Today we celebrate Veteran's Day, a day where men and women who have served and currently serve our country are celebrated. To choose to sacrifice oneself for the freedom of others...to choose...It's a powerful word, a powerful concept. Today as I woke up peacefully next to my husband, as I woke my children from their safe slumber, as I prepared my coffee, as I quietly caught up on life and listened as the newsworthy stories broadcast from the haven of my bedroom, as I kissed my family goodbye on their way to school/work, today I am reminded that every step of my routine came with a price. I revisit some words penned a couple of years ago...
46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[a] When he had said this, he breathed his last."
To see Him. To believe Him. To follow Him. To know Him. To trust Him. Different verbs, different actions.
We wake up. We put our feet on the ground and we begin making choices; we lay our head down reflecting on the choices made. Most of the time we like choices. As Americans, we really don't like being forced onto a path; we want the freedom to decide. That desire came from God Himself. However, there are times when we would give anything for someone to make the choice for us. Please don't make me decide. Please don't make me choose. That's the messy stuff. The hard stuff. The 'ugh' stuff. Nevertheless, we still have to choose. Indecisiveness is a choice.
Did Jesus grow up with choices? Yes. Did Jesus have a choice when it came to obedience? Yes. I beg you not to take His sacrifice, His choice for granted. God provided a sacrifice, an atonement, a way to reconciliation through His Son. His Son chose to obey the Father by laying down His life for us. For you. For me. For the homeless person. For the thief. For the murderer. For the adulterer.
I would encourage you to read the gospels and really get acquainted with Jesus. Don't just go on what you've heard or what you've seen or what you've been told. Go to the Word and read about the Man. We have the desire to be loved, cherished, pursued, valued…wooed. We have the desire to be in love in a way that extends beyond what any human being can offer. You may not know what true love looks like, but if you are truly honest, you know there is an innate desire that nothing of this world can fill. True love looks like Jesus. Jesus loves you. Jesus loves you to a degree that is unfathomable. He demonstrated it over and over again in scripture when He chose loving people over everything else, including His own life. His view from the cross must have been magnificent and tragic all at the same time. He saw the reality of that day…..the sadness, the pain, the betrayal, the confusion, the loss, the sacrifice. He knew the reality of the victory….the fact that His beloved (that's you) could choose to be reconciled to Him. He embodied the mercy and He extends the grace. He desperately wants you.
Have you ever been looked over in school when they picked teams? Guess what? He chose you.
Have you ever been looked over for a job? Guess what? He chose you.
Have you ever been looked over in a relationship? Guess what? He chose you.
Have you ever been betrayed? Hurt? Passed over? Hopeless? HE CHOSE YOU.
Have you ever been weighed down by sin, choosing over and over again to commit something you knew wasn't right? He still chose you.
In the Psalms, David says in chapter 31 verse 5, "Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God." This verse depicts the choice of total dependence on God. In Luke, Jesus says"Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" Look at the two verses. You have redeemed me. I commit my spirit. Through Jesus Christ committing His Spirit, through His sacrifice……redemption is possible. Redemption…..a cleared debt, a clean slate….a Not Guilty Verdict.
John 12:27 Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour?' But for this purpose I have come to this hour.
John 10:14-18 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.
Thank you. Two inadequate words, but words meant from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.