My Grace-Full Life

4.15.20 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Deadlines and Choices

TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 ESV)

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Happy Tax Day! Technically, we have an extension because of coronavirus… and a good thing, because I’m not ready. It’s the first time in my 18 years of filing my own taxes that I haven’t finished them in February. I’m creating a great deal of anxiety for my husband and mom (I do her taxes too) since I’ve pushed all this to the wire. In fact, the only taxes I have finished are my son’s, but his are easy… 

What about you? Have you finished your taxes? Or, even with the coronavirus extension, are you going to file for an extension? Honestly, that stresses me out. I’m breathing a little easier knowing that the extension has been issued, but my goal is to have them finished by midnight. I’m going to be drinking A LOT of coffee today.

We all live with a deadline over our heads. It’s the deadline to choose Jesus. While some may have the cavalier attitude of, “You only live once,” or “I’m going to, but I’m not ready,” we all have a deadline. But unlike tax day, none of us knows when our deadline will come.

I once had a pretty intense debate with someone over this topic. She insisted that her loving God would never send someone to hell and that the official decision didn’t matter. She is right on one point… our loving God doesn’t send people to hell. He lets us choose. And in His love for us, He will respect our choice. So with that said, she was horribly wrong to state that the official decision won’t matter.

To be clear, I totally believe in a deathbed confession. The repentant thief on the cross is proof that Jesus forgives even those who have lived a life fully for themselves and are moments away from death (Luke 22:39-43). But what a dangerous way to live. What if you don’t know that death is inches away and you don’t have time for a deathbed confession?

Jesus explained this to Nicodemus and His words are for us too, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3 ESV). 

A little bit of a rabbit hole… but an important one… why the “truly, truly?” What does that mean and why did Jesus say it twice? It’s translated from the word “Amen,” and of course, we generally end our prayers with Amen. We do it without thinking, but “Amen” means to accept, agree, or endorse what was said. When Jesus put it in FRONT of His words, that double emphasis not only affirms what He’s saying, but it makes the profound statement that He has firsthand knowledge and authority to declare it to be true! So when Jesus told us that we have to be born again, it wasn’t optional!

Thankfully, He’s made it easy. The choice we need to make comes down to belief in our hearts and confession with our mouths. Romans 10:9-10, and verse 13 say, “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”

Coronavirus has a lot of people thinking. After all, we wouldn’t have all these restrictions and run on medical supplies, protective equipment, and food if we weren’t concerned about self-preservation. And I haven’t looked up the numbers yet, but Greg Laurie reported in his Easter sermon that the Google search on “prayer” has skyrocketed since March.

People recognize that no one is promised tomorrow. There are two options on the table and both options have eternal consequences. Choose wisely. There’s a deadline for each of us. God will respect whatever choice you make, but the right choice is and will always be Jesus Christ. He is the best decision you’ll ever make and the one you will never, ever regret. 

If you’ve already made a profession of faith in Jesus, please join me in praying for revival. And if you haven’t made a profession of faith, there is no better time than the present. What is holding you back? Consider the amazing love and grace Jesus wants to give you! He will never let you down or leave your side once you invite Him into your life! I am praying for you, and you’re always welcome to reach out to me (my contact info is on my website). I’ll help you and pray with you.

Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for His gift of salvation. Thank God that love always gives us a choice. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray for revival in this world and if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior, pray today for the courage to make that important step.

SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Download a free Bible-In-A-Year Reading Plan when you subscribe! Join an online prayer group at www.facebook.com/groups/onlineandonourkneesprayergroup. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.

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