy and beyond comprehension, but what I do know and understand is that I want to live beyond this current idea of living or life. What I know today is that people get sick- and they die. People go hungry, starve and they die. We could live a healthy and prosperous life, do all the right or wrong things, be the best person we can be, but we will still die. But God knew before you and I were ever born, that eternal life and not some decaying, horrid and abominable walking death, was exactly what a person would desire the most. And so God gave me something, He gave me a gift. He gave it to me before I requested or even asked for it. Jesus came into the world for one reason and one reason only. To die for your sins and mine.
John 3:16 King James Version (KJV)
16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life".
It really is that simple and you know, it is up to you and I what we choose to believe, hear or read. If I accept human philosophy, intellect and reason posing as enlightenment that leads me to reincarnation, and we suppose to come back as a butterfly or maybe relive this life experience again and again and again until we get it perfected, then that is the choice that you or I will have to live with. Or if we choose to believe and accept the gift that God has made available to us through the person of Jesus Christ, then eternal life is absolutely ours for the taking. We can rest in the knowledge that you or I didn?t earn it, we didn?t wake up some morning or night expecting a gift, it was there all along before I was born. All you and I had or have to do is accept it. Like everything else, it?s a choice. Your choice. A confessional choice to God and then to others.
In 2013, I didn't have a plan of coming to Denmark to receive anything other than my job, to win the contract for my employer. But God had another idea for my life. A gift was waiting for me, one that would take 4-1/2 to receive fully. God knew beforehand that I would learn that the Danes has a special word for gift, that would have great impact and resonate with His message for me and perhaps you. I didn't know that I would need this gift, for I was still struggling with my lifestyle habits and desiring to make a change. I was not a good candidate for any person nor deserving of this gift, especially with my history and yet, God opened the heart of this women to accept me as I am. Nothing to offer and nothing to give but myself. She was someone that I needed, but you could not have told me this in 2013.
God is the same way with us. We have nothing to offer Him and nothing to give but ourselves to Him. He has given us exactly Who we need, in the person of Jesus Christ. In Him we have eternal life. Without Him, you or I will discover once we enter deaths door, if the Bible was really true about the first half of the verse that says ? the wages of sin is death.
But as one Pastor would say, it is for you to decide. What decision will you make?
Final paragraph: 1 John 2:16 "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world". And the world is passing away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God, abides forever.
Study submitted by Pastor Keith Hart CCSB of Ministry Copenhagen, Denmark