Re Thinking the 3 "R's"
Most of us grew up on the 3 R's, Reading, 'riting, and 'rithmatic. I'd like to propose a re-thinking of the 3 R's that will enable everyone who embraces them to live life to the fullest here and now and spend eternity with Jesus. This all came together for me as I wrote a funeral message recently. I wanted to communicate with the people present that with the uncertainty of life they needed a plan, a path to follow that would insure the quality of life now and the destination of their immortal soul later. Here is the plan I proposed to them. RECOGNIZE: It is absolutely vital that every person recognize that they are separated from God from the moment they exert their own will against the will of God. The Bible calls this sin. We are born with the "bent" to sin, and if left alone, will progress to the willful life of sin. Normally we define sin as some heinous crime against mankind, or the use of drugs and alcohol, or sexual promiscuity, or murder. Of course these are sins but SIN is the choice of one's own will over the will of God. it is important that at some point in time we become aware of the separation between us and God. REALIZE: The second "R" is the realization that we can do nothing to close this separation that exists between us and God, but that God has provided a way for the gap to be bridged...the death on the cross of Jesus Christ for no other reason than to pay for our sin. However, the fact that Jesus has provided the way for us makes no difference unless we respond to His offered pardon from eternal death in hell by exercising the third "R". RECEIVE: We each must personally receive the gift of eternal life by receiving Jesus Christ as RULER of our lives. That means that we voluntarily step aside and give Him free reign in our lives. In order to do this, there is a fourth "R" that comes into play, and that is REPENT. To repent of our sin, we stop what we're doing and begin to do what God asks of us. Repentance is both an initial choice and then a daily choice. As Jesus told those who asked how they could qualify as His followers, "Deny yourself, take up your cross DAILY and follow Me.". Someone has defined discipleship as "a long obedience in the same direction." Our initial repentance and receiving of Christ guarantees our salvation; our continued repentance as sin creeps into our lives again and again guarantees the quality of our daily lives here and now. Let me encourage you to re-think the three "R's" and begin to experience life beyond your wildest dreams.