He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. —Isaiah 53:3-6

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. —Isaiah 55:6-9

And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. —I Thessalonians 2:13

            I used to watch “The Ten Commandments” and “Jesus of Nazareth” while growing up as a teenager.  Did I understand the meaning behind them?  No and there was nobody in my sphere that knew themselves or did not take the time to explain the meaning of these two movies.  But God was stirring in my heart… especially after my grandfather’s death.  I loved that man even though he was a hard man, a drinking man, but I loved him.  He taught me how to play cribbage and, unfortunately, he taught me how to drink and was the first one to give me a beer as an early teenager.

            The last week of my grandfather’s life I visited him while he was in the hospital.  He had emphysema.  He had a tracheotomy and was hooked up to IV’s.  It broke my heart to see him like that and at his funeral I wept immensely, mostly inwardly, behind my eyes, but some slipped out.  After the funeral and some time at my grandmothers house, my best friend at the time picked me up, we bought some beer and sat in his car under a starlit sky asking each other these questions:

  • Is there really a heaven?
  • Is there really a hell?
  • What is death like?
  • Where did I come from?
  • Where am I going?
  • What is my purpose in life?

Nobody was around us that either knew the answers themselves or took the time to tell us.  But… we were asking the questions.  I wonder how many around us are doing the same, but we will never know unless we broach the subject with them.

            I did not understand Jesus as the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29).  I did not understand He would forgive me for all my wickedness.  I did not understand that He truly loved me.  I did not understand Jesus bore MY griefs, sorrows and sin on the cross.  I did not understand that I was an enemy of God and that through Jesus I could become a friend of God.  I did not understand that I was at war with God, but through Jesus I could be at peace with God.   I did not understand God, nor His Son, nor His Spirit, but I did believe in the existence of God.  I am sure there are many around us that are where I used to bev.

            It was not until 7 years later that I read God’s Word for myself.  Yes, it was not until age 24 that I picked up a copy of the New Testament.  It was my military roommate’s that he had left on our desk in our room.  When he was not in the room, I would pick it up and read parts of it and the Lord impacted my life.  I called on His Name to save me and change me.  He does abundantly pardon and immensely patient.  I cannot fully understand His mercy and grace toward me or toward anyone, but I accept it— “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD6khv6pGkw&t=15s

            I am grateful to have heard, believed and received His Word.  Transformation takes place when one reads and heeds what He has to say.  I am so grateful Dear Father that You sent Your Son, Jesus, and that You convicted and convinced me by Your Holy Spirit as to what He did on the cross for me and the whole world and that whoever calls on Jesus will be saved.  For the rest of my life my I truly seek to faithfully serve You… even as faulty as I still am… may I be faithful.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eok7kFr0HuQ

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