THE OLD JEEP PROJECT.
Once some time ago we were searching the local auto trader for a vehicle. We came upon a 1981 CJ7. $800. It was in a junk yard but advertised as runs good but has some rust issues. Off we went to go take a look at this. When I was young and in Kindergarten I had fallen off a bike and suffered a concussion. 3 day in a Baltimore hospital. I remember waking up on the way, waking up again while passing the check in counter and final in the room looking out the window. While there someone gave me a get well gift, a white Tonka Jeep. I remember that it was big enough for a 5 year old to sit on and ride. That was the start. Jeeps were put on hold till my teen years when neighbors started a restoration project. They resurrected a CJ5 from the grave.
When we got to the Jeep it was a black Laredo CJ7. A bit of rust? … The frame was on the verge of being crushed by the spring perches, the side of the tube had old street signs screwed to it to cover holes, and the floor pan was covered in patches. It had come down from New Hampshire and been a victim of road salt. The stuff is the death of many classic cars, it eats away at the foundation until even the bones begin to rot. But the Jeep, it started right up! Wahoo! and the 4X4 worked. I am getting my own Jeep! Title in hand I paid the price and bought the old Jeep, a shadow of what it once was, a wreck without much of a future but to rot away.
We drove home and set to work, a lot of bondo, some more sheet metal, some rattle cans, and hard work and it looked OK. With the family buckled in we spent many hours riding trails around Central Florida. Catching snakes and selling them to Gatorland. Then one day the frame crushed in on the driver’s side rear spring perch. Enter Jeep number 2, a 1992 CJ7 from a junk yard. The jeep suffered a engine fire, it was deemed unusable, no title and to be crushed. $800 delivered to my house. We took both Jeeps down to the frame and sanded and painted everything. Taking the best parts from each Jeep we made one new jeep and called it Jurassic Parts. We painted it like the Ford Explorers from the films. Over time the Jeep evolved to have bigger tires, and a lift made from old mower deck and boat trailer rollers. We relocated the perches to the top to give clearance for the 35” BFG Mud terrains. Now we were ready for Jeep rallies in Ocala, mud races in Lakeland, and lots of trail rides out by Sea World.
The story of restoration is a great example of our own restoration. We all have big plans, hopes, and dreams of things in life. They don’t always go as planned, more often than not our life plans take drastic turns in way we had not planned, our plans suffer from the corrosive rust of this life, and like road salt, sins eat away at our foundation, until our very bones begin to spiritually rot. We also need to be redeemed, bought with a price, and restored. When life has you down, your friends are gone, depression has set in, and the “could have beens” are in full swing, Know that Jesus HAS paid the price to redeem you. God want to restore you and in the end give you eternal life with him in Heaven. The process might not be easy, there will be a lot of sanding, grinding, and some changing needed. Let him work on the inside and the outside will change. God is in the LIFE restoration business. Even if your life is a show car of success, if your heart must be running right, or in the end you still end up in the grave.
My own life was a wreck to say the least, I needed change, rebuilding, and a new road to drive on. Through the grace of God I found myself sitting in a church and with my head bowed I raised my hand to acknowledge the need for forgiveness of my own sins. It was then that I found out Jesus had purchased this rusted out human, he had the title to my life and over time restored my soul. This Jesus thing… it’s real life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ~ Jesus (John 3:16)
Most people have heard this before. BUT…. What is it all about?
It is about salvation, redemption and relationship.
God loves you; He proved that love through giving us his Son Jesus.
Still what does that mean?
If you have the come to the point in your life where you are looking for meaning in this life, then a good places to start is with God, The creator of Heaven and the Earth.
FIRST: He loves you. You are the world that this is talking about.
SECOND: God gave his Son. Jesus said He was the the Son of God sent from above to redeem the lost.
THIRD: We have failed God; we all have done wrong in his sight. We are the lost Jesus came to redeem.
So, God loved us and sent his Son Jesus to make things right between us.
That’s what you need to believe. That’s the “whosoever believes” part.
NOW THE BIG QUESTION:
What does it mean to believe? The devil believes, is he going to get everlasting life? Nope.
The evidence of your belief is shown through your actions.
Heaven and salvations are gifts. We are saved from perishing at the end of this life by GRACE.
We get what we don’t deserve, eternal life.
WHAT TO DO NOW:
Pray, take a moment and bow your head and talk to God.
Ask him to come live in your heart and clean your sins away.
Share what he did in your life with others.
Matt has spent his fair share of time behind the wheel of a Jeep and behind a pulpit. Over 30 years in ministry and Bible Teaching.