23The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. (Psalms 23)
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:16-17 (King James Version)
These two passages where recited at today's memorial service for Nick Pickering JR. Nick just celebrated his 17th birthday on April 16th, on April 17th he was killed in a motor vehicle accident (MVA). The OSP Chaplin who officiated the service made certain that the attendees knew that Nick had a personal relationship with Jesus. That he had excepted Jesus gift of forgiveness and that all who believe will someday get to see Nick again.
I never got to know Nick, I work with his step dad, and I know who his dad is because he is a customer where I work. I heard and read of Nicks FFA achievements before his death so I knew of him. I had no idea that this teenager was a child who excepted Jesus's love and gift, that wasn't ever written about. Some of his peers new of his personal relationship with Jesus but it isn't something that is broadcasted. I think it should be.
The Chaplin today at the memorial read an essay another teenage boy wrote just a few short months before he died in a MVA. This boy wrote about meeting Jesus in a special card catalog room. This boy had a dream about a special room filled with a card catalog from floor to ceiling. He opened the drawers and read on the cards various things about his short life. He grew embarrassed by how much time he spent watching TV and how little time he spent telling folks about Jesus. He was mortified by the drawer that contained his lustful thoughts, his lies and his wrong doings. He was so mortified that he tried to destroy that card file but he couldn't. The were as strong as steel. They wouldn't burn or tare. Everyone of his cards had his name on the bottom written in his hand writing he didn't want folks to see his shame, he didn't want people to know who had lusted after he was ashamed. Jesus walked in an started pulling every card out of the catalog and sign he started signing them. The teenager in the story was horrified begged Jesus not to read them or sign them he was ashamed and sorry for the thoughts, lies and dishonest actions he done in his life. He asked Jesus to forgive him. Jesus continued to write his name on the cards, working quietly and quickly. The boy picked up a card and saw the bright read signature of Jesus's written in Jesus's blood and then the stuff written on the cards disappeared. Just Jesus's signature in blood remained over the boy's hand writing. In an instant this boy went from being ashamed and fearful of Jesus's judgement to humbled and repentant. Jesus finished in a very short time and said to the boy "It is finished." Jesus had taken the boys sins and wiped them away with his blood. He had forgiven this boy. They left that room together hand in hand because the boy had asked for Jesus's forgiveness. The door to that room remained open because this boy still had work to do but left with a better insight into his life. He left that room a changed person knowing he was forgiven.
Wow, now that was a powerful essay. I paraphrased it according to my memory and I didn't do it justice but it is a powerful story. This teenage boy understood and got what it was all about to be truly forgiven in Jesus.
Folks, do you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Have you confessed to Him that your a sinner and want to be free from the sins of your past? Have asked the Lord for a relationship with Him??
You see going to church, dressing the right way, reading your bible, and being a good person isn't going to get you into heaven. Being baptized into a certain church isn't going to get you into heaven. You have to accept Jesus's gift of forgiveness and asked Him to have a relationship with you. You have to be broken like this boy, like I have been and want Jesus in your life. You don't have to be "perfect" or change your ways before you accept His gift. You just have to accept His gift. It is easy, you just pray
Father I am a sinner, I am broken and I accept Jesus's blood on the cross so that I may have eternal life. Come into my life Jesus and wash away my sins. AMEN!
It is that easy, and that simple, have you made that choice? If you made that choice have you told someone, anyone? Are you spreading God's word either by mouth or actions? Have you truly accepted God's gift and growing a real relationship with Jesus or did you just say the words and called it good?
Growing the relationship is just as important as accepting His gift. His peace and understanding and knowing Him will get you through the tough times like losing a son or daughter to soon. Knowing who Jesus is and having a relationship with Him will bring about many good times through the bad. Just read my stories on my life and see where I was without Him even though I accepted Him at a young age to where I am at now. Tell folks about His love and share Him with those who may not know.
I know that in this blog I wrote that I argue with God a lot. And I do, I am not proud of that, God asks us asks me to change and do things that are out of our/my comfort zone. He asks us/me to do these things to better ourselves and to be a better witness to His kingdom. I don't always go along with these things right away and I have conversations with God telling Him my plans. God wants what is best for us even if we are uncomfortable with what He is asking of us. He listens to our/my fears and concerns and He provides the doors, the means, and the comfort we/I need to complete, do and accomplish all the stuff He asks us to do.
Don't be afraid to begin a relationship with God because he might ask you to do something your not comfortable with. Don't be afraid to begin a relationship with God because it isn't cool with your friends or family. This is eternity we are talking about folks. I can't wait to get to Heaven and meet Nick and get to know him even better. I can't wait to see the joy on his parents face when they get to see their son again!
Life is short, we don't know when God is going to call us home. Are you ready to meet your maker. Are you ready to stand before God and be judged?
If you have questions, or need to talk or share things feel free to sent me a comment or email
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