First thank you for making the time to read this. I could spend days telling you about how special my dad is but first let me tell you about one bad thing my father taught me that I still struggle with to this very day. Back in the days when it was safe for a grammar school student to ride their bike to school each morning I would begin my trek towards Charles Bakery where my father had a charge account open to his family. On my way to school often I would time it just right when the hot glazed donuts would pop out of the oven. Today I have to blame my father for my addiction to sweets, and it's a bad one and it's all my fathers fault.:):):)
Of all my fathers children I gave him the most trouble to say the least I was not a user-friendly child. My father was gifted with some kind of supernatural radar power of finding and saving me time after time. Like at age 14 the time I ran away from home, my dad found me at 3am in another city on the back patio of some drug dealer. On the way home that morning (I remember it like it was yesterday) my father knowing each of his children well did the worse unmanageable thing to me, he spoke not a single word about it all the way home and forever more no scolding on the really big stuff. He showed me what Grace and Mercy looks like. Smart he is and I never again ran away from home.
Staying with the supernatural radar power from Above I remember another time on vacation when in the care of teenagers by a pool I ending up at the very bottom of that pool just sitting there with my eyes open unaware I was about to drown. My father close by enjoying family and friends inside a screened in porch of the tikiy bar made a new entrance thru the screen to save me.
My father had a strong faith in God I remember every day at 9am where I could find him, he would be at the church praying, keeping a vow he made wile a prisoner of war in World War II. I would ride my bike sometimes to the church where he would be praying and quietly softly sneak inside the church where he was alone with his God and ask him for a dollar. (yes there was a day when a dollar could get you muchJJJ) What a blessing, an example for a little boy to follow in his fathers footsteps.
I guess one of my best memories of my father is that he just loved to gather together with family and friends and did it often, and maybe for us kids too often for we all had to help with the preparations of pealing rock shrimp and such. I hate for my father how all this stop when he had his heart surgery many years ago, after that he was never the same. He stopped play golf stop just about everything healthy and fun, and for those of you close you will understand me when I say “ending up at the lamppost”.
My father left me with the most important everlasting legacy, my faith, my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savor. That being in tack I know I will see him again and not only see him but live thru out eternity with him and other loved ones who excepted the free gift of the Gospel.
There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the Gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they're preaching the Gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life', or that ‘you can have meaning to your life', or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.' All of those things are true, and they're all important, but they don't get to the heart of the Gospel.
The Gospel is called the ‘good news' because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I'm not. And at the end of my life, I'm going to stand before a just and holy God, and I'll be judged. And I'll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness – or lack of it – or the righteousness of another. The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn't possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.
The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn't concerned to protect His own integrity. He's a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the Gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith – and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ's life and death is by putting your trust in Him – and in Him alone. You do that, you're declared just by God, you're adopted into His family, you're forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity where all things are new.
The bible saids “To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will there be a curse upon anything. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
Thanks for listening.