Your Born-Again Gifts from God
Immediately upon accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you become a child of the living God and the recipient of many gifts and blessings.
Letter to Barbara Brabec from Rev. David R. Lien,
Associate Pastor and V.P.,
Chuck Swindoll’s Insight for Living Ministries
AFTER I WAS BORN AGAIN, I sent thank-you letters to the ministries that were helping me in my new walk of faith, including a simple typewritten copy of my testimonial. One of the most uplifting responses I received was from Rev. David R. Lien, then Chuck Swindoll’s associate pastor. In his opening, Rev. Lien said Chuck wished he could answer my letter personally, but had assumed commitments at Dallas Theological Seminary and was beginning to focus on starting a church in the Nashville area. He wrote:
“Thank you for sharing how you have recently accepted Jesus as your personal Savior—wonderful! Allow me to iterate what position you have inherited before God and men since you have put your trust in Jesus as your savior. For example, you have become a child of the living God and gained direct access to the Chief Architect of all creation (Hebrews 4:16, 12:22-24). I would like to encourage you in your resolution to trust Jesus as your Savior. You are a truly wealthy person. Allow me to explain.
“Your decision to trust Christ opens up wealth common to every believer. And God freely gives it away through his grace. The book of Ephesians unfolds some of that wealth. For example, you are chosen, Barbara (1:4). Adopted by God (1:5). Forgiven for all sin in Christ (1:7). Sealed with the Holy Spirit (1:13). Given hope, riches, power in Christ (1:18-21). Greatly loved, even though unlovely (2:1-4). Made alive in Christ (2:6). Made to be a showcase of His wondrous grace (2:7-9). You have become His workmanship (2:10: see 2 Corinthians 5:27). You are a fellow citizen with all the saints [other believers] (2:19); a member of God’s temple, the dwelling place of God (2:21-22: compare 1 Timothy 3:15). Strengthened by the Holy Spirit in the inner man (3:16). Rooted and grounded in the love of Christ (3:17-19).
“Barbara, this is, in part, your wealth in Christ. You may not feel it or seek it, but since you have trusted Christ as your Savior, all of this is yours. Such wealth has nothing to do with what you have been, what you are now, or what you shall become. Rather it has everything to do with God’s good pleasure towards you. God’s favor is based on his grace: not based on what you can do, or should do for Him, but what He has, in Christ, done for you. Isn’t that refreshing in a day when it is expected of us to pay for everything we own? I think so.
“Barbara, salvation is a personal love gift from God (Romans 6:23). And you accepted it freely, by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Therefore working to gain God’s favor is no longer an issue (Titus 3:5). Consequently, God has invested his life for you. You may be confident that His love embraces you right now, and it will never increase nor decrease. His love remains for you, the same today and forever. His love is not dependent upon how men or women relate to you. Instead, His love is a showcase love, exhibited not only in your heart, but also through others who haven’t received the same gift (Ephesians 3:14-19).
“The life of the believer is one likened to an adventure. There are high mountains to climb, rivers to be crossed, valleys to be enjoyed, and deserts to be experienced. There are joys and sorrows, pleasures and pain. Each traveler must become equipped while on the journey. You began this journey when you trusted the Word of the Father about the work of Jesus on your behalf (John 3:15-16, 5:24). It is our concern that you continue to develop a greater knowledge of God so that you may increasingly be able to see things as God views them. Hopefully, that perspective will become a sure foundation for further growth and understanding in your journey.”
Rev. Lien went on to recommend four books he thought I might particular benefit from, including Chuck’s book, The Grace Awakening, which he said was “a marvelous help in marking common pitfalls in Christian living that normally hinder a Christian from enjoying their freedom in Christ (Gal. 5:1). He added, “Being a child of God is anything but boring. You will see, if you have not already stepped out in new and exciting ways.”
After reading this letter, I could only wonder if this ministry wrote such wonderful encouraging letters to every new believer who wrote to them. At that time, having only a handful of Christian friends and absolutely no support or understanding from my family, I viewed this letter as a special gift.
I HOPE THIS LETTER that blessed me so much will be a blessing to every Christian who finds it on my website, and then I pray if you have been born again that you, too, will write your testimony for Christ and then share it with everyone you can, not only friends you know but every Christian you know, because not all Christians understand what it means to have a relationship with Christ, and even if they do, they certainly know others who don’t and who need to hear your good news about Jesus.
Realize that you have your own “sphere of influence” in which you can share your faith, whether on your own website or your Facebook page or other social networking site, or simply with any member of your family or in any group of people you meet with. Many Christians are doing this today because our world is filled with people who are searching for something to fill that empty void in their life that they don’t even understand. So be bold in your faith. Follow my lead and that of others who are telling the world to trust in Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
Are You Thinking about Leaving Your Church? This story will help you clarify your thinking on this topic. It features the letter Barbara sent to her church with her reasons for leaving. Includes stories from six of her friends who told why they too had to leave a church they’d once loved, and tells how God miraculously led her to a new church.