This week all I could do is think of this life and of the legacy of my dear friend Robin Wooten. [read about him here]
Robin said often this year that he had never encountered God so closely in all his life as he did with ALS. In all his great work and his love of family, friends and home, he said he had never really opened his life up to the fullness God has for each of us. Until ALS. Until he was forced to change course, change priorities, change outlook.
And now, all too soon, he is actually with the Lord. Seeing God’s glory face-to-face.
If only Robin could come back and talk to us, wouldn’t you listen? If he could tell you what it’s like with God, wouldn’t you hang on every word? If he could tell you what really matters out of all the things we do, wouldn’t we all take notes and change course?
Or would we?
Life-change is hard. Some would say impossible without help from the outside. The patterns, habits, desires we have are just so entrenched. It’s nigh on impossible to change them.
But surely if a friend came back, with a message from God’s presence… surely then we’d listen.
Let me ask you: how deeply do you listen to the One who did come from God’s presence, and who also went through death and came back again? The Bible calls Jesus the Word of God – that means God’s Message to us (John 1:1-18). It calls Jesus the First-Fruits of those who have died – meaning he’s risen from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20). It calls him the creator and sustainer of all things, and the center of all things on earth and in heaven, in time and eternity (Colossians 1 & Ephesians 1).
Jesus quite simply is THE fact of existence that every person has to wrestle with.
Have you? The way Jesus changed Robin’s life is this:
- When we are born into this world, we are born separated from God. (Rom 3:23)
- This great and generous God who would be our Father. (John 3:16, 1:12)
- God sent his Son into the world to rescue us from that separation, and to adopt us into his family; the Son enables us to be sons & daughters of the King! (Gal 4:4)
- Jesus rescued us by means of his blood: his death on the cross was the death we should have died. He received the punishment due to us for our sins, and we receive his life and right-standing with the Holy God. (2 Corinthians 5:21, Isaiah 53:4-6)
- Jesus was also raised from the dead, and that’s how God proved to us that Christ’s death is sufficient: he broke death wide open. (Rom 1
- He pours out the Holy Spirit into every person who surrenders to Christ–in humble willingness, who asks God to forgive our sins/wrongs. (Rom 5:1-5)
- From that moment on, God makes us new – a new heart, new creation, new life, new future, new inheritance, new hope, new citizenship, new home. All because of Christ–his death and resurrection. But only if we humbly give ourselves to him… who gave himself for us. (2 Cor 5:17, et al.)
This is the outline of the story of Robin’s life. Is it the story of yours? This is the Good and Great News (the “gospel”) that Jesus came back from the dead to call you to. This is what the reality of ALS led Robin to live into like never before. This is the sum total of life.
Let Robin’s legacy in your life be that you finally and fully call out to Jesus to rescue you, adopt you, renovate you, and make you completely new.
You can pray like this: “Father in Heaven. I recognize that You alone are the center of all things. So long I’ve lived as if I were the center–my dreams, my hopes, my future, my family. But now I see that you are. Please forgive me for my self-centeredness. Please pardon the things I’ve done that dishonor you. You call them sins… but our culture doesn’t like that language… I’m sorry; please pardon me, from top to bottom. And, please give me the hope of Jesus, the life of Christ, the future–like Robin–to re-order everything under your leadership & Lordship. I see now that my life is yours, not mine. Thank you for wanting me, and for being gracious to forgive me. I’m yours. I ask this in the Name of Christ. Amen.”
If you prayed that, contact me here in the comments, or at gracekinston.org. I’d love to help you walk this journey.