It is amazing how many times in the Bible that God indicates we are supposed to exercise our free wills in order to enter into an intimacy with Him.
An evangelist tells about a woman who came to him anxious about her salvation. He said to her, "Mrs. Franklin, how did you become Mrs. Franklin?"
She replied, "When the minister said, 'Wilt thou have this man to be thy wedded husband?' I said, 'Yes.'"
The evangelist then asked her, "Did you say, 'I hope so,' or 'I'll try to'?"
The woman quickly replied, "No. I said, 'I will.'"
Then pointing her to God's Word, the evangelist said, "God is asking you if you will receive His Son as your personal Savior. What will you say to that?
The woman's face lit up, and she exclaimed, "Why, how simple that is! Why didn't I say 'yes' a long time ago?"
Two little words, "I will," spoken by both the man and the woman result in marriage. So it is in becoming a Christian, who the Bible refers to as a bride, in marrying our heavenly Bridegroom, our Savior. One does not become a Christian until he exercises his "will" to receive Christ and says, in effect, "I do." Referring to our Lord's death on the cross for our sins, Jesus always stands ready and, in effect, says, "I did."
You have heard the old expression that "whosoever will" may enter into eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "Whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it" (Matthew 16:25).
God's grace, foreknowledge and predestination are all great and wonderful mysteries, and we cannot understand it all. But one thing we do know is that our will is involved, not just in receiving Christ, but in receiving all His precious promises. Even our praise to God is an act of our wills: "I WILL praise the LORD all my life; I WILL sing praise to my God as long as I live" (Psalm 146:2, NIV). Also, "I WILL bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth" (Psalm 34:1, KJV).
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.