SCRIPTURE: John 3:16 (TM) This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
STORY: Bruce Larson tells how he helped people struggling to surrender their lives to Christ:
For many years I worked in New York City and counseled at my office any number of people who were wrestling with this yes-or-no decision. Often I would suggest they walk with me from my office down to the RCA Building on Fifth Avenue. In the entrance of that building is a gigantic statue of Atlas, a beautifully proportioned man who, with all his muscles straining, is holding the world upon his shoulders. There he is, the most powerfully built man in the world, and he can barely stand up under this burden. 'Now that's one way to live,' I would point out to my companion, 'trying to carry the world on your shoulders. But now come across the street with me.'
"On the other side of Fifth Avenue is Saint Patrick's Cathedral, and there behind the high altar is a little shrine of the boy Jesus, perhaps eight or nine years old, and with no effort he is holding the world in one hand. My point was illustrated graphically.
"We have a choice. We can carry the world on our shoulders, or we can say, 'I give up, Lord; here's my life. I give you my world, the whole world.'"
Too often we give up too early in your pursuits. We think that are efforts have fallen short. That we have failed, or that the challenge is just too great, too heavy … and we give up. It feels like we are carrying the world around on our shoulders.
Here is what Max Lucado wrote in, Six Hours One Friday, pp. 58, 59: “When God became flesh and was the victim of an assassination attempt before he was two years old, he didn’t give up. When the people from his own home town tried to push him over a cliff, he didn’t give up. When his brothers ridiculed him, he didn’t give up. When he was accused of blaspheming God by people who didn’t fear God, he didn’t give up…. God would give up his only son before he’d give up on you.”
If God hasn’t given up on us, why should we give up on ourselves and what he is asking us to accomplish for the Kingdom?
We can either try to live our life as Atlas or place our life in the hands of Jesus? It is our choice!
Lord, you haven’t given up on us, so encourage us so we don’t give up on ourselves. Amen