The Choice Is Yours

“The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness . . . and He saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the LORD was sorry He had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke His heart” (Genesis 6:5-6 NLT)

What breaks your heart? There are lots of things that hurt me. I’ve battled with depression much of my adult life, so it sometimes doesn’t take much to cause me to “tip” into an emotional low. There have been times I’ve had to be on medication to help me deal with life – when my wife left, when my son had leukemia.

Those were hard and emotionally trying times, yes, heartbreaking times, but not so much, at least for me, as the thought of my kids, and others I love deeply, not being in heaven. But it’s also heartbreaking to see the darkness in my own life that hinders me from sharing my Savior with those in my spheres of influence. It breaks my heart to see my callousness when it comes to those in need of Jesus.

Photo by Min An on

When I think of the sacrifice God the Father made to allow Jesus to voluntarily leave an environment of complete love, peace, contentment, light, and joy, to the darkness, sadness, debilitating hopelessness, sin, and shame of our world – with the express purpose of giving His life for us – I can’t keep from crying. Compounded by the stark reality that He didn’t come just for “them!” He came for me!

My sin, just as much as anyone else’s, nailed Jesus to the Cross. My disregard for His holiness, righteousness, sinless perfection, and matchless love broke His heart as much as those I tend to think of as much worse than me. Here’s the truth – I’m no better than anyone else who has ever lived or ever will live – and neither are you!

We’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious and holy standard – not by an inch, but by light years of miles! The gap from us to heaven is so great it’s literally impossible to bridge. Only a perfect man could ever attain the privilege of entrance into the presence of God’s holiness. And only One, God’s Son, the only One of His kind – that’s what “begotten” means – made the choice to pay the penalty for our sin. But why? What would motivate God to make such a sacrifice? Love!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:16-18 NIV).

The heartbreaking truth is that once we find forgiveness and new life in Jesus, we too often turn so much of our time and attention to learning what it means to be “saved,” we nearly forget what it meant to be “lost.” But I believe there is a sense in which the closer we grow in our likeness of Jesus and the greater our desire to be tender to the heart of God, the more our heart breaks for those who don’t yet know Him.

I’m much closer to the end of my race than the beginning. Whatever time I have left I want it to be poured into helping those without a saving knowledge of Jesus to find their way home to Him. Like my beloved mentor often said: “I want to wear out, I don’t want to burn out!”

Folks, we’ve got to be bold, yet compassionate and caring, as we share what Jesus has done for us, before it’s eternally too late for those we love the most. As Pastor Rick Warren often says: “Hell is real. So is heaven. Choose Christ, and there is no condemnation. The choice is yours!”

Please don’t let anything stand in the way of your loving witness and words to those who haven’t yet met our Savior!

Blessings, Ed 😊

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