Secular, religious defining forces

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I was reading something a friend e-mailed me about defining forces. The force this article was talking about was the men and women of our military - the second-most defining force in the world today.

They are setting people free from tyranny, torture, brutality, sickness and giving them restored lives with peace.

My nephew was with the 82nd Airborne as a paratrooper/medic. He and those who are there now fight to free the people.

Also, as a medic, he strove to heal the wounded, both ours and theirs. He said it was great when he could save someone, but hard to do all you could and still see them die. It stayed with him inside.

These men and women don't like what they are doing, but it is a mission that must be completed. The bumper sticker says, "If you like your freedom, thank a vet!" A defining force.

But there is another defining force even greater than our military: that of Jesus Christ, who, like our military, gave Himself for our freedom, from sin, sickness, disease, hell, death and the grave.

I was listening to a song recently that said, "And I thank him for the miracle that made me a child of the King."

That miracle brought me from the darkness into the light, saved me from sin, healed my body, brought me from the wrong to the right, and gave me a peace and joy I never had before.

All that was free to me because He loved me. They were free gifts for the taking.

"Thanks to God for His unspeakable free gift." - 2 Corinthians, 9:15

What gift are we talking about? The gift of a defining force, the gift of His Son. All just because He loved me. He loves you, too. It's not like you have to join a church or become super religious. Just believe in God, His Son and the Holy Spirit, and all that They have is yours.

Jesus took the punishment for us so we would not have to, just as our military is fighting for us so we don't have to. He took all of God's wrath on Himself for us. While we live under grace and mercy, He gave Himself as payment for our sins. In order that this prediction of the Prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled, "He took on Him our weaknesses and bore the burden of our diseases." - Matthew 8:17

Jesus Christ is a force for rescue, restoration and most of all renewed relationship with God the Father and Himself, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. It's just like Adam and Eve had before the fall.

Only two defining forces have ever died for you, Jesus Christ and the American G.I. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

• Chuck Nichter is pastor of Wellsprings Church and ministries in Washoe Valley.


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