Today it was my responsibility to lead the weekly summer Chi Alpha meeting this week. Twenty-three people came this week for the usual meeting. I guess you would call this meeting a Bible study with some worship, but it is just a time where a different student shares something with the group each week. This week I shared the story of my life and how amazing God’s personal love is for me.
The Parable of the Lost Son
From My Own Experience
Luke 15:11 – 24
Part 1: Getting Away (v. 11 – 12)
Describe a time when you set out on your own way without God.
Why did you want to separate yourself from God? What were you trying to achieve?
Part 2: On Your Own (v. 13 – 16)
How did you spend your time one your own (away from God)?
Did you achieve your goal when you pushed God out of your life?
What circumstances in your life made you realize that God’s way is the best way?
Part 3: The Journey Home (v. 17- 21)
What in your life had to change to get back on God’s track?
What was hard about making those changes?
Did you think God would accept you back after rejecting Him?
Part 4: God’s Personal Love (The Celebration) (v. 22 – 24)
How did God respond when you wanted to come back home?
Do you know that God loves you no matter if you reject Him?
He will accept you back and forgive you for everything.
God would have sent Jesus to die even if it you where the ONLY person that needed to be saved.
God’s heart breaks (He feels pain) when we don’t obey Him.
When was a time when you experienced God’s personal love?
or When did God help you through a tough time in your life?
Jason’s Lost Experience
- Christian school (non-Christian home)
- Public High School (Junior/Senior)
- Wanted to fit in and be popular in High School
What must father have felt like? He didn’t have to consent. Why?
Separating from God – Like telling my parents I no longer wanted them in my life – thanks for working, not give me my half as if you died
- Worked my way into fitting into “cool” crowd
- First girlfriend
- Sex first summer, relationship died next summer
- Second girlfriend
- Started out very physical
- Sex first summer, relationship died next summer
- Stop stealing – could ruin entire life
- Stop cussing – unprofessional, inarticulate, annoying
- Had to give up sex and eventually relationship
- Started attending church, MNL, and core group faithfully
Coincidences? (or Divine Intervention?)
- Pete talked about relationships at GCF
- Frat meetings prevented me from going to GCF chapel
- Frat requirements prevented me from attending GCF large group
- Chi Alpha and CFA meeting time fit great into my schedule
- Missions trip first spring break option I heard of
- Pete led core group for upper class men
- Driving up to the mountain in Guatemala City
- Singing at the top of the mountain
- “Here I am to Worship”
I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross.
- God would have sent Jesus to die if it was just you – only one person that needed to be saved.
After dinner, we were going to go to this location where we could overlook much of the city. We started off the ride very happy and joyous that the day was almost over and excited about the week ahead. We were singing bits and pieces of fun 80’s, oldies, and other songs that many knew the lyrics to during the ride. But then came a big change for everybody on the car ride. We were slowed down by many nationals using flashlights to direct our van. As we slowed and follow the flow of traffic we got a glimpse of what had happened. We first assumed a fender bender – a typical US occurrence. But as we approached we saw that there was a woman on the road. There was no ambulance or anything yet; I don’t even know how that is handled here. As we drove past I looked out my window to see the woman. At first I wished I hadn’t; I looked down on her. We were only feet away from her body. As we passed I saw her, her face turned so I couldn’t see it, but I what I did was incredibly sobering. I saw her in a pool of blood, her body was completely lifeless. It was apparent that she had been run over. The thought of her being in the road in the first place is astonishing. The way the people drive here is completely insane. The road lines are only a suggestion, if that. But this road was either some 6 or 8 lanes of traffic. At first I dismissed this scene as something I have seen on the TV, not real. This wasn’t a real woman. She didn’t have a real mother, or real children that will never see her again. This wasn’t a real life taken from this world unto where God only knows. The rest of the car ride up (about 15 minutes) not a word was spoken in the van. This is not something you see in the US , not something you even think about might happen. But seeing the way the roads are here, and then also the amount of people that cross these roads so often; I feel this is not something that is a rare occurrence.
We then got to the place overlooking Guatemala City , got out, and looked over the city. The topic of the woman was brought up briefly while some are taking pictures. We then start of singing some praise songs. As we being to sing, it finally hits me that the woman was a real woman with a real life. And most of all that God loves this woman. We are now singing ‘Beautiful One’ – a song I have sung many times. But this time every word echoes so strongly in me. “No heart can fully know”, “We will never know the price you paid up on that cross”. As I attempted to utter these words – “no heart can fully know” I was unable. I began to cry, I did not know why. I didn’t understand it, I cannot fully explain this. I began to feel the love that God has for me in a real sense. It was so intense; I couldn’t do anything but stand there and begin to cry. I had this feeling that God was showing me only a small portion of his love for me. He was letting me feel just a minuscule amount of how much love he has for me and for every soul on this earth. This was more than I have ever felt before, just a small understanding of the love that exists and the extent in which it exists. I then thought of the woman in the road, and I could feel so much how God loved that woman. How He sent his son Jesus to the cross to die, to feel all the pain in the world. I could just feel God’s heart breaking for this woman. I feel as though she wasn’t saved. I feel like God let me experience as much as He know I could handle. But that he wanted to show me and let me experience just a touch of how much he loves each and every one of us and how much his heart aches and the pain and heartbreak he experiences each time he loses one of us to death. It took all of my strength to keep standing there. I couldn’t stop crying no matter how hard I tried. The rest of the group was singing and praying during this time. At the end I was able to regain my composure. But I still can feel the intensity of love that Jesus has for us. And then the complete and utter heartbreak he endures each time somebody dies who has not accepted the wonderful gift of life.
I hope that I will never forget this experience for it was truly sobering and moving. The feeling of unconditional, true, and unshakable love that God has for us is something I need to remember each and every day of my life. I now want to show the kids we will be visiting the love Jesus has for them. If they can see just even a small portion of what I saw, they will know without any doubt that He loves them and always will.