But, lately, I've come to realize more and more that Jesus loves me no matter what I do, or fail to do. Of course, I want to please Him, but He loves me (and all of us) unconditionally, which is why He chose to die on the cross for everyone.
This morning, my girlfriend Anna and I had hoped to attend a sunrise Easter service in another town, but it was cloudy and threatening to rain, so we decided to attend our regular church, which served a full breakfast before the service. The fellowship and worship were uplifting, but we were especially blessed by Pastor John Wheeler's sermon, What Can Jesus Set Me Free From? Well, four things: guilt over my past; worry about my future; purposeless living today; and, most importantly, having to earn my way to heaven.
By mid-morning, the skies cleared and it became very warm, in the 70s, so Anna and I chose to celebrate our freedom in Christ with a motorcyle ride. Annabelle, my Harley, started right up, and we headed south and then west to Connecticut, for one of our favorite roads, Route 49 through Sterling, Conn., a scenic farm road.
It was invigorating to see the trees beginning to bud and flower after a very long, snowy winter. I could smell fresh mulch. Bugs bounced off my face.
There was very little traffic around 2 p.m., since most people were probably sitting down for their Easter dinner (ours was not until 6:00). A good portion of the vehicles on the road were other motorcycles.
During, and after the ride, I reflected on the works God has done in my life since I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior in 2008. I had a peace deep down that could come from nothing else but knowing Christ. Anna also experienced an intense feeling of peace today.
"I noticed a lot of praise and worship on my Facebook today," she said, "and not just from the regular Christians. The body (the church) lifted up the head (Christ), and it was a peaceful day."