ON A DUSTY ROAD
(An Incredible Revelation of God's Love)
By: Norm Rasmussen
Have you ever heard someone say: "God is love"? I never used to know what that meant, until something happened one day that opened my understanding. Here's what happened:
I couldn't get my mind off God - which is how it all started. I found myself unable to concentrate at my job. I was physically at work, but mentally constantly thinking about God. At home with my wife, I didn't want to be distracted by having to fulfill my obligations as a spouse. I just wanted to be alone and be with God. It was not like me, I assure you, to be like this.
Yet - supernaturally, something was happening. Something inside me was growing in intensity, and I was so caught up in it at the time that I didn't fully realize what was happening. All I knew was that I had an incredibly powerful desire to commune with God and never quit communing.
After three days of being this way, I told my wife that I was going to take the day off and just go spend it with God. I told her I had to. Her blessings were upon my request. She seemed to understand.
I drove my car to the nearest deserted road
I drove my car to the nearest deserted road for privacy and parked. I couldn't wait to put all distractions aside so I could concentrate 100% of my attention and affections on God. It was the burning desire of my whole being.
I spent about two hours in my car just communing with God, telling Him I loved Him. Thanking Him for all He had done for me. Thanking Him and verbally expressing to Him all of my appreciation for all he had done for me . . . when I had never deserved it.
Oh yes - that's right. You see, for over 20 years, I wasn't convinced there was a God! How could there be? All the suffering and pain and heartache in this world? Evil and greedy people getting their way, while good and unselfish people getting very little? No way- there couldn't be a God . . . at least a loving God. On top of that, I had prayed many times through my life, and my prayers never seemed to get answered the way I wanted them to. No - there was no God, which I was quite certain of.
But one fateful Saturday morning, after crying out to God all night, my life changed forever. I met God on His terms - the Holy Bible's terms - not mine. Overnight, my skepticism was gone. God had suddenly become as real as the sky is blue.
Years later - this was partly why I now had to be alone with God. I had been one of the world's greatest skeptics, and God had grabbed me by the shoelaces and pulled me out of the pit of blindness and despair that I had dug for myself.
My muscles were sore so I stepped out of my car. I started walking slowly down the dirt road to loosen out the kinks, but soon found that even walking distracted me. So I just stood there in the dusty road, loving on God; that is, telling Him over and over how much I loved and appreciated Him.
Silly to some I'm sure - I was getting somewhat frustrated for not having a better way to tell God just how much love I felt for Him at the moment. Raising my hands in the air, I began to vocally give Him praise. That was so wonderful. A new avenue to express my heart of love toward Him that felt like my heart was going to burst from it!
I must have stood there praising and worshiping Him for over half an hour, engulfed and enraptured by a closeness of what I had grown to know as His Holy Spirit, when all of a sudden a distinct calm swept over me. Then God spoke something to me in my spirit that made me drop to my knees in the dust with tears streaming down my face. This is what He said:
"My child, I love you so much. Do you know that I love you as much as any great person you could ever imagine? As much as I loved the Apostle Paul. As much as I love the Pope or Billy Graham. As much as I love anyone else that you might think I would love more than you. I love you equally as much as I love them.
"But do you know what? I love the worst of sinners as much as I love you. No matter whom you might think is the worst of sinners, I love that person as much as I love you, or Billy Graham, or anyone else you can think of. That's the nature of my love.
"Listen carefully: No - I do not love sin. But I love the sinner.
"Yes - the favor of my peace rests more and more on those who put away sin in their life.
"There is nothing you can do to earn my love, my son, so stop trying. There is nothing anyone can do to earn my love - from the worst of sinners to the greatest of Christians - so quit trying to earn my love. It's a free gift.
"It's important, my child, that you know WHY I love impartially like this. The reason is because of Calvary. It is because of the cross, because of my Son, Jesus Christ, dying for the sins of the ungodly - that is why I love this way.
"There is no greater act of love than someone dying on behalf of another. My Son died on behalf of others, He died on behalf of sinners. If you had been the only sinner on earth, He would have died just for you.
"That's how much I love you. That's how much He loves you - and loved you before you ever knew Him - or believed in Him - and on Him."
As the weeks and months went by following that fateful day on the dusty road, I began to see the great significance of what God had spoken to me. I had been giving money for the furtherance of the gospel to earn God's love, and didn't even realize my motive behind it. I had been sharing the good news of the gospel everyway I felt led of the Holy Spirit to do so to earn God's love. I prayed, fasted, studied my Bible -- everything I was doing that pertained to the things of God -- I was "doing" to try to earn His love, and didn't even realize my motive behind it.
Since then, things have changed. Now I give money for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God to be built in the lives of people because of love, not because of fear that He won't love me if I don't. I share what God has done in my life every way I know how as I believe the Holy Spirit is leading me to do so for love, not for fear that He won't love me if I don't. Now I'm beginning to finally understand that when everything I do for God is done out of the motive of love . . . giving with no expectation of getting back . . . Christianity is so much more rewarding, for truly indeed as the scripture says:
Perfect love does cast out fear. (I John 4:l8)
God gave His life for you and me. It was a sacrifice of love. In appreciation, we give ourselves fully to God as the natural expression of our sacrifice of love back to Him. It's not always easy ... but it should be our highest daily priority.
It is only wise to share another revelation the Holy Spirit imparted to me shortly after the above happened. God's unconditional love for each of us, from the worst of sinners to the most godliest of saints, will not keep a person from going to hell in and of itself. God has declared in His Word that every person has God's wrath upon them until they turn their lives over to Jesus Christ. Once they do that, and mean business, God's wrath is instantly removed, for all time and eternity, if that person continues to walk in intimate relationship with Jesus Christ until their time is done here on earth.
"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. (Romans 5:8-9)
What if a born again Christian sins? Will that change God's unconditional love for that person? Absolutely not! Sin does not, and cannot, stop the flow of God's unconditional love toward a person, whether they are spiritually born again or not. It can stop and/or hinder God's favor toward that person until that person acknowledges their sin to God, asks for forgiveness, (which 1 John 1:9 promises they will receive), and gets that sin out of their life ... but it cannot stop, alter, or hinder in any way ... God's unconditional love for every person born into this world. Here is the assurance we have from God's Word of this incredible promise:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35)
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
If you should want, you can stop loving God, but that does not, and cannot stop God's unconditional love for you. It's simply impossible to stop! The death of Jesus Christ established the law of unconditional love for sinners that forever will never be able to be reversed, changed, or altered (even if God should want to, though it's impossible now for Him to even want to ... that's how cemented-in-stone His unconditional love for sinners is).
HOW MUCH DOES GOD'S LOVE COST?
Now here is something that will blow the minds of most of us earthlings, it is so profound. If you could afford to put a million dollars in the offering plate in church every time it goes by, that will not gain you more of God's unconditional love. On the other hand, if you never place one penny in that offering plate as it goes by the rest of your life, it will not stop God's unconditional love for you. We can pray 70 times a day ... we can faithfully attend Church every time it's open ... we can read our Bible hours on end ... we can give all we have to the poor until we're poor just like them -- and that will not earn us God's unconditional love, or more of God's unconditional love. None of us can earn God's unconditional love by anything we do or not do. Nor can any of us stop God's unconditional love by what we do or don't do, no matter how pleased God might be with our doing. [Our Spirit-led "doing" certainly can and will lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven, and it can and usually does release God's favor toward us ... but don't confuse "doing" and "obedience" with God's unconditional love. (See Matthew 6:19-21 and 2 Corinthians 9:6)].
Let's address this issue: "Well, if God is a God of love, why does He allow all the suffering and hardship that people experience here in this life?"
One of the attributes or expressions of God's love for every human being is His expression of free will. God loves every person so much that He gives that person choice. Choice to read and obey God's Word, or the ability to disbelieve it and disobey it. God gives us the choice to kill others, hurt others, steal from others, abuse others ... whatever we want to do to others. God allows leaders and rulers to wage war against others, if that is what they choose to do. He has given each of us the gift of free choice, to do as we please. What we do with that free choice will ultimately determine our destinies -- our future reward in heaven, or punishment in hell.
If God did not give us this gift of free choice, then the only alternative we would have would be robots. We would only be able to do what our Creator said we could and couldn't do, and that is not love at all, but dictatorship and control against our free will.
We give God a "bad rap" when we say that God cannot be a God of love, simply because if He was, He wouldn't be allowing all the hurt and the pain that is going on around this planet. God is a God of free choice -- we must always remember that. Furthermore, we must never forget that God has allowed Satan and his demon helpers some free will as well to have influence over the affairs of mankind ... yet for a season. There is more pain and suffering caused by the devil's doings than what most people realize.
If you would like to read Norm's born again testimony, click on the following link: http://precious-testimonies.com/BornAgain/L-N/Norm.htm
If you would like to read Norm's wife's born again testimony, click on the following link: http://precious-testimonies.com/BornAgain/h-k/kathleen.htm
Once a person can begin to grasp just how much the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross released the flow of God's unconditional love toward sinners, (from the foundation of the world, no less), which every person born into this world is ... that person will never be able to turn their back on Jesus Christ again. The devil may be able to put the right kind of temptation to sin in front of you, and you might bite. You may in fact bite over and over. But the more you keep biting, the worse you'll begin to hate that sin you keep repeating, simply because the love of God simply won't let you stay content with your sin indefinitely.
Jesus Christ stands at the door of each of our hearts and knocks. If we'll open that door for Him, the first thing He wants to say to us is the most profound expression of God's love that God could express: "My Father's love for you is so deep that I died for you to prove it."
Does that sound too good to be true? Not once you grasp the nature of God's love for you!
Staff Note: If you would like to receive a full-length DVD copy of this testimony, you can do so by sending a suggested donation of $10.00, (no extra for postage and handling), requesting Tape #: 214, to: Precious Testimonies, P.O. Box 516, Jenison, MI 49429.
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from the Holy Spirit that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for yours sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to cover your sins? We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To be at peace with God; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life.
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