1 Bible 2Psalm 55:17, “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth … ”

I wanted to share this simple illustration today. If you’ve been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and a member of God’s family … how often to you check in to the One who redeemed you with His life. He truly longs to hear from each of His precious children at least once a day, if not more. Enjoy!

Pastor Smith was passing through his church during the middle of the day and decided to pause by the altar and see who had come in to pray. Just then, the back door opened, and a man came down the aisle. The minister frowned as he saw the man had not shaved in a while. His shirt was kind of shabby and his coat was worn and frayed. The man knelt and bowed his head, then rose and walked away. In the days which followed, each noontime came this chap, each time he knelt just for a moment with a lunch pail in his lap. Well, the minister’s suspicions grew, with robbery a main fear. He decided to stop the man and ask him, “What are you doing here?” The old man said he worked down the road. Lunch was half an hour. Lunchtime was his prayer time, for finding strength and power. “I stay only moments, because the factory is so far away; as I kneel here talking to the Lord, this is kind of what I say: “I just came again to tell you, Lord, how happy I’ve been, since we found each other’s friendship and you took away my sin. Do not know much of how to pray, but I think about you every day. So, Jesus, this is Jim checking in today.”

The minister feeling foolish, told Jim that was fine. He told the man he was welcome to come and pray anytime. Time to go. Jim smiled, and said “Thanks” and hurried to the door. The minister knelt at the altar; he had never done it before. His cold heart melted, warmed with love, and met with Jesus there. As the tears flowed, in his heart, he repeated old Jim’s prayer: “I just came again to tell you, Lord, how happy I’ve been, since we found each other’s friendship and you took away my sin. Do not know much of how to pray, but I think about you everyday. So, Jesus, I’m checking in today.” Past noon one day, the minister noticed that old Jim hadn’t come. As many more days passed without Jim, the pastor began to worry some. At the factory, he asked about Jim, learning he was ill. The hospital staff was worried, because Jim had given them a scare. The week that he was with them, brought about changes in the ward. His smiles were a joy contagious. Changed people were his reward. The head nurse couldn’t understand why Jim was so glad, when no flowers, calls, or cards came, and not one visitor came to see him. The minister stayed by his bed and voiced the nurse’s concern because no friends came to show that they cared. Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up and with a winsome smile; “the nurse is wrong, she couldn’t know, that in here all the while everyday at noon He’s here, a dear friend of mine, you see, He sits right down, takes my hand, leans over and says to me:

“I just came again to tell you, Jim, how happy I have been, since we found this friendship, and I took away your sin. Always love to hear you pray, I think about you each day, and so Jim, this is Jesus checking in today.”

Closing thoughts:

My question would be, “Have you found Jesus?” Jim found Christ and his sins were taken away. My friend, your sins can also be taken away, for you see, Jesus died so we could live. His death on Calvary’s cross wasn’t an accident or a surprise to God. It was an absolute necessity in His plan for our salvation. The Lord declared that death is the penalty for those who sin (Genesis 2:17), and every person since Adam and Eve has sinned (Romans 3:23). Yet, in love He longed to rescue us. God could not merely say, “I feel sorry for you. I love you. I will just save you, overlook your sin, and forget about it.” No, an absolutely holy and just God could not treat sin so lightly. The penalty for sin must be paid; guilt must be removed. Here’s the marvel of it all: Jesus Christ, God’s Son, took our sin, carried it to Calvary, paid the penalty, and rose on the third day. Jesus, the absolutely sinless One, bore the guilt of our sin, as predicted by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 53). His resurrection was the proof that the Father accepted His sacrifice and that Justice was done. That was 2,000 years ago, long before you and I were born. It was all prepared by God. It was all of grace. All we have to do is receive what He has prepared. God’s offer today is “that whoever believes in Jesus should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The question then remains:

(1) Do you have everlasting life? That’s why Jesus died.

Jesus Christ paid a debt He didn’t owe to cancel a debt we couldn’t pay.