This summer, like last, our church has been doing Wednesday night service outside at an area park. We eat hot dogs, spend some time singing and then hear from God's word. This past week they had what we used to call growing up "a time of testimony". People got up and went to a microphone to answer the question, "if someone knew nothing about Christianity but asked you, 'What's so great about your god?', what would be your answer?" When I was in high school and college, I would have been the first one to the microphone. For good and bad, I have become a little bit more timid.
Here's my answer. In my mind there is only one reason that I would give. My god is so great because when I was dead in my trespasses, he chose me, not because of any merit of my own. Before I loved him, he loved me first. That love sent Jesus to the cross to die a subsitutionary death. He took the wrath of the Father upon himself. He took my place. He gave me the gift of faith through His grace that led to new birth. Because of that gift my life is forever changed and different. He took out my heart of stone and replaced it with a heart of flesh. He wrote his law upon my heart. All of this not due to anything that I did, but entirely because of His kindness and His mercy. What a gift! What a God!
When I think thoughts like this and write words like these, it really does make my heart overflow in singing. The song below is a recent favorite.