I was only half awake. It was four o'clock in the morning and someone was trying to talk to me.
He said, "Do you think you could put this conversation with me on paper? I need to get to the hearts if some people that I am very concerned about.
"Yes Jesus", I said, as my whirling mind tried to make sense of what I had just heard.
He said, "Do you have questions about me?"
"Yes," I said, "Who are you?"
This is what Jesus said!
"You are the one that I that I love and am concerned about! I want you to know that I am the proof that God loves you. There are some other things you should know about me as well.
" Because my Father so loved the people of the world, I, Jesus, His unique and only Son, was sent to earth so that no one would need to perish because of their sin, but could have a wonderful life now and forever. So I willingly, yes, even gladly, was nailed to the cross in agony and pain, and gave up my life, to make this new life possible for everyone who believes in me. Because of this, they who will believe will be spared the awful penalty of sin, and enjoy eternity with me in Heaven.
In other words, I am the way to Heaven, the ONLY way to Heaven.
"Don't make me laugh", I said, "Heaven is just for dreamers".
"Yes", He said, "Unless you believe in me and that your soul lives on forever, Heaven does not make any sense to you. But one day your life will come to an end and you will wish that you had prepared for the heaven that I know is real for I came from there to offer you safe passage to that beautiful place. There will be no sin, no evil, no deceit allowed to enter there. Only those who have accepted God's love and forgiveness that has been purchased by the blood I shed on the cross will be admitted.
"But Lord, It's hard for us to believe that someone who was executed on an ancient cross has any bearing on our lives today or on our eternal destiny".
" Listen," He said, " If I had not died on that cross and then came back from the dead to prove I was really God's Son, who would have believed? But because I am alive, millions have trusted me with their lives and have received this new life. Many have been heroes and martyrs driven by their love for me to spend their lives ministering to the needy and communicating my love to others. And I continue to add to my following all that turn from their sin and believe on me.
"Lord", I said, how does that work? Can I be changed like that?
Jesus replied, "Yes you can! This is how it works. My Father and I are of one mind and one spirit and when we planned forgiveness and salvation for you, our most cherished creation; we had to take into account the eternal principles of truth and justice. Satan has lied to you. He has told you that sin is pleasurable and profitable and you believed him. You have chosen to follow his lead and have sinned by disobeying the very laws that were lovingly designed to keep you from evil and harm. We cannot lie and say it didn't happen, nor can we continue to accept that kind of behavior, because we have designed and predestined you for something far better. The death penalty is prescribed for sin. In justice it must be carried out. The Father said to me," Son, you and I and our Holy Spirit are the source of all goodness. Surely we can find a way to have mercy on these loved ones the enemy has damned." "Yes", I replied, "I know we can".
"It sounds like an awful dilemma to me. How did you solve it?"
" So we devised a plan". He continued, "Father would commission me and send me to the earth to be born as a man and live with men so that we might know and feel the plight of men. I did that and I experienced many things. Since I was the first man who ever walked on earth without sin, Satan tempted me in every way he had devised to tempt you. Satan was more active against me, for he had much to gain if he could discredit me. Since I had a body like yours I had all the passions and cravings that you have. I knew the tiredness and weariness and frustration you endure. Now I could understand your feelings and problems. I can really sympathize with you. Because I love you so much I determined that I would pay the death penalty for you.
It worked out that envy in the hearts of men in the corrupt religious and political systems of that time shortly brought me a death penalty. I had been successful and true to my Father's instructions. Even Pilate said of me 'I find no fault in him.' However now I faced the most difficult part of the plan. Though I dreaded the horrible death on the cross as bad as that was, but it was the, I-can-hardly-say-this, taking on me your awful load of guilt and sin so it could die with me on the cross. As I took it on I could feel the horror of your guilt and the dread and fear of death and hell. I knew that my father loved me, but how could he do this to me! How could He ask me, his Son, to carry this filthy sin and then actually forsake me as I hung on the cross just because he hates sin so much? I asked him if there was any way I could escape it. He didn't answer. I thought, no, if I abandon this plan there would be no way in heaven or on earth to save the ones we love so much. Yes, I could have called ten thousand angels to save me and let you die. But my love wouldn't let me do that. Now I scarcely remember the nails and the spear and the gore. It was wonderful to be able to pay the penalty for your sin. However, the Father didn't leave me there! I came back with victory over sin and death and the grave! I did pay the penalty for your sin! My blood, which flowed from the cross, fully atoned for all your sin. It is my free gift to you. All you need to do is to confess your sin and turn from it and it will all be forgiven and forgotten. The angels will have a party in heaven and rejoice and praise the Father, because you have come home".
"Lord," I said, "Please forgive me for not realizing how much you love me and how much it meant to carry my sin to the cross. I guess I didn't realize how bad sin really is. Can you tell me about that?
He said, " Sin means breaking God's law, that is, doing what we know is wrong because we don't love God and others as we should. Since God's law was lovingly designed to protect and enhance your life, you are at risk if you ignore, or disobey it. When you disobey it you show contempt for my love and care, saying, in effect, that you know better than I do what is best for you. It appears, then, that you have no respect for my wisdom or the fact that I have created both you and the world in which you live. Even though I love you dearly, I cannot ignore your hateful attitude.. Fellowship between us therefore is broken. I can no longer comfort you with my presence nor protect you by my power.
"But Lord," I said, " I am not a bad person. I try to do what seems right, but I get confused sometimes and things don't seem to go right."
Jesus said' "That is because your mind and spirit are disoriented because of the conflict within. Your conscience requires truth and justice but you sometimes balk at these when your personal gain or comfort is at stake. The guilt you carry damages your mind as well as your emotions and your body. You are unable to love, as you ought. You show disregard for your neighbors who are influenced by you and should have a good example from you. The whole fabric of society is poisoned by your lack of strong moral principle. Because I love you so much I am deeply hurt because you push me away and then pretend everything is all right and sometimes even claim you love
"Whew!," I spouted, " I had no idea that sin was like that. No wonder you hate it".
"But that isn't all", Jesus continued, "My Father has created you in his own image, the very greatest product of his creative genius, and I, in love, have purchased your salvation by my death on the cross to provide forgiveness for your sin.
How do you think I feel when you reject all this so that you can sin as you please? I know, and I want you to know, that a sinful life will bring you neither peace nor joy, only disillusionment and frustration. Satan adds to your trouble and pain by leading you deeper into sin. Then you resent any effort my servants or I make to help you. I am disappointed that your potential as one of my followers is being wasted and your influence is working against me. Sin is a horrible master. It is only by my grace that it has not led you farther n to the depths of wickedness than it has. When sin takes hold you cannot escape without my help. I still love you, long for you. It makes no difference how far you have gone or what you have done. I am ready to help you. Trust me. Let me welcome you home.
Evidently Jesus didn't mind all my questions and I was beginning to like the honest and gentle way He talked to me. But it seemed to be going too far. I thought: I had better try to politely turn him off.
" Lord," I said to him, "I appreciate your love for me, but there are many things about my way of life that I like. I'm comfortable and happy with my friends who would think I had become a religious nut. I like the pleasure I get from doing a lot of things that I don't think you would approve of. Besides I don't know if I am capable of becoming the kind of person that you want me to be. It seems you ask a lot of your followers. I feel as though I have lived too shabby a life to ever change that much anyway. So lets just forget about it."
"My dear one." He said, "Nothing is to hard for me. I turned the rogue who was Saul of Tarsus into the Apostle Paul. I have been changing lives by the thousands. You can trust me. I offer you a life with joy and inner peace, with purpose and power and an unlimited future.
"I was startled that He called me His dear one. How did He get that close to me? He must really love me. ------ L-Lord, I stammered, "I don't understand at all about how people can start a new life, being 'Born Again' as they call it. It just seems impossible that I could ever do that. Wouldn't I have to be a preacher or missionary or do some great and good things in order to earn your love and respect."
"It is really quite simple", Jesus said, it is nothing you do. You can't earn it or deserve it. It is something I do for you. It is a free gift. You don't deserve it. You never will deserve it. I am the one who paid the price on the cross for your forgiveness and salvation. All you need to do is accept it. I will send the Holy Spirit like an unseen breeze through your soul with cleansing and energizing power, and He will fill you with a kind of love you never had before and a peace and joy you cannot understand. Your conflict with God will be over and your attachment to sin will be broken. For if I make you free you will be totally free! If you believe in me, and what I did on the cross for you, and promise that you will try your best, with my help, to stop sinning, I will see to it that you are 'Born Again". You will then be able to live a truly worthy life until I take you home.
"Lord", I said, " You make it sound awfully tempting but I really have to think about it. Maybe I can get some things in my life straightened out. Maybe some things will change so that I can see my way clear to do it. But right now it seems like a to big and too scary a step to take".
"My dear one," He said, "It never will get any better or easier than it is now. It can only get worse. Sin will never let go of you! You can't even begin to change your own life. Trust me now. I will be with you every step of the way. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I want to be your very best friend. You have never been closer to me than you are right now. This is your time.
You and I know that life is uncertain. This may be your only time. Think about it. Trust me to change you and give you a new life. Will you?"
I waited a while but He said no more.
What should I do?
I decided to give my life to Him. I'm glad I did!
What will you do?
I Gave MY Life For You
I gave My life for you,
My precious blood I shed,
That you might ransomed be,
And rescued from the dead;
I gave, I gave My life for you,
What have you given for me?
And I have brought to you,
Down from my home above,
Forgiveness full and free,
My pardon and my love,
I bring, I bring Rich gifts to you,
What have you brought to me?
Francis R. Havergal 1860