Thursday, October 3, 2013

Over and Under: Trip to Pukekohe, Part 1: Accepted

       Tuesdays are prison ministry days for brother Gustafsson, so I thought I would take the train to Pukekohe. You see, there are a lot of restrictions for entering the prison, so I couldn't go with him. The train station is about 4.4 km (or 2.7 mi.), so brother Gustafsson gave me a lift on his way out. It was nearly 40 minutes till the next train, which meant I had plenty of time to figure things out. First I went to the dairy across the road to top up my phone with Two Degrees. They only accepted eftpos or cash, and the minimum top up is twenty dollars. My mother sent thirty-five NZ with me, so I had a little cash on hand,but not much. I spent the twenty dollars and the machine printed out a receipt with my top up voucher number on it. then I had to figure out which of the three phone numbers provided was the one I needed to dial to activate my minutes. When I called the first number, It said that I did not have enough minutes to make the call. That was helpful! When I finally got it figured out, I was running out of time. I hastily made my way to the station to buy a ticket. Since it is the last station on the line, it is unmanned and unkempt. My mother gave me the credit card pin, but the ticket machine said, "Invalid Pin." Ten minutes till the train. I found the Int'l Collect number on the back of the card. I dialed the number and this is what I heard: "We didn't recognize the number you dialed. Please check it and try again." Oh, no! Well ,I had fifteen dollars cash. A one way ticket was $16.50. I decided to try the pay phone. Lo and behold, it didn't take cash! Eftpos, credit, or coins. I read all the instructions on the booth and saw, "For all international calls dial 00-country code-area code-phone number. So I pulled out my cell phone and tried the number again, this time starting with "00." This time I heard, "This call may be monitored or recorded..." I've never been more glad to here those words: it meant I had reached the credit card company. Well, I had a hard time proving that I was who was, but the finally let me reset my pin. In the mean time, while I tried to answer some difficult security questions, the train came and went. Once I had my new pin, the lady who helped me stayed on the line while I ran across the parking lot to the ticket machine. After I entered my pin, I saw the precious word, "Accepted."

     Now I would like you to consider that word. Accepted. Accepted by whom? Accepted for what? Who accepts you and why? What must you do to be accepted? Well, using the above story I would like to look at several things.

I. You must know how to reach the one that doesn't accept you.
          Before I left, my mother showed me the number to call on the back. I never would have been                 accepted if I hadn't known who to call and ask.
II.You must see your need to be accepted.
          The credit card provided me with a way to reach them. But they didn't call me up and make me               change my pin. I had to realize that I needed them. It was free, but I still had to ask for it.
III. You must know the terms of being accepted.
          Many people try to dress just so, or have a certain pricey car or house, or drink the coolest liquor,         or use certain vocabulary to be able to fit into their respective group of piers. For me to be accepted by         the credit card company, there was only criteria: I had to be myself and nobody else. Who are you trying       to be to be accepted?
IV.You will be given everything you need to be accepted.
          When they gave me the pin, I was accepted. Any time, any place.

     Oh, what a wretch I am, a sinner before a terrible God! How shall I stand in the judgement? How shall I be accepted in the day of His wrath? By the glorious gospel of His son Jesus Christ. By the shed blood of the Sinless Lamb. But how? Well, first you must know how to reach him. "...a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." Psalm51:17 Again the scripture says, "LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:"  Psalms 10:17 The Lord also said, "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not." Jer. 33:3.  The contact info is clear. You cry out in prayer.
      Next you must see you helplessness without him. If you are not accepted, your eternal doom is sure. "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Revelation20:15
     Thirdly, it must be on His terms. You must confess to be yourself and only yourself. You must own up to your sins and unrighteousness. You must humbly come before the Lord personally in inevadable need of personal help. And He will accept you forever!
     Glory to God who loved us and sent his only begotten son to shed his blood for us that we might be accepted in his sight! Read the scripture below, especially the highlighted phrases.

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
8  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Has the Lord accepted you? If not you must first trust in Christ.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Trevor, what a good story. A great example of needing to be accepted and helped. As I read it, I wished I had sent more money with you. I didn't want to weigh you down with coins. But God worked it out! :-) You would not have had that great story if you had only needed your own coins. You needed outside help and the mercy of the lady who wanted to help you but had to hear the words required to give you help. God is waiting to hear the words of repentance so that He can help us as He so badly wants to!

    After your email tonight, I was concerned. I am glad I thought to check your website.

    Love, Mom