“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”—Mark 8:36(NIV).
Have you ever had some exciting news to share with others? Maybe the news was so terrific you thought you would burst before you could tell someone. While grocery shopping recently, I bumped into a neighbor. We were discussing mundane things like the weather and our flowerbeds when I heard someone shout, “Carol, I’ve got some great news.”
My friend and I turned around to greet another neighbor. Pushing the grocery cart as fast as she could, my excited neighbor said, “My photo was accepted into ‘Country’ magazine—you know the one you helped me send in by email.”
I was excited for my friend. The photo I had helped her download and submit to the magazine was of a rabbit standing on its hindquarters eating from a low-hanging bird feeder in her backyard.
It was one of those rare moments of being in the right place at the right time with a camera in hand.
If we look, we can find opportunities each day to share with those who might not have heard the most exciting news of all. Or maybe they’ve heard but they don’t believe God has a plan for their life too. Before I came to understand God’s plan is a life-giving relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, I had no real peace.
How do you explain “the peace that passes understanding” to someone who doesn’t understand nor has accepted God’s grace? Author Joseph Cooke wrote, “Grace is nothing more nor less than the face that love wears when it meets imperfection, weakness, failure, sin.”
In a recent sermon titled “Does God have a plan for my life?” my pastor said, “We all have a basic need to know Him.”
Before I gave my heart to Jesus, I could say I knew of Him, but I didn’t know Him. Like many who don’t understand the true nature of our Creator, I thought it was about following all the rules. In his sermon, our pastor reminded us of three things:
• You can’t earn a place in heaven by being nice.
• You can’t earn a right relationship with God by doing good things.
• You can’t earn a relationship with God by knowing all the answers.
Before I knew God personally, I thought I had all the answers but they weren’t the right ones. I now know it was a sign of my own insecurity. Real security comes from knowing one thing—our Creator loves us wholly. His grace, His heart leads Him not to deal with us according to our sins or to retaliate against us according to our iniquities. He is always faithful, even when we are not.
Christian theologian St. Augustine said, “Because God has made us for Himself, our hearts are restless until they rest in Him.”
Such sweet rest comes from knowing His love, kindness and favor when we trust in Him. You don’t have to earn it. Just accept it. Now, that’s exciting news to share.
After a 30-year teaching career, Carol Round found redirection as a Christian columnist, author and inspirational speaker. She is the author of nine books, all available at Amazon.com. See her website at www.carolaround.com for more information.