“Lord, I Believe”
for November 18, 2017

by Pastor Allen Werk,
St. Paul Lutheran Church and School,
Batavia, New York

           

            How comfortable are you with taking chances?  It might be as simple as waiting till the last minute to try to get that popular gift for Christmas and hoping you can still find it in a store somewhere.  Or it might be a little more dangerous, like sitting on the lip of the Grand Canyon to take a picture straight down with your feet in the photo.  The consequences of some risks are no worse than embarrassment.  But the results of failing at other chances you take can be physically catastrophic. 

            What about taking chances with your future?  I am not talking about whether social security or medicare will be there waiting for you when you are ready to retire.  I am not talking about how much money you have saved up in the bank for a rainy day.  I am talking about your ultimate future.  I am talking about what is left after you die.  That may sound a little morbid, but all of us human beings know that our lives are temporary.  Eventually this life that we are living will come to an end.  Then what? 

            There are a lot of people who take the chance that there is no god.  They hope that when this life is over, there is nothing more.  Let’s be honest.  If there is no god, it really doesn’t matter one way or the other if you believe in him or not.  If god doesn’t exist, either way, when your life is over, it is over.  If you don’t believe in a non-existent god you haven’t lost anything, and if you do believe and there is no god you haven’t gained anything.  Believe or not, nothing is different. 

            But if God is real, believing in Him brings incredible eternal benefits, and ignoring Him results in a devastating eternity.  So, if God doesn’t exist, you lose nothing by following him.  If He does exist, you stand to lose everything by ignoring him.

            How much of a chance are you willing to take?  If you put your faith in Jesus you are guaranteed not just survival but an amazing new life forever.  If you don’t believe in Jesus you are high stakes gambling with your eternity.  How much of a risk-taker do you want to be?  Is it time for you to play it safe and get to know Jesus?  There is no better time than now to put your trust in Jesus.  Make today the day that Jesus changes your destiny to one filled with joy and celebration. 

For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2 (NIV)

            This is your chance, take it while it is still available.  Jesus longs to welcome you into His family and eternal kingdom.  Stop taking chances with your eternity. 

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)