A Place Just For You
Getting to Know
Excerpts from Amazing Facts: submitted by R. Green
God Loves Me
The Bible tells us, “God is Love!” (1 John 4:8). The Lord is our Creator and cares a great deal about us. “See how much the Father has loved us? His love is so great that we are called God’s children” (1 John 3:1 TEV). God wants you to have a happy life. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). Perhaps you’ve had moments in your life when you wondered, “Is this all there is?” Maybe you’ve felt there was something missing and felt a longing to understand the purpose of life—your life! Some people feel emptiness in their heart that nothing seems to fill. Others wonder, “Where did I come from?” or “Why is there so much hatred and evil in the world?”
The Bible tells us there is a loving and compassionate God who created our world in order to have a meaningful and joyful relationship with us. Our planet was originally created perfectly. There was no death or pain; no tears were shed over broken relationships. Everything functioned harmoniously. My Sin Separates Me from God Sin has broken our connection with God. “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). Everyone has broken God’s perfect law of love. “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Unless something happens, we are all doomed to die. “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). An enemy named Satan came to our world and tempted the first couple, Adam and Eve, to believe a lie. The enemy convinced them to think God was not kind. They chose to turn away from God and believe Satan. It was a serious mistake because they cut themselves off from the source of all light and life. Their choice destined our planet and all people to be under a new ruler, Satan, who would eventually destroy all people. Unless someone interceded.
Jesus Connects Me Back
Because of God’s great love for you, Jesus willingly took the wages of sin upon Himself. Christ died so people could live eternally and not have to die. Jesus’ life without sin covers my life of sin so that I can have eternal life—salvation. Christ’s death was accepted by God as full payment for all my past sins. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2Corinthians 5:21).
Someone did intercede for us. Even though our first parents turned away from God and believed a lie, the Lord provided a way out, a plan to save people from destruction and eternal death. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, chose to take the penalty of breaking away from God. Sin is turning from God’s law of love and life and the result of sin is death. Jesus, who was equal with God, willingly laid down His life, dying for the sins of the whole world. He provides His perfect life and sacrifice for our sinful and broken lives. Jesus offers the gift of salvation freely. It is not something we can buy but only accept. We deserve death since all of us have sinned and turned from God. Jesus extends eternal life to us. People do not have to live meaningless lives that end in hopelessness and death. God desires to restore mankind into a life-giving relationship and give people new hearts that desire the Lord and turn toward the way of life. This free gift of salvation can be ours if only we will accept it.
How Do I Accept Jesus
Into My Life?
When I accept Christ’s death, as a gift, I become a child of God. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). What does Jesus death on the cross mean in my life? “To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God” (John 1: 12 RSV). If you would like to receive Christ into your life right now, follow these simple steps: 1. Recognize you must die. “The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). 2. Realize you cannot save yourself. “Without Me (God) you can do nothing” (John 15:5). 3. Repent and confess to God that you are a sinner. “All have sinned…” (Romans 3:23). 4. Believe Jesus died for your sins. “For God so loved the world that He gave…” (John 3:16). 5. Believe that Jesus forgives you of sin.
“If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9) 6.Believe that you have eternal life. “He who believes in Me has everlasting life” (John 6:47). Now live in faith everyday in your new way of life. “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Colossians 2:6). If someone gives you a gift, it is not yours until you receive it. Jesus holds out before you the gift of salvation, but how do you take it? The Bible tells us that we must first sense our need of Christ. This comes as the Holy Spirit speaks to our conscience and we realize our sins have separated us from God. Then we are led to repent of our sins, which means we acknowledge in our hearts that our wrong choices have been put on Christ and destroyed His life on the cross. Repenting means to be so disgusted with our old way of life that we turn away from it and seek a new way in Jesus. We confess our sinfulness to God in prayer and tell the Lord we are very sorry. When we come before God, broken in heart because of our sinful choices, and confess our sinfulness, we may claim the Lord’s promise to forgive us and make our hearts clean. We may be restored back into a right relationship with God, a friendship that brings us life and love and joy.
New Life in Christ
Like any earthly relationship that stays strong, we must maintain our connection to God. This happens by studying the Bible, the primary way the Lord has been revealed to us. We may also talk with God in prayer and reflect on the way Jesus leads in our life. Meeting with other Christians and sharing how God is working in our lives with other people also will keep our belief in the Lord strong. So, if you have not yet given your heart to the Lord and feel ready to take that step, you may kneel down in front of your computer and pray this prayer from your heart:
You can know you have received this gift of salvation when you accept it by faith. When I join God’s family, how does God’s love change my life? “When anyone is joined to Christ, he is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17, TEV). When a person accepts Christ, the old sinful nature is destroyed.
Jesus gives the new Christian a new spiritual life. Then the Christian hates the old life of sin. The new Christian begins to experience freedom from guilt and realizes how empty his life was without Christ. In one minute God proves more happiness than a whole lifetime of serving the Devil. Why did I wait so long to accept God’s love? After we genuinely confess our sins to God and ask the Lord to wash our hearts clean, we must choose to believe this truly has happened. We must have faith and say, “God promised to take away my sin. I believe that has taken place and I now thank Jesus for the work He is doing in my heart.” Even if our faith in God is weak or tiny, the Lord wants us to exercise our belief in the gift of salvation. As we walk in this new belief, it will grow stronger each day.
“Dear Lord, I realize that you love me and want to have a relationship with me. But I have learned that I am a sinner and my evil choices and actions lead to death. I confess my sinfulness to You. Please come into my heart and remove all sin and fill me with Your love. Because Jesus Christ took my sins upon Himself and suffered for me, I freely accept His offer of eternal life. Thank you for what you have done and what you are doing in my life right now! I accept Your gift of salvation! I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!”
Now, go and tell someone what you have done!