At times “conversion” can seem somewhat legalistic … making an agreement, a contract with God ….. you examine the details and make a decision. “Gee, this looks like a good deal…. I’m going ahead with it”. Let’s see, I proclaim that Jesus is God, the messiah, the redeemer, who died on the cross for my sins and I decide to make him the Lord of my life… and in return, my sins are forgiven and I receive a promise of eternal life in heaven. Okay, that’s the deal… sounds pretty good, bring in the lawyers to write it all up. Now, what’s next.
Hmmmmm, there’s a lot of truth in the above, but there’s some important things missing…. primarily the incredible love of God for each of us. Salvation is essentially a matter of love. Love is the reason God decided on this whole thing in the first place. “ For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
The readings from Isaiah during this Advent season shed light on how God feels about you and me. His feelings are tender and kind.
“ Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy ….. and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not pass over it, and fools shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Is. 35:3-10)
God looks out and sees “those with fearful hearts, the blind, the deaf, the lame, the dumb”, and he prepares a highway for them, bringing everlasting joy and gladness…” Wow, the reason that God sent his only son is that he wanted you and me to experience eternal bliss. He didn’t want us to die in our sins plagued with fear and sickness and death.
Sure we have a role to play….we have our part… we need to turn from our sin and turn to God…but it’s all GOOD NEWS ! Let’s not get bogged down with the judicial parts of our salvation without seeing the motivation behind it all. God loves us and is ready to save us. It’s a heavenly blessing, a heavenly covenant that God freely offers to us. God is Love !
So, let’s embrace this season of Advent, this season of preparation. Let’s prepare the way of the Lord to enter fully into our hearts. It’s a really good deal. It’s really GOOD NEWS !!!