For relaxation I’ve been listening to some seventies music. The song Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word (1976) Written by Elton John and Bernie Toupin and sung by Barry Manilow on his The Greatest Songs of the Seventies CD has a line that I can’t get out of my head. “What have I gotta do to make you love me? What have I gotta do to make you care?”
As Barry sings, my mind begins a journey of thoughts. I suddenly realize there is nothing that anyone can do to make someone love them because love is a voluntary action and attitude. Then my thoughts take an upward turn toward God and I realize that I did not do anything to make Him love me. In myself I don’t even deserve His love and care, but He first loved me.
Romans 5:6-11 (NKJV)
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
These verses explain that God loves all of us, even if we are sinners. Jesus paid the price for everyone, whether you accept this sacrificial gift or not. I feel sad for the people who close their eyes toward God. When I think about Jesus’ sacrifice I wonder if some people will ever accept His love.
People of all faiths and no faith at all surround me every day. I respect that there are people who have not had the same encounters with God that I have had and do not understand His love the way I do. For these people I pray they may have their encounter and someday come to know Him for who He is.
I wonder how the ones with only faith in themselves can make it in this life. I remember the days when I tried to believe with all my heart, but I was just going through motions that others had taught me. I was just existing and not really living. One day the eyes of my understanding opened up and I began to see more clearly and realized that there is more to life than just what I want.
Before my eyes were opened I understood from afar about the sacrifice of Jesus, but now it is real to me. I was well-educated but completely inexperienced at anything truly spiritual. It wasn’t until I had a firsthand encounter that my life became more than a mere existence.
Today is Easter or as I like to say Resurrection Sunday. It is the day that millions of people flock to church to celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus and the triumphal resurrection from the dead on the third day. Without the resurrection the death on the cross is just a sad event without purpose.
Share Jesus’ resurrection with someone who needs to hear it. Share it with someone who is without hope and caught up in their life, not realizing that there is much more than themselves in this life. After all that is our great commission.
Enjoy the celebrations of the resurrection of our Savior and I will see you again next week.