Beginning of parable
Once upon a time there was a young girl named Tina. Tina loved learning and she liked to go to school. While she was in high school she took a Driver’s Education class because she knew that one day, after she graduated, it would be necessary to get a job so she could purchase a car so she could drive to the university to study for a higher education. Tina attended the Driver’s Education classes faithfully and learned all about driving. She did very well in her class and got excellent marks on her tests. And then she graduated from high school.
Tina had a problem. She needed a job so she could make money so that she could buy a car and attend the university. She had no car to drive to a job in order to earn the money she needed for the university. She felt trapped. She needed the car to drive to a job in order to make money and she needed money first to buy a car in order to get to a job. Not only did she need money to buy a car, but she needed money for the gas and oil the car would use as well as insurance coverage on it which was a requirement for those who owned cars. And then of course, there would be batteries and new tires she would need from time to time along with mechanical maintenance when something went wrong. She didn’t know what she was going to do.
And then, one day – an absolutely wondrous and amazing thing happened. Tina was GIVEN a car! A FREE car!! She couldn’t believe it. She was so overwhelmed by this generous gift that she could hardly speak.
Now, this was no ordinary car. This car was special made and unlike anything she had ever seen or ridden in. And, along with this car, she was given a warranty (a guarantee on purchased goods that they are of the quality represented and will be replaced or repaired if found defective). Tina looked at the warranty in amazement because at the top of the warranty written in bright red ink were the words “THIS WARRANTY IS GUARANTEED FOR YOUR LIFETIME, NO MATTER HOW LONG YOU MAY LIVE. IT CAN NEVER BE CANCELLED. ALL REPAIRS AND PARTS FOR ALL TIME ARE FREE TO YOU BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALREADY BEEN PAID FOR IN FULL!”
How could this possibly be? Tina didn’t fully understand what all this meant, but she decided she would trust what the warranty said and time would prove whether it was true and valid. According to the terms of the warranty, whenever there was a problem of any kind with the car, all Tina had to do to get help for the problem was to push a big bright red button (the same color as the red ink on the warranty) that was next to the button that turned on the headlights. In the middle of the red button in white letters was the word ‘CALL’.
Things went very well for quite a while as Tina put many, many miles on the car. And then one day the right rear tire made a loud noise and the car swerved. She pulled over to the side of the road and parked, realizing that the tire was flat and she needed to have the spare tire put on. The promise of the warranty popped into her mind and looking at the ‘CALL’ button while wondering if it would really work, she quickly pressed it. All of a sudden, the original owner and maker of the car, who was also an expert mechanic, was standing by the door of the car offering to replace her flat tire. She was amazed, especially when He said ‘No charge, it’s free. It’s covered in your warranty’. Wow!
A few weeks later as she was on her way to work, the car started slowing down. ‘Oh, no!’ thought Tina. She had been in such a hurry to get to work that she forgot she had planned on stopping to get gas because the gas gauge was showing the car was very low on gas. As she coasted to the side of the road, she felt momentarily overwhelmed because she knew she would now be late for work. As she put her head down onto her hand in total frustration, her eyes fell on the ‘CALL’ button and ever so quickly she pushed it. Once again – the owner/mechanic ‘appeared’ by her car door. And what did he have in his hand? The largest gas can she had ever seen. It was only a matter of minutes before the gas was in the tank and she was ready to go on her way. Once again she heard the words ‘No charge, it’s free. It’s covered in your warranty’.
The years passed and Tina put more and more miles on her car. Problems developed from time to time with just about every part of the car. And every single time a problem developed, Tina pushed the ‘CALL’ button. One time her car broke down while she was driving through an unsafe area of the city. After pushing the ‘CALL’ button, the owner/mechanic (he had become a trusted friend by that time) appeared and stayed with her until a tow truck he had called came to pull her car into a mechanic shop where it could be repaired. She felt very safe and secure with him there with her. Over the years she got pretty fast at pushing the button when she found herself needing assistance. She didn’t even have to think about it, her hand just automatically reached out to it. She received a lot of comfort and encouragement just in knowing she had someone watching out for her who would always be there to help her. So much so that she was not even afraid to travel on long trips.
Tina had a wonderful friend who owned a car lot. He only had one model of car on his lot but he sold many of them because there seemed to be much demand for them. He knew Tina had had her car for an extremely long time and so he thought he would offer her a good deal on a new car. Tina understood that he thought he could offer her a better car and that it would more fully meet her needs. So, she asked her kind friend if the car was free. He was rather surprised and quickly said, ‘Oh, no, of course not! You have to pay a price for it.’
‘I see’, remarked Tina. ‘Well then, does it come with a guaranteed lifetime warranty for any repairs and parts it will ever need that will be absolutely free to me, costing me nothing, for as long as I live, regardless of how long that may be? Her kind friend was astonished that she would even ask such a question. And then she asked ‘Can you offer a warranty that can never be cancelled? This friend had a puzzled and disbelieving expression on his face. ‘A lifetime warranty? Free repairs and parts forever? Whoever heard of such a thing? You’ve got to be kidding me.’
Tina smiled as she said to her friend: ‘No, there’s no kidding.’ And then she pulled out the original warranty with the bright red letters on the top of the page that said: “THIS WARRANTY IS GUARANTEED FOR YOUR LIFETIME, NO MATTER HOW LONG YOU MAY LIVE. IT CAN NEVER BE CANCELLED. ALL REPAIRS AND PARTS FOR ALL TIME ARE FREE TO YOU BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALREADY BEEN PAID FOR IN FULL!” The bright red ink was just as bright and clear to read as the first day it had been given to her. She continued: ‘When this car was given to me as a gift along with this incredible warranty, I wondered if I could trust what the warranty said. It seemed too good to be true. But I decided to trust it, knowing that time itself would prove whether it was true and valid. It’s been more than fifty years now and every time I’ve pushed the ‘CALL’ button, I’ve had all the help I’ve needed to take care of my problem, whatever it was. The warranty has never failed!
End of parable
That is the story of my life and of my relationship with Jesus Christ. I am covered with His ‘warranty’, His promises. He has met every need in my life. Every need! He has taken care of me down to the smallest detail. I am in constant communication with Jesus Christ in prayer as I go about my day. I do not have to set aside a set time or a specific number of times that I communicate with Him. I do not have to travel to a certain place to pray because His Holy Spirit lives (dwells) within me and I have constant communion with Him everywhere I go, at any time. I am never separated from His Holy Presence.
His warranty/promises for my life have proven to be true over and over and over for over half a century of living. I have had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year for all these years. That’s sufficient time to live a multitude of life experiences whereby to ‘test’ whether or not what the Bible says is true and whether or not Jesus Christ is Who He said He is.
I have trusted Him and His Word for everything imaginable, and He has never failed to bring me comfort, encouragement, hope, guidance, peace, joy, and strength.
When I became fearful, the verse in John 14:27 has never failed to work in my life. It has quieted my heart. Christ promised saying: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” He has always taken my fears away as I have trusted in Him, and I faced a lot of them in more than half a century of living. Since His track record of faithfulness has proven itself, I know He’ll be with me whenever I face fears in the future, and He will give me His peace and calm my heart, mind and spirit. In the midst of horrible circumstances, I have still had peace. My circumstances do not take away the joy I have in my deepest of self. I don’t know if Muhammad gives you joy and peace during your difficult and dark times. But I am here to confirm to you that Jesus Christ does give it to me.
When I felt lost, I have trusted in His warranty/promises such as the one in Deuteronomy 31:8: “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” I have absolutely no fear of the tomorrows and of the unknown. They do not exist. I am the most secure person you will ever hope to meet – and all because of Jesus Christ and my personal relationship and communion with Him.
When my birth father abandoned and disowned me, the warranty/promise of Psalm 27:10 became very real to me: “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.” And again the warranty/promise of Hebrews 13:5: “… I will never leave you nor forsake you” proved to be true. God’s love brought a deep healing within my wounded heart, mind and spirit and I felt very loved and secure. I still do.
When I have been worried or overly concerned, His warranty/promise in Philippians 4:6-7 has taken away my anxiety: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Jesus Christ is interested in every aspect of my life. I don’t know if Muhammad is interested or concerned about you as an individual, or if what is important to you is also important to him? But I can tell you that whatever is important to me is important to my Lord Jesus Christ. He cares for me personally, and He would care for and love me if I were the only human being on this planet.
Because of the warranty/promise of 1 John 4:18-19, I do not live in fear of punishment. I don’t have to. Jesus took the punishment I deserved for my sins and wrongs. On that day when I stand before God, I will not stand in fear. It says: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear involves torment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love Him because he first loved us.” His love is perfect and there is safety and security in His love. It is Jesus’ love that I have for others.
I serve Jesus Christ because of my love and unspeakable appreciation for what He has done for me, and continues to do. I want to serve Him. I love to serve Him. He would love me just as much if I never prayed and spoke to Him. His love for me is not conditional on what I do or don’t do. I cannot do anything to add to or take away from His love for me because it is already all encompassing and complete. While on the cross He said in John 19:30: “… It is finished.” What was finished? It is the work of redemption for men. Therefore, I live in total freedom from fear. And, it is wonderful. Do you sense Muhammad’s love for you as an individual? If so, do you have freedom from fear within that love?
God’s Word (His warranty) brings confidence in His character as He proves Himself to be true to what He says. Psalm 108:4 says: “For Your steadfast love is great above the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.” In other words, this verse is saying there’s no limit to his love and faithfulness. In fact, Lamentations 3:21-24 confirms it: “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.” This brings much hope and encouragement to me every day. I don’t know how much hope and encouragement Muhammad brings to your heart and life? But I know that every morning I wake up is filled with hope and anticipation.
Jesus Christ has not promised to prevent trouble. However, He has promised to hold me tight and go with me through the trouble. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23: 4). I receive strength one day at a time because of His warranty/promise just as it says in Psalm 68:19: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burdens; God is our salvation.” Do you receive strength every day from Muhammad? I do from Jesus Christ. I have for more than half a century of living. That’s a lot of days. Just as the free gas (fuel) for the car kept it going, so He keeps me going. He is my fuel, as He paid the price for me to receive this fuel (strength) free.
I have the promise and assurance/warranty that nothing happens to me that He is not aware of. Isaiah 46:10 says: “Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.” He already knows all about my tomorrows, and so I can walk into my future with full confidence. How much of your tomorrows does Muhammad know? Do you have full assurance that he is walking with you into your future?
His warranty/promise tells me in Malachi 3:6: “For I the Lord do not change …,” and in Hebrews 13:8: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” He is stable and constant and I can depend on Him. Loving and serving Him gives me great security. Do you feel secure in Muhammad’s love? Is Muhammad dependable one hundred percent of the time as Jesus Christ is and has been to me since I’ve lived under His ‘warranty?’
I have said all this for a purpose. I have no deficiency in my life. There is nothing missing. Jesus Christ has met, is meeting and will meet all the future needs of my life. He has proven His personal love and faithfulness to me for over half a century. I am covered by his ‘warranty.’ I love and serve Him with no reservations.
No matter how many times Muhammad claimed he saw and talked with Jesus, no matter how many heavens he claimed he went up to, he has nothing to offer me. I already have everything in Jesus. One of the beautiful things about having a ‘personal’ relationship with Jesus is that I can talk and communicate directly with Him. And His Word in the Gospel is one of the ways He speaks to me. I guess the question I have for you is this: What kind of warranty has Muhammad given you? If he has given you one, who paid for it? Is it conditional? Was it FREE to you?
In the story of the car, it would not have been a wise choice for Tina to trade off her car with the warranty that had proven and confirmed itself throughout all those years of use and one which she knew was still valid for the rest of her life. FREE of charge, to her.
Whether or not you ever give Jesus Christ consideration and a chance to transform and renew your life, you are priceless simply because you are you. Wouldn’t you like to spend eternity with the ONE Who loves you so much that He gave His all – His life – so that you can live eternally with Him in his heavenly kingdom?
VICTORY OVER DARKNESS
Who I am in Christ?
As long as I continue to abide in Christ:
A. The Lord accepts me …
- I have been adopted by God as his child (John 1: 12; Romans 8: 15-17; Ephesians 1: 4-5; 1 John 5: 1).
- As his disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ (John 15: 15).
- I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit (1 Corinthians 6: 17).
- I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12: 27).
- I cannot be separated from the love of God (Romans 8: 35-39).
- I have been justified (Romans 5:1).
- I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins (Colossians 1: 13-14).
- I am being perfected into the glorious image of Christ (Colossians 2: 9-10).
- I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4: 14-16).
B. I am secure concerning my fate …
- I am free from any condemnation brought against me: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8: 1-2).
- I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances (Romans 8: 28).
- I have been established, anointed and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1: 21-22).
- My life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3: 1-4).
- I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me (Philippians 1: 6).
- I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3: 20-21).
- God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind (2 Timothy 1: 7).
- I am born of God and the evil one cannot overcome me (1 John 5: 18).
C. I am significant…
- I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2: 10).
- I am God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3: 16).
- I am sealed with Jesus Christ in the kingdom of heaven (Ephesians 2: 6).
- I may approach God with love, freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3: 12).
- I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life (John 15: 5).
- I have been called and appointed to bear fruit (John 15: 8).
- I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Corinthians 5: 17-21).
- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4: 13).