REMEMBERING RANDY CARR
through his faith in Jesus Christ as Savior
I'll do it.
Randy's favorite phrase. He was always the first one to volunteer for some crazy game or activity we would play. Everyone else would stand back and Randy would step forward. "I'll do it" with a great big smile. His confidence was infectious. It would draw others in. Randy would go first and usually nail it perfectly. He could jump higher, run faster, do some sort of crazy flip and make it look easy. So easy, everyone else wanted in. He led by doing.
Randy led others to follow Jesus in real faith. Not the, "hey give me that Jesus t-shirt" faith. The kind of faith that gives you hope in hard times. Randy didn't have an easy life but he loved Jesus and it made others want to as well. Jesus said "Follow Me" and Randy stepped forward with a smile and said "I'll do it".
We love you Randy. We miss you. There is grief and mourning and our group will never be the same. But there is a joy deep down that stirs in our hearts. It's a joy knowing that your infectious smile is now because you are face to face with your Savior. Your life with Jesus is only just beginning and we know how much you loved adventure. Go do it.
Randy responded to Jesus. Will You?
We are sinners under God’s judgment.
First, all are sinners and stand under the judgment of God. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, NIV). We might believe that we are good enough to win God’s favor or that we can perform certain religious acts to counterbalance our bad deeds. But the Bible states that we are all condemned, for “there is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10, NIV).
Christ is God’s answer to our need.
Second, we need to understand what Christ has done to make our salvation possible. God loves us, and Christ came to make forgiveness and salvation possible. What did He do? He died on the cross as the complete sacrifice for our sins. He took upon Himself the judgment that we deserve.
We must respond to God’s work
Third, we need to respond to God’s work. God in His grace offers us the gift of eternal life. But like any gift, it becomes ours only when we take it.
We must repent of our sins. Repentance carries with it the idea of confession, sorrow, turning and changing. We cannot ask forgiveness over and over again for our sins and then return to those sins, expecting God to forgive us. We must turn from our practice of sin as best we know how, and turn by faith to Christ as our Lord and Savior. “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV). Christ invites us to come to Him, and God has promised, “to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12, NIV).
It costs to be Jesus’ follower.
Fourth, we must understand the cost of coming to Christ and following Christ. Jesus constantly called upon those who would follow Him to count the cost. A person must determine to leave his sins behind and turn from them. Some people may be unwilling to do so. And there may be other costs as well when we decide to follow Christ. In some cultures, a person who turns to Christ may be disowned by family, alienated from social life, imprisoned or even killed. Yes, it costs to follow Christ. But it also costs not to follow Christ. Christ calls men and women not only to trust Him as Savior, but also to follow Him as Lord.
Jesus is the only way to salvation.
Fifth, salvation is intimately linked to the cross. The man who hung there between two thieves was without sin. His virgin birth, by the miraculous intervention of the Holy Spirit, meant that He did not inherit a sinful human nature. Neither did He commit any sin during His lifetime. Mary gave birth to the only perfect child. He became the only perfect man. As such, He was uniquely qualified to put into action God’s plan of salvation for mankind.
Why was Calvary’s cross so special, so different from hundreds of other crosses used for Roman executions? It was because on that cross Jesus suffered the punishment for sin that we all deserve. He was our Substitute. He suffered the judgment and condemnation of death that our sinful nature and deeds deserve. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV).
Trust in Jesus by faith.
Finally, faith is essential for salvation. But we must be absolutely clear on what we mean when we speak of “salvation by faith.” There are various kinds of belief or faith, and not all are linked to salvation. In the New Testament, faith means more than intellectual belief. It involves trust and commitment. I may say that I believe a bridge will hold my weight. But I really believe it only when I commit myself to it and walk across it. Saving faith involves an act of commitment and trust, in which I commit my life to Jesus Christ and trust Him alone as my Savior and Lord.
I hope this message has helped you to understand what Jesus Christ has done to save us and what our response must be. If you are not sure that you are right with God, you can be sure– right now. Remember, we must admit that we are sinners. We must turn away from our sins and to Christ. We must trust Him as our Savior and follow Him as our Lord. God promises that when we do this, He will save us and make us His children, and we will live with Him forever.
Will you turn to Christ now?
Share your favorite memory of Randy below...
I haven’t met you, however I thank you. I didn’t know you, however I thank you. I thank you for taking the time to see a young man in pain. I thank you for taking the time to talk to a young man losing his way. You Randy were the answer to my prayer for my son. You see his dad died when he was four and I did the best I could as a mom. I take him to church and live out my faith. However, I couldn’t reach him the way you did. You spoke the name of Jesus to my son and lived life the best you knew how showing him you don’t have to be perfect. As perfect as we try to be we are never enough on our own so we need Jesus. Thank you for being the young man GOD called you to be. For you see Randy you helped steer him back to the feet of Jesus. You were the person I prayed for when I asked the LORD to put someone in my sons path to reach him, knowing I couldn’t. Thank you for your faithfulness to JESUS. You stepped up and you did it. I’m sure when you stepped into the presence of the LORD He said, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
*Courtesy of Billy Graham.org. Excerpted from “Have You Heard the Good News of Salvation?”. This message is adapted from “A Biblical Standard for Evangelists,” by Billy Graham, ©1984 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, published by World Wide Publications, Charlotte, N.C. Bible verses marked NIV are taken by permission from The Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, Colorado Springs, Colorado. ©Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.