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John Bressler -- With God, we can never be lost

John Bressler -- With God, we can never be lost

John Bressler -- With God, we can never be lost

John Bressler

"For God so loved the world..." This past week, we received an email from my brother-in-law, we believed, that read, "Help! I am in Italy and have lost my passport and my credit cards and need just enough cash to get home. I'll pay you back as soon as I can. Love, ..."

We didn't know how we were going to raise a couple thousand dollars on such a short notice, but we would come up with the cash. There is always a bank loan, a few bucks in our checking account and perhaps I could sell Down Girl Sit - scratch that as Julie would kill me - or retune my bagpipes and stand in front of Sea Island Bank and play for quarters. As cold as it is, I would have to wear my kilt over my long underwear, but the money would soon roll in.

Wait a minute! Marty has just moved back to Dunedin, Florida, from Wilmington, North Carolina, so why would he be in Italy? The email certainly looked legitimate and he knows he can count on us. Just to be safe, we called Florida and were relieved to hear his voice. Not only was this bogus plea sent to us, but also to the church he had been serving for the past few years.

Now it was time to get angry! How dare someone go fishing on the Internet to take advantage of family and friends who would give whatever possible to make sure that a loved one would be safe! I understand that these low-lifes send every possible message of help to grandparents or any caring individual and have no scruples when it comes to stealing from unsuspecting folks.

I am not naive, but it is very hard for me to accept the fact that in the eyes of thieves I am nothing more than a chump, a stooge, a mark, an easy opportunity, or as it's said in circus slang, "a rube." Is this all that we are? Are we just stupid people who are so dumb that taking advantage of us is just a game?

The Bible tells us, "While we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us." Let's swallow our pride for a bit and translate that to say that while we were undeserving, in the dark, on the outside, without hope and doomed for all eternity, God did something we will never completely understand.

We didn't even know we were so worthless and we certainly did not mail a message, "God! We are lost! Send help!" We absolutely did not know what would become of us. We would die in darkness and be forgotten in time.

John 3:16 is like an email, a phone call, a recognizable family member or a friend. "For God so loves you that He is coming to get you and bring you home!"

"God, I'll pay you back! I promise!"

Not necessary.

"I'll prove to you that I am worth saving!"

Not a requirement.

"God, why would you do this for me?"

"Why? Because you are my son, my daughter, and I will sacrifice all I have, all I love, all I possess to save you."

I cannot completely express to my satisfaction what it feels like to be lost in a foreign land, without resources, without hope and without being able to speak the language, read the printed words and know that I have nowhere to turn for help.

We would have seen that Marty came home and that's a fact. God has seen that we will stand before Him and that's a fact.

We cannot be lost. Unfortunately, some seem to be stuck at the airport. Just pass the word that the runway is clear and the pilot is ready for takeoff. The Good News is that there is room for everyone. Believe it!


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