Lauren Parker had a contagious smile, but it was her joy that was mesmerizing. Don’t
get me wrong, Lauren was a normal teenager who fought normal temptations however,
Lauren had found something that gave her an amazing peace. She had found a peace
that brought her enormous joy. You might question what concerns could Lauren have
had at just 16? Being a typical teenager meant she encountered many peace “busters”.
She had a job, a boyfriend and was a junior in a large public high school where temptations
are at every turn and come at alarming rates. She confronted (like a lot of teenagers)
high expectations from teachers, coaches, peers and parents, yet two years before
her untimely death, Lauren found something special, she found the greatest love that
has ever been offered.
Lauren found the love of God’s Son or should I say it “found” her. This great love
came in the form of God’s Son Jesus. He brought wholeness to her life and she wanted
others to find that wholeness too. She had a loving family, devoted friends and many
talents. Yet, even with all these important pieces of life, the one thing they could
not bring her was completeness. Jesus said that he was “truth” and “life”. Boy,
aren’t we all looking for truth? In a world where nothing seems real anymore we have
begun to accept the alternative because much of life seems like a masquerade. Not
only did Jesus claim to be the “life”, he even said we could have this life too.
What about this “life” makes it so great? It is a life of freedom (not to be confused
with independence), freedom from death, the unknown and from fear itself. She was
able to live in freedom because Jesus, who had forgiven her of her sins, had also
given her purpose in life. She didn’t have to search for her career, where she would
go to college, her husband or even direction in life. She trusted God and took him
at his word when she read Jeremiah 29:11 , “For I know the plans I have for you,"
declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope
and a future.” She trusted God with her future, no matter where that led. That was
the freedom she had and that was the freedom that allowed her to live out her life
fully ALIVE. To live a life free of fear, free of confusion and free of doubt.
You too can know the joy of being ALIVE. You too can live in freedom and experience
the wholeness that can only come from a committed relationship with God’s son, Jesus
Christ. If this is you, please understand the following:
God is a Holy God. This means that he is perfect and without any blemish. We, his
creation, were sinful at birth and we have continued to sin. This sin separates us
from a Holy God. God takes wrong doing, (sin), much more serious than we do and to
him the payment of our sin is death and hell. If we continue in our sin we will die
and spend eternity in hell separated from God. Because of God’s amazing love for
his creation he has sent his son to be a sacrifice to pay our sin debt. This debt
cost Jesus his life, but it gives us a second chance. Although we don’t deserve this
second chance, God gives it to each and every one of his creation who will accept
it. Our role is very simple. If we will just admit that we are sinners and that our
only hope is putting our faith in Jesus Christ. If we will ask Jesus to forgive us
and help us to stop sinning he will forgive us and give us a new LIFE. If we will
trust him both now and forever, he will save us and complete us. This takes not only
an intellectual decision but also a commitment of action. We must turn from our old
ways and turn to him! He is the way, the truth and your new LIFE! If this is your
desire, your decision and you dedicate yourself wholly to Jesus Christ then you can
be sure you are saved.
Read (Psalm 51:5, John 3:16, Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:13, John 5:24; 14: 6, 2 Timothy