Happy Birthday Lord Jesus A Bible Study by Jack Kelley This is the time of…
What I Gave Up For God
By Dennis Huebshman
Not wishing to cut any particular person down, but after hearing some “personal” testimonies, I almost get the feeling God is lucky to have them on His side. After all, many times I’ve heard, “Yup, I gave up thus and so, and also this and that, and as a result I gave my life to the Lord.”
Ok, now it’s my turn, but before that, I’d like to tell you what God gave up for me. It’s not a real long list, but then again, His importance is a bit more than mine and goes back a long way. Starting with the beginning, He created the Heavens and the Earth for His pleasure, but also for our needs. We were initially designed to live on fruits and vegetables and in the Great Outdoors. Sometimes I actually wonder if He feels He would have been better off by stopping the creation with the animals, birds and fish. I don’t believe that by the way they were formed He would have had to do much more than feed them, and in the beginning, they were satisfied with fruits, vegetables and grass.
Then, He decided to make man, “…in Our Image” which says there’s more than one entity to the Godhead. (Genesis 1:26) By the way, except for one time, there has never been any issues between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I’ll get to that a bit later.
In no time at all, the woman and man disobeyed the Creator because of a fallen angel with a pride problem. (Isaiah 14: 13-15). To prove He means what He says, God banned them form paradise on earth. He has to kill His precious animals to make clothes for them because all of a sudden, they know they’re naked. So here we have a shift in the relationship between animals and of course birds and fish will follow.
Time moves on and murder comes on the scene. Cain killed Abel due to jealousy, and God continually had to deal with different perversions and all types of evil. In the background is the fallen evil one – satan – who tries to ruin just about everything God has created. At one point, God sends massive rains for the first time ever and wipes out all but one family and some animals. Satan has sealed his doom for a time designated by the Father.
Moving on, God finds a person, Abram who is later called Abraham, and formed a good relationship with him. No, this man was not perfect and did sin, yet he proved to be very faithful in carrying out whatever God asked even up to being willing to sacrifice his own son. God saw Abraham was committed to Him, so He provided a ram as a substitute for Isaac’s sacrifice. God made a covenant that says He would honor those who honored Abraham and would curse those who dishonored him. That covenant remains in effect today and has been passed down through Abraham’s descendants.
God’s people, through the centuries, proved to be a handful because of idol worship, sexual immorality and about every type of evil imaginable. He provided a sacrifice system that temporarily was in place to cover people’s sins. Again, His animals are the ones used for this. He explained though His prophets and early priests that only the best of the flocks were to be used and nothing that was substandard would be accepted. He even made provision for the very poor in that turtle doves could be substituted for those who could not afford sheep or cattle. Through it all, He had to discipline His chosen people numerous times for disobedience.
God knew from the very beginning His people could never satisfy His need for a perfect sacrifice, so at the appointed time, He sent 1/3 of Himself – His Son – in order to once and for all provide the needed sinless spotless Lamb that could cover the sins of the world.
We’re getting to the part of what our Heavenly Father gave up for us. All prior to this was a prelude and all that has taken place since is continuous concern for Him.
Jesus arrived in the form of a baby that was born of a Virgin. Satan did everything he could to destroy this child, but though Jesus was fully human, He was still fully God, and no matter what, a creation thing could not destroy the Creator. He did create misery for those around him and continues to do so today.
Jesus grew up as a human, and at 30 years of age started a 3-year ministry that has lasted all the way through today. Though He was, human, He always knew He was part of the Godhead as He said He had to be about His Father’s business when He was found in the Temple at 12 years of age. (Luke 2: 41-52) Many times Jesus talked to the Father in prayer and also referred to His having to be “Lifted Up” signifying how He would die. During His time, He stated on several occasions that He and the Father were one, and that after He would leave the earth He would send the Holy Spirit to be a part of those who believed in Him. (John 16: 7-15)
Then comes the crucifixion. In John 10, Jesus told His disciples that no one would TAKE His life, but that He would give it willingly. The Jewish leaders thought they were finally getting rid of a problem, yet they did not know He completely controlled every part of His sacrifice. One note here, I have actually heard it said that Jesus must have sinned at least once, but if that were so, His sacrifice would have been useless, and I believe He would’ve stopped it. He Did Not Sin!
Earlier, I mentioned an issue in the Godhead, and it took place on the cross. It was the one thing that Jesus the Creator actually had a fear of. At the point He cried out, “My God, My God; why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34), it was the first time EVER that the Trinity was separated. The Father had to look away from the Son when the sin of the world was laid on Him (my sin and yours too). As a perfect God, He could not accept the world’s imperfections. It was only a brief moment, but Jesus experienced what it would be like for those who are going to be separated from Him forever, and that was His greatest pain.
Any and all that did not follow the Father before the cross, and all who reject Jesus from the cross to the ultimate end will experience that separation, and will be judged at the Great White Throne. (Revelation 20: 11-15)
When Jesus rose the 3rd. day and then ascended to Heaven, satan’s doom was assured and the outcome is in Revelation 20:10. The Lake of Fire was created as an eternal place of punishment for satan and his demons (fallen angels) and also for those who go through the White Throne Judgment. There is no escape from this.
Now to what I gave up for God: My spot in the line for the White Throne Judgment by accepting all that the Father has given me. That’s it, totally! You can give up your spot as well if you accept Jesus as your Savior and there’s no other way. (John 14:6)
It’s free for the asking and God will not “send” anyone to the hell fires. All there will know they chose it and be shown why – Forever. He would much rather you accept His free gift paid for in full by His most precious Lamb who is also the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. He doesn’t want anyone to fail (2 Peter 3:9) but eventually His patience will run out. To leave this earth without Jesus as your Savior is eternal separation from the Father.
Give up what I did and make that terribly long line a bit shorter!