“For God so loved the world, He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes on Him, will not perish but have eternal life.”John 3:16
I’ll never forget Palm Sunday 1975. A teacher caught me by the arm and said, “Michael, I’d hate to get to heaven and not see you there.” Wow. You sure wouldn’t go up to just anyone and say that to them but it was perfect timing … God’s timing for me. It made me think. I had been feeling for some time that I was missing something. Even though I had lots of friends, a good home, did well in school and sports and always had a couple of dollars in my pocket … something was missing. The old line is, “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every person. You can try and fill that vacuum with money, friends, pleasure etc. but it can only be filled with God.”
The only verse I knew in the whole Bible was John 3:16 … “For God so loved the world, He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes on Him, will not perish but have eternal life.” For the first time ever, I realized that God didn’t just love the globe, but He loved me personally as the Cross demonstrates profoundly. I realized that though I knew some information about Jesus I was living for myself. God was simply filed away in my filing cabinet between Girls and Golf. I pulled Him out occasionally when needed. I had never put my faith in Him as John 3:16 gave the “whosoever” invitation.
Easter Sunday morning 1975 I surrendered. I choose to trust Jesus the Savior and asked Him to forgive my sins and give me eternal life. I decided to stake my eternal destiny upon Him and His blood-stained cross and empty tomb. It wasn’t at all about what I did, it was about what Jesus did for me. I simply accepted the greatest gift ever offered. That was the best moment and best day of my life. My life isn’t always easy, but that day in 1975 gave me a personal relationship with God … one that is compelling and mysterious and amazing and messy but so very real.
It is terrible thing for anyone to miss heaven and peace with God. It is worse to miss it by 18 inches … There is a vast difference between knowing facts about God in your head versus knowing him personally in your heart. If you have never trusted Jesus in your heart or are not sure … perhaps you will read John 3:16 like I did. Personalize it. Tell God you want to fill the God shaped vacuum in your heart with Him. Trust in Jesus alone and His work rather than your own efforts. Easter 2020 may become your special day.