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So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.

~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 ~

           “But I don’t want to die.”  These were Alyssa’s first words after hearing she would soon be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  There was nothing left for her here, no more treatments to abate her condition, no surgery that could patch her together, no human force or effort that could keep her with us.  The Lord had fulfilled His plan for Alyssa’s life, and it was time for her to go home.  I suppose even the most pious, the most faithful of us have their reservations, their questions about that which comes after.  What we must realize is that this fear of the unknown in no way detracts from the faith that is so real, so strong in our lives.


          Alyssa’s initial response, although not what her father would have hoped for, was appropriate none the less.  Especially in light of her very next words, “Daddy, I want to repent.”  You see, Alyssa was keenly aware of her need for a Savior.  No words could have pleased her father more, they solidified the fact that she belonged to Jesus.  It’s this desire to be made right with our holy God that is such a gift from the Lord, and is reserved only for those who belong to Him.  The knowledge that, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23) is pivotal to this truth, that we all need a Savior.  Alyssa’s sin, like yours and mine, was ever before her, giving her discomfort, uneasiness, even a sense of imminent peril.  For those of us who know and love Jesus the knowledge of our sin and unholiness is our constant companion.  Though saved, we are continually in need of our Savior’s forgiveness.  But for those of us who don’t yet know Jesus, it’s as though we’re at the edge of a cliff, being pulled by an unseen force, an overwhelming force that we can’t control, a force that continually pulls us nearer and nearer the edge of the cliff, until finally we fall with no one and nothing to catch us.


          On the morning of August 31, when Alyssa first found out she would soon be with Jesus, the edge of her cliff was nowhere to be found.  Though she expressed fear and a need for forgiveness and salvation, she had already been reconciled to God.  Her eternal destiny had already been determined and secured a number of years earlier.  You see, when Alyssa was only 3½ years old, on November 19, 2004, she approached her father after he came home from work, and proceeded to confess herself a sinner in need of the forgiveness that only Jesus can offer.  She understood then, at that young age, “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)  At that moment, when she trusted in Jesus Christ to be her Lord and Savior she became a new creation in Christ, the old had passed away and the new had come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)  A similar message is recorded for us in the gospel of John.  There Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, one of the foremost religious minds of his time, saying, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)  But how is one born again so they might "see the kingdom of God?"


          Because of His great love for us, God doesn’t leave us with a mystery to be solved, or a problem to which the solution is beyond our grasp.  He doesn’t make it so impossibly hard for us that we should all despair and stagnate through life with no hope, no meaning, and no purpose.  In fact, only a few versus later, John records these words of Jesus, incidentally, Alyssa’s favorite Bible verse, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  No doubt Alyssa pondered this verse and treasured its truths, particularly in those last hours before she would meet her Savior face to face.  We have but to believe in Jesus, the only Son of God, and the gift of eternal life is ours.  But why Jesus?  How is it that a man who lived 2,000 years ago can save someone from their sins and guarantee them eternal life rather than an eternity of death, misery, and separation from God.


          The Bible tells us that Jesus was a human just like the rest of us, but unlike the rest of us He was also God.  In the book of Colossians we read, “For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,” (Colossians 1:19) and again, “For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” (Colossians 2:9)  Jesus was the one man capable of saving us because he was also God, and able to live a life without sin.  God, from the very beginning, has required holiness and righteousness from his people.  To the Israelites He wrote, “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:45)  To us today he writes similar words through the apostle Peter, “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:15-16)


          So, God requires holiness, yet we have already established all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)  Together with the apostles we have no choice but to confess we are all “by nature children of wrath,” (Ephesians 2:3) unholy, and unfit for the kingdom of God.  “Wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25a)  Only Jesus lived a sinless life, only Jesus has done what it takes to “see the kingdom of God.”  The apostle Peter writes for us, “He (Jesus) committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22)  The apostle John reiterates this truth when he writes, “You know that He (Jesus) appeared to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin.” (1 John 3:5)  So how does this help us?  Who cares that Jesus was perfect?  The real question is, how can I be perfect, so I can see the kingdom of God?  Alyssa had this same struggle, we all do.  We know we’re not perfect, we all struggle with sin, with disobedience, with the desire to live for ourselves only, not following God’s commands, and, more importantly, not desiring to do all to the glory of God.  Even our disbelief in His son Jesus Christ is repugnant to Him.  So what do we do?  How can our sins be forgiven, how can we be washed clean and made right before God?  The answer in the Bible is clear, we do nothing, God has done the work for us.  He has provided the way of salvation in Jesus.


          God’s answer for the problem of sin has always been the sacrifice of an animal without blemish, a spotless lamb without defect.  The author to the Hebrews puts it this way, “…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Hebrews 9:22b)  So God gave us His only Son, His perfect, blameless, sinless Son to die in our place, like a spotless lamb led to the slaughter. (Isaiah 53:7)  The death that we deserve because of our sin, Jesus took in our place.  You see, “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us…while we were enemies (of God) we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son.” (Romans 5:8, 10)  Stated another way, the apostle Paul goes on to write in his second letter to the Corinthians, “For our sake He made Him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin (Jesus), so that in Him (Jesus) we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthian 5:21)  Did you catch that?  God made Jesus to be our sin even though He was sinless, so that we, sinners, might receive Jesus’ righteousness, and be blameless and holy before God.  Being right with God is what we’re going for.  Being right with God means we are now fit to “see the kingdom of God!”  We are born again, like Nicodemus.  But the good news of Jesus’ death on the cross to pay the required penalty for our sins doesn’t end there. The real hope lies in the fact that just three days later He rose from the dead.  The grave could not hold Him.  He fulfilled perfect righteousness for the Father and at the same time paid the price for sin that we owed.  Because of this awesome salvation work Jesus did to reconcile the relationship of God to mankind, God raised Him from the dead and highly exalted Him above all things and every name.  As Paul writes in his letter to the saints at Philippi, “Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)  Jesus is our risen Savior who continues to mediate between God and man.  “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart.” (Hebrews 4:7b)  Accept Him today as your Lord and Savior and know the hope and peace that Alyssa felt so many years ago, when she no longer was bound by sin and death, but was then able to walk in newness of life, trusting in Jesus, knowing His deep love her, and relying on His perfect plan for her life.


          The only question that remains is, how do you make this real in your life?  How do you gain this salvation that God provides through His Son Jesus Christ?  The apostle John records the words of Jesus when He says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)  Apart from Jesus Christ we have no hope, we have no confidence to draw near to God, to receive His grace, His mercy and forgiveness, His free gift of salvation.  Apart from Christ we have no confidence that we will "see the kingdom of God," and we will only draw near to Him in judgment and wrath.  There will be no mercy for those who have spurned His gift, who have lived for themselves, and not fulfilled the righteousness required by His law.  Alyssa grasped these truths at a tender age.  They terrified her, as they should terrify all of us.  She realized she had no hope in herself, nothing she could do or say apart from Jesus.  Who would reconcile her to God?  On that evening, when her father arrived home from work she did what the Bible said to do, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)  Alyssa confessed herself a sinner, desperately in need of a Savior, in need of forgiveness, in need of reconciliation, and to be made right with and before God.  At that moment her new life began.


          You see, on September 1, 2011, Alyssa didn’t really die, in fact, all of her days prior to November 19, 2004, occurred when Alyssa was dead.  From the moment she called upon the name of Jesus her future was certain, her hope was sure, her Savior would not fail her, she was incapable of experiencing death ever again.  Do you remember Alyssa’s favorite verse, John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”  According to this verse, those who believe in Jesus Christ will not perish, but will simply pass from this life to their eternal life in the kingdom of God.  This is what Alyssa did, she passed from this physical life of sin, pain, suffering, disease, etc., to her eternal life with Jesus, where there is no sin or suffering, pain or weeping, but all is set right and those who love Jesus are now at peace forever.


          Won’t you make today the day that you call upon Jesus as your Lord and Savior, trusting in His salvation work to make you right before our holy God?  Only in Jesus do we have a mediator before God, a risen Savior whose blood declares us “not guilty” before the judgment seat of God.  In Jesus we no longer have to fear the judgment and wrath of God, but we look forward to the abundant mercy of God as he gives us that which we don’t deserve, eternal life in His Son Jesus Christ.  Alyssa’s hope can be your hope too, trust in Jesus today.



                                    Whom have I in heaven but you?

                                         And there is nothing on earth that I desire

                                         besides you.

                                    My flesh and my heart may fail,

                                         but God is the strength of my heart and my

                                         portion forever.

                                                                        Psalm 73:25-26



          If you have questions about Alyssa’s hope or you would like to know more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ please contact Alyssa’s Foundation at the address and phone number below, we would love to hear from you.  If you just answered the call of God on your life and confessed yourself a sinner and asked God to forgive you in Jesus and by His blood, would you please contact us and share your experience so we can praise God with you.  We would like to encourage you to start attending a local church so you can participate in the fellowship of other believers.  Also, if you don’t have a Bible we would like to help get one into your hands.  Please let us know.



                                    The Lord bless you and keep you,

                                    the Lord make His face shine upon you,

                                                and be gracious to you;

                                    the Lord lift up His countenance upon you,

                                                and give you His peace.

                                                                        Numbers 6:24-26




Joseph Sandmeier

The Alyssa Sandmeier Foundation

1815 Robert Avenue

Aurora, NE  68818

Phone:  402-631-1815

Email:  alyssasandmeierscholarship@yahoo.com


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