So, I'll do it again...
Last week I wrote a post about friends. I told about the greatest friendship, which is with Jesus. Well, I can't brag about the greatest friendship ever without sharing how you can enter into this relationship as well. There's just so much to say. I have to first start out by saying that I am by all means no expert or Bible teacher. I'm just someone who has found the Lord and love Him dearly. AND I speak from my personal experience only.
In my days which I call, "Before Christ", I was a nice, loving person who did kind things most of the time. All in all, I thought I was a pretty good person, I believed in God and of course, I would be going to heaven. I mean after all, I wasn't a murderer and I really did do good things for the most part. But you see, it doesn't work that way. Because if that's how you get into heaven, how would we know if we've done enough or how would we know if we didn't do too many bad things. I mean...where do you draw the line? And it's not enough to just believe. Even Satan believes in God.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked me how God has changed me. Now, I have to say that this friend is agnostic. This friend is also very analytical and highly intelligent. So much so that it's sometimes very hard to have a normal conversation with him. There are very few things I would ever try to debate with him. UNLESS, it's something that I'm so passionate about and just don't want him to miss out on. And actually this is not a debate I'm trying to have. After all, how many people have you "argued" into the Kingdom of God? Rather, I'm just trying to explain to him the very essence of my feelings. So, back to his question. As I was trying to answer his question, I said things like: I'm more giving, generous, loving, etc. Then he said "you've always been kind, loving, generous, etc. I don't see how you could become any more of those things than you were before." Ok, but I have a deeper love for those I don't even know. I have a deeper understanding of what it means to forgive. And I realize that I can't do many things on my own...I need Jesus to help me. But more than that, I have peace. I have peace in my life more than ever before. We have gone through some dark storms the past couple of years. Through it all God has been faithful. He has cared for us and provided our every need. Over the next few months I will integrate some of my journaling from those days. I have amazing stories to tell about God and his provisions. I also have hope. Hope that beyond all the pain and suffering that goes on here on earth, there is something more. That the short time we have here on earth is nothing compared to eternity. Eternity in heaven where there is no pain or suffering. I can't wait.
Now, I will ask you a very important question. If you were to die today, are you sure of your salvation? Do you know where you are going? With no doubt? And there's so much more to this question. I mean it's not just about where you will spend eternity (although that is huge). But it's about today. It's about giving up and surrendering to God. It's saying, "I CAN'T DO THIS ALL BY MYSELF!" Who would want to? Who would want to navigate through this world where there's so much pain, suffering, death, trouble, heart ache, etc? If you can have Jesus walking along side you, helping you, loving you, comforting you, and guiding you...wouldn't you want that? I know I do.
One thing I've discovered is that "religion" is spelled DO. It's all about what you can do to earn your way to heaven. Christianity is spelled DONE. It's about what's been done for us. There's no way to earn your way into heaven. It's a gift. A free gift that you receive by opening your hand and receiving it.
I want to show you an illustration: (Disclaimer: I am NOT an artist! ha, ha!)
From the day that Adam and Eve took a bit of the infamous apple, sin has entered into our lives. God did not make us robots to love and obey Him. He gave us free will. The freedom to make choices. This results is separation from God. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." —Romans 6:23 (NIV)
Jesus gave His life for us upon the cross and then rose from the dead. When He did this He paid the penalty for our sins, therefore cancelling them out, to bridge the gap between us and God. By doing this, we have eternal life in heaven. 1 Peter 3:18 says "Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit."
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
The bible says:
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends." - Revelation 3:20
"But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12
"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. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved." Romans 10:9-10
Are you ready? Would you like to make sure of your salvation? If so, here is a prayer. You can talk to God in your own words. There is no right or wrong way.
- First of all, tell God that you are sorry for the things you've done. Have an honest heartfelt conversation with him. Be willing to turn from your sins and repent. Ask for His forgiveness.
- Believe in your heart that Jesus died and the cross and rose from the dead and thank Him for doing so.
- Ask Jesus to come into your heart and be Lord and Savior of your life.
If you received Jesus Christ as your savior, please let me know by commenting at the end of this post. If you write "private" at the top of the comment, I will keep it that way. I would like to be able to come along side you and help you get connected. It's really important that you do that.
If you've read this, but you're still not sure, that's ok. Feel free to ask any questions. I may not have the answer but I will certainly help you find it.
Alpha is a great way to get your questions answered as well. Alpha is a relaxed, safe place to ask questions and explore spirituality from a Christian perspective. Many people from different backgrounds come to this course to meet new people and learn the basics of Christianity. If you live near Lakeville, MN, there is an Alpha program at Hosanna! Lutheran Church. For those of you that live in other parts of the country, click here to find an Alpha near you.
I hope and pray that you receive this post with the love that is intended. There is no condemnation in Christ. God loves you more than you could ever imagine! You were made in His image. And His Grace is sufficient and abundant.
If you did not see my post about Annabelle...scroll down to yesterdays post to read about her. She is the one that inspired me to seek faith!
Thanks for blogging with me and I look forward to your comments! Please do leave them. It's inspiring to read what others have to say. :)
And now Lord, I pray that when I hit the "Publish Post" button, the entire post (pictures and all) will make it to my blog page! In Jesus' Name...AMEN!!!!
Bless you brothers and sisters in Christ,