Part of an after-dinner conversation with some children a few nights ago.....

Imagine that the adults around you offered you something INCREDIBLE if only you would be diligent and apply yourself in some particular area. Maybe you like horses, and so they promised to build you a stable right in your own backyard and fill it full of horses if only you would “dig in” and really learn the things they asked you to learn. Or perhaps you really like dolphins and so they offered you a giant dolphin tank, full of dolphins, in your own backyard. Or, maybe they offered you your very own Horatio Hornblower ship. If the offer was for something THAT big and unbelievable, do you think you would need to be reminded to care about it and be focused in working towards it? Do you think your parents would have to say, “Don’t forget about working hard so you can have the horses?” “Don’t forget to be focused so you can have a Hornblower ship”...? No way, right? You aren’t going to forget it for a minute! And, I’m sure you would work hard and do whatever studying, reading, practicing, or whatever it takes to earn that fun thing. Even if you had to carry a book around with you wherever you went, the hope of having that prize would give you the energy to put aside ANYTHING else and focus to do what it takes to earn it.

Well, I don’t think we’ve got any stables or ships or dolphins waiting for you, but did you know that you have a bigger offer than that? I’m serious!!! The God who created the whole universe has offered YOU the chance to be His friend forever and forever. Think about it: The God who made the universe, invented the giraffe, figured out how each animal should walk, built the human eye, put the galaxies in place waayyyyyyyy up there .... THAT God is offering YOU the chance to be His very own friend and child. He’s offering YOU the chance to KNOW Him and be CLOSE to Him. Does that sound special, or what? Does that offer seem as special inside of YOU as the ones we mentioned above? Think about it honestly and don’t just answer based on what you SHOULD say. What does your life say? How about today? Did you treat God’s offer as if it was AT LEAST as important as the offer of a tank full of dolphins? Well, if you didn’t, then I’m challenging you to fight for THAT offer to FEEL just as INCREDIBLE in your heart as the offers I mentioned above. Will you do that? You see, I know that if you really understand WHO it is that is offering you Himself, you won’t be able to resist. It WILL consume your thoughts, just like the thought of one of those really big prizes would, and even more!!! So, I challenge you to fight and fight until God’s offer is just as significant to you as anything else you can imagine. How can you fight? Well, one thing you could do is to let everything you see be an opportunity to think about Him. If you see a sunset, ask yourself why God made it pink. He didn’t have to, you know! He could have made a brown and gray sky. But, instead, He made it pink. Why? Next time you see a big tree, just stand there and look at it. Think about it. WHY did God make that? Why are they so pretty? HOW did He do it? As you think about these kinds of things, remind yourself that the same God who invented all of these incredible animals and plants and stars WANTS wants to be your Friend, your Father, your God. He wants to be very close to you.

Maybe it’s still hard for you to imagine how BIG of an offer this really is. Let’s try to illustrate it again. Pretend you were the one who really wanted the horses and stable earlier. What if you found out that you actually weren’t going to get a real stable with horses in it. Instead, you were just going to have a tiny toy stable with some plastic horses? Would you still be just as motivated and excited? Probably not. The small toys just wouldn’t be as important or appealing to you as real horses, right? So, you can understand the difference between a plastic horse and a real one, right? Well, the truth is, all of the “neat” things in the whole world are just like small “toys” compared to the INCREDIBLE things God is offering to you!!!! What He is offering you is so special. It is more than a million-billion times more special than having real horses or real ships of your own. If you don’t feel inside that His offer to you is really all that important, will you FIGHT to change how you see it?? FIND OUT how WONDERFUL HE IS!

Let me tell you something else that will make it easy to think about Him. Did you know that HE (the Creator of the whole Universe) is actually thinking about YOU right now??!! He is. In Psalm 40:17, David said, “As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord is thinking about me right now.” YOU are always on His mind. He doesn’t get distracted and then remember, “Oh, I need to think about Rachel”. No, He is ALWAYS thinking about you! He had YOU in mind when He made the world with all its pretty sunsets, colorful fish, and gallant horses. He was thinking about YOU when Jesus died. In fact, the Scriptures tell us that He was thinking about YOU before He made the world. He was thinking of things that He was already planning for YOU. No joke!!! Think about THAT for a while..... Let yourself be softened and impressed with the fact that He is not only thinking of you now, but was thinking of you before He even created the earth.... WOW!!!!....

And, you know what He wants from you? He doesn’t want you to do some really hard thing like jump to the moon or swim across the ocean, or memorize all of the prepositions in the English language or learn 100 mathematical formulas. He doesn’t even ask us to do EVERYTHING just right all the time and THEN we can be His friends. NO, that’s not what He asks. God wants to know if you will surrender your life. Will you surrender your right to be captain of your own life, your right to decide what you are going to do and think about? Your right to be foolish and always entertain yourself and get others to notice you? He doesn’t demand some HUGE thing of us. “Just give me yourself... it’s why you were made anyway... I’ll take such good care of you, so good that you wouldn’t believe me if I told you ahead of time.” Won’t you think about HIM more than the things that are right in front of your little face? There is no other offer more important than the offer God holds out for you. “I want to be your friend. Will you think about Me?” He wants to hold you in the palm of His hand. Do you want to be there? ..... FOREVER????
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