• Unconditional Love ~ Easter 2014

      I used to wonder how 12 peasant fishermen, tax collectors, farmers – how in the world did they multiply – to one out of every three people on the planet [who call themselves Christian]? The answer is the Resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus changed everything. It split our calendar to the A.D. and the B.C. "No other event has impacted the world so much as the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”


      It’s what we’re Celebrating today, a Change of Circumstances! Christ died but lives again!


      Jesus never wrote a book, yet there are more books written about Jesus than any other subject in the world. Jesus never composed a song, but there is more music written about Jesus Christ than any other person in history. 


      Jesus never drew any pictures or did any sculpture, but more art has been made about Jesus Christ than any other subject in history.

      Jesus never traveled more than 100 miles from where he was born, and yet, you can find followers of Jesus in every nook and cranny of the planet.


      The reason Christianity spread is because "it's good news". "It's not bad news. It's really good news – no, it's great news. This verse in Bible is Great News!!!


      It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor). 2 Corinthians 5:19 AMP 



      Reconcile… to means Balance the Books… Settle an account; Scripture says, you’ve been hanging in the balance and found wanting. Our broken humanity leaves us all hanging in the balance and found wanting… 


      Wanting what? Hope, Peace, Happiness, Forgiveness, Acceptance, Grace, Compassion, Understanding, & more than anything Love; Unconditional Love!

      John 3:16 is the Gospel in a Heartbeat. If there were a verse that could change the world this would be the one. 


      John 3:16 tells us of:
      1. The Greatest Love – God so loved the world that He GAVE
      I find it so amazing that God has enough time to love me when He has the whole rest of humanity to love. He loves you. He loves me. He loves us in our sin, our selfishness, our anger, our failures and our addictions. He even loves those who don’t believe He exists. He loves all of the atheists of the world. That is hard to believe, but He does. Name any kind of person in the world, and He loves them. He doesn’t love their wrongs, but He loves the person. 


      God’s Love is Unconditional… meaning we can’t do anything to earn more of it and nothing we can do to receive less of it. A Challenge for us is to comprehend this kind of love because most human love is conditional on our behaviors, our words and actions.


      2nd Challenge is a by-product of the first one; Our response to knowing we may have done something that could cause us to experience Less Love and perhaps even Anger. We all experienced that as kids… Broken cookie jar… We go into hiding!


      Just like God came looking for Adam and Eve who were hiding… We Hide behind all kinds of things, because most people believe if there really is a God He must be MAD at them.  Good News about Easter is it was the Proof that God’s not mad at you!!! Come on and shout it…

      John 3:16 tells us of:
      2. The Greatest Gift – God gave His Only Son ~ Unconditionally
      I don’t know why my life is so important that God allowed His son to go to the Cross for my sins. He loves all of us so much that His Son made the ultimate sacrifice by accepting the death penalty in our place. 


      I know what it is to love, I also know what it is to lose someone U love. Knowing those two feelings, and knowing God chose to allow His Son, His perfect blameless Son to die for me still dumbfounds me every time I think about it.


      That’s why He gave us this greatest gift of salvation. He knows our true value.

      John 3:16 tells us of:
      3. The Greatest Life – Believing on Him you will not perish, Everlasting life

      We Make Our Decisions and then our Decisions Make Us!


      You have this new relationship with God simply by accepting it. It is His gift to you through His unconditional love. It is not something you could ever earn by any effort of your own… (Ephesians 2:8-9 BCJV)


      Life w/ Christ is greater than any other. Many have thought the “Good Times” consisted of all a person can spend, drink, smoke, ingest, shoot up, inhale, sleep with, party. But nothing compares to the Abundant Life found in Jesus Christ! 


      Had Jesus not rescued many of us from the gutters of self-destruction some of us in this room might be dead now. If you know you might be dead, in a prison, or some cesspool of misery, failure or addiction, would U be so bold as to stand up wherever you are as evidence to God’s Love and saving Grace of Jesus?


      I could never imagine life without Him again. He gives us everlasting life. He gives us the opportunity for life with Him. All we have to do is make the decision to believe, ask, and receive. Believe… Ask… and Receive!

      Back in 1830 George Wilson was convicted of robbing the U.S. Mail and was sentenced to be hanged. President Andrew Jackson issued a pardon for Wilson, but he refused to accept it. The matter went to Chief Justice Marshall, who concluded Wilson would have to be executed. "A pardon is a slip of paper," wrote Marshall, "the value of which is determined by the acceptance of the person to be pardoned. If it’s refused, it’s no pardon. George Wilson must be hanged."

      2,000 years ago we were all issued a pardon through Jesus Christ; One that could free us from the tyranny eternal death. BUT like the case of George Wilson – the power of our pardon is determined by those who decide to receive it. What you choose to refuse you won’t be forced to receive.