When we were young, one of my favorite people was my Grandpa Luc. He was my mother’s father. I loved that guy and admired him even as a little kid. He was kind, generous, well-respected and loved by all. The story goes that Grandpa Luc, who lived with his parents and family in the Saguenay region in Quebec, decided to be a pioneer to Western Manitoba. He was just 17 (in the 1870’s). So he took his axe, and set on his way. But the last parting words Grandpa Luc’s Dad had to him were these (they were in French of course as they were all French-Canadian, but I will translate them):
“Sans le salute, pensez si bien, tout ce que fera severa de rien.”
In English that meant:
“Without salvation, really think about it, all your good works mean nothing.”
This is exactly what Grandpa Luc was saying… “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the free GIFT of God!!”(Ephesians 2:8)
Now, of course, these words must have made a real impact on our Grandpa Luc! They were some of the last parting words from his own father before he went on the big pioneering trip to a new land in Western Manitoba! They really must have stuck in his mind, because my mother heard that quote all the time, and she used to share it with us! I heard it as a kid – but I never really knew what it meant! To this day, I may have a bit of understanding about what he meant by the importance of salvation – that without salvation, all our human efforts will not bring us back to God. What my Grandpa was saying, is exactly what the Bible says – By grace you are saved, not by our works, but it is a Free Gift!
Today, as I am older I still hear that saying in my mind all the time “Sans le salute, pensez si bien, tout ce que fera severa de rien.” Funny how what was shared to you as a kid you don’t forget easily! Now, today, John 3:16, that very popular verse in the Bible (even made famous by Tim Tebow the football player who wrote the scripture under his eyes!) explains to me clearly what was behind that famous quote of my Grandpa Luc’s… let me show you.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world That He gave His only begotten Son That whosoever believes in Him Should not perish, but have Everlasting Life.”
Let me share a little about the meaning behind these words from John 3:16 – This is the FREE GIFT from God!!! All we do is receive the gift!!!
“For God so loved the world…” He includes EVERYONE, all races, genders, colors, nations, everyone!!! God loves His creation so much – He created it! And humanly speaking, it is impossible for us to love others fully unless we have ourselves experienced the love of a Loving Father God through His FREE GIFT to us. So we just thank Him for the gift. That is it!
“That He gave His only begotten Son…” Because of Adam and Eve who were deceived a way long time ago, we have inherited their DNA of their original sin, separating us from a relationship with the Father. So God gave His only Son Jesus who died on the cross for us so His sacrifice restores our relationship with the Father!!
“That whosoever believes in Him…” Belief comes from faith. The Bible says “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Faith is not logical! It is the opposite of our five senses of sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste. Our faith comes from hearing the Word of God which gives us the grace and ability to believe and receive that gift.
“Should not perish, but have Everlasting Life.” This is our great reward!
Today, God loves you so much! As He knocks at the door of your heart, let Him in! It is the Free Gift of God!
We love you, He loves you, He really really loves you! God bless you all!