When I lost my job, my husband sold his boat. I thought we should wait to see if I could find another job, but he said that he was going to put it up for sale at a certain price and if it sold, that would be God’s provision for us during this difficult time. I don’t even remember if he had it listed yet, but word of mouth had a man after that boat so quickly, that a deal had to be made that the annual father/son fishing trip could be made with it before the sale. The man agreed, and I stood out front and cried as they pulled it away.
My husband is an avid fisherman, and that is putting it mildly! Not only does he love to fish, but it being out on the boat fishing was his way to unwind and relax. That boat was also used as his 2nd office, taking other men with him and talking about anything under the sun. Since that boat is gone, he is left with his john boat and a trolling motor, both for which he is thankful, but he doesn’t get out as much, and it is more difficult to get that boat in and out of the water by himself.
This is only one, although a BIG one, of many sacrifices he has made for our family through the years. At one point, he worked 5 jobs at the same time to make ends meet. He was pastoring, worked as a pizza delivery driver, substitute teacher, mowed trailer park lawns (several of them each week!), cleaned out trailers AND was super involved in our sons school, on the boards and committees. To relax, we’d load the kids into the beat up, 21-year-old Toyota that we bought for $200 at a pawn shop (GREAT car!) and head to the ocean so he could fish and relax while the kids played. We still wonder how he did it!
We have worked side by side, hand in hand through the nearly 30 years of marriage. There have been times where I have pulled more weight, such as taking on many of the church responsibilities so he could work the outside jobs, and other times where he took on the max. Always together.
We made it through the years of my unemployment with God’s help and provision. Even though I am now working, there is always my desire to find a way to get another boat for him. There is a company I found where I can pick up odd jobs – sometimes I can work it once a week, other times there are longer periods in between the jobs. This job is my, “Boat Fund.” Even though it is small amounts going into the fund, it makes me feel good to know that we are working toward something so important!
There is Someone who made an even bigger sacrifice for me than my husband – God delivered His only child, a Son, to ALL of us, allowing Him to be tortured and killed in a despicable way, simply because He loves us and saw our need! Just as my husband saw our financial need and sold his prized possession for our survival, God saw our sinful need and let His Son be nailed to a tree for our spiritual survival!
The story does NOT end with death, any more than our lives ended with the sale of the boat – Jesus rose from death, crazy as that sounds, and provided a way out for us! A way to live a happy and joyful life and live forever with Him when our journey on earth is done. That is true love!
You can have a relationship with Christ, too. The sacrifice was given to each of us, and all we have to do is accept it!
23All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.
23Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.
6-8Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
9-10 Say the welcoming word to God—”Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!” Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.” It’s exactly the same no matter what a person’s religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.”
1-2By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.