Receiving A Great King
"I am a great king," says the LORD Almighty, "and my name is feared among the nations!" (Malachi 1:14, NLT).
One day I was talking to a fellow in Florida who had come into our home wanting to sell me something.
As I often ask of strangers, I inquired, "Where are you in your spiritual journey?" After witnessing to him for a few minutes, he indicated that he would like to receive the Lord.
We got on our knees and prayed, and I thought it was a genuine decision. But a mutual friend who was with us told me later that as they talked, he said to my friend, "Well, I didn't receive Jesus as the Son of God; I received Him as a great man."
Well, that is incomprehensible for us to understand how he could have come to that conclusion, but in our witness to people, we must make it clear that Jesus is not just a great man. He is God.
Sadly, nothing happened in this man's life that day -- not a spiritual rebirth; he was just receiving Jesus as a great man. He didn't fully understand what "receiving" meant. To receive or believe on Jesus really means to totally surrender one's will to the will of God, to do what God wants you to do.
The Gospel of John tells us, "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (1:12, NIV).
The word "receive" in the original language means to "take." We do not passively receive Him; we actively take Him into our lives as God's only begotten Son, and His free gift of salvation.
This reminds me of Revelation 22:17: "Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him TAKE the free gift of the water of life." The word "take" here is the same Greek word as "receive" in John 1:12. We take Jesus Christ and His substitutionary work by faith.
The subjects of a great earthly king bow and submit to his authority. Likewise, we cannot take the great King of kings into our hearts without bowing and submitting our intellects, our emotions, and our wills to Him.
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
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