Recently, Gwen from Dallas, TX reached out to the Basic Gospel broadcast for help in a very difficult time in her life. Her call moved me to tears. As I looked around the studio and across the glass into the engineering room, the same was true for the entire Basic Gospel team. All I can say is that a real grace story took place in those moments.
Here is how the conversation began.
"I have been struggling with my faith. I have made a mess of my life financially and in my career... I'm currently in a position where I don't understand what's going on. Not all of the wheels are rolling in the same direction. I feel frustrated, I feel anxiety, I feel constant disarray. When it's time to go back to work, I can't even relax on the weekend, because I know I have to go to this job that I don't understand what I'm doing. On top of that, I'm almost 50 years old, I don't have benefits and I've spent all of my savings that I have. I'm trying to find my faith. I'm trying to find my way in the Lord. I'm not sure..."
I was curious to know about her relationship with Jesus. I asked Gwen, "Do you know for sure you've come to Christ by faith, that you have responded to the Gospel message and been made alive together with Jesus?"
"I believe I have."
"Tell me a little bit about your story."
"Well, I'm a believer. I believe in God. I believe Jesus Christ came and died for my sins. I believe that with everything in me. I feel like I intellectually know who God Is, but I don't always feel that personal connection."
"OK, let's start right there; first things first, so to speak. Jesus made an incredible statement that John recorded in his gospel account—'I have come that they may have life and have it to the full' (John 10:10)."
After sharing this verse, I went on to explain to Gwen that the reason Jesus came to give us life is that we were spiritually dead. Here is a brief snippet of how I explained the Gospel to her that day.
"The first thing about the Gospel is this—Jesus came that you might have life. He guarantees that life because he took away all your sins, Gwen. He died in your place. He took the punishment that you justly deserved so that you could receive life and be made alive together with Christ. Gwen, if that has never happened, if you have never come to that point where you have received Jesus as your life, that's where you want to start. That's the first thing. That's where that connection with God really takes effect. If you're just intellectually agreeing with the Gospel, you haven't connected with Christ. So, I'm encouraging you to make that connection today. Does that make sense to you?"
"So would you like to receive Christ as your life right now?"
"Let me ask you a couple of questions. Gwen, can you say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord?"
"Yes... Jesus is Lord."
"Do you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead?"
"Yes, I believe in my heart."
"OK, then let's just receive him into your life."
At this point, I led Gwen in a prayer, with her repeating the prayer after me.
"Lord Jesus, thank you for forgiving my sins. Thank you for being raised back to life so that I could have life right now."
At this point, the love of Jesus Christ overwhelmed Gwen. She could not hold back the tears. And neither could we. The next sentence was hard to get out...
"I receive you into my heart in Jesus name. Amen."
At that moment, Gwen crossed over from death to life. As Paul wrote, "When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all of our transgressions" (Colossians 2:13).
New life is where the story of grace begins for us. I never tire of watching God pour His life into people like Gwen. And I never tire of saying thank-you to people like you who help set the stage for stories like this to occur.
Recently, I attended a seminar and the speaker asked this question: "What do you want your gifts to accomplish?" This was not a hard question for me to answer. More than thirty years ago, I watched Jesus give His life to a gentleman dying of cancer. At that moment, I knew I wanted to be a part of God's great rescue mission in this world. I give for that reason.
Thank you for standing with us to help connect people to the life and love of Jesus Christ. I can't think of a better investment for your time, your prayers and your money.
Here is the great news. God is already preparing the hearts of thousands of others just like Gwen to receive His life, to let go of years of guilt and shame through the shed blood of Christ or to walk free in a brand new identity.
Your continued prayers and gifts set the stage for Basic Gospel to be available at their time of need.
As you may know, almost 40% of our annual revenue is generated in the fourth quarter. This is the most critical time for us as far as fund-raising is concerned. Please give your most generous gift to help move Basic Gospel forward well into 2016 as together we reach out to those who need Jesus.
As we ended the call with Gwen, Bob Davis had these encouraging words to say, "The blessings just keep on coming, they truly do... It's our prayer that we make his love known to help people hear, believe and live in the abundance of his love, his grace, his life. Many of you have given to support this message through the years and we appreciate you so much. We would love for you to continue to support this broadcast and this message of God's love in Jesus Christ. You just heard the importance of keeping the good news coming…"
I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sharing His love and grace,
The offer, Something New, associated with this letter has expired, however you may purchase it online here or request it by phone at 800.727.2828.
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