Thursday, February 13, 2014

40-Billion-Dollar Questions

  • Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)
  • Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; [We are] His people and the sheep of His pasture. (Psalms 100:3)
  •  The conclusion, when all has been heard, [is:] fear God and keep His commandments, because this [applies to] every person. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
  • "Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created." (Revelation 4:11)
  • "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:16-18)
  • The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. ... Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalms 23:1, 6)
  • And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)
Most of us know that there is more to this life than simply being born, doing our thing in between, and then dying. The problem is that the majority of us don’t know where to turn or where to look. Some try to fill this void they feel with many different things including substance abuse, inner peace, physical workouts, family, sex, etc. nothing can fill that void except for Jesus.

What do we have if we do not have Jesus?
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)
Try putting anything else (work, family, wealth, fame) in place of “Christ.” It does not work.

Might I invite you, or perhaps even challenge you, to take a walk down what others have called the "Romans Road"? I will use just a single book from the Bible to open your eyes to your relationship with God. I warn you, though, the trip might hurt as I reveal your real status before God.

Nobody is perfect, nobody is righteous, nobody is good: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23)

Because you have sinned, there is a penalty: “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a)

But God loves you so much that he has offered an alternative called ‘eternal life’: “...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b)

God provided His son Jesus as an atoning sacrifice for your sins. Jesus took your penalty! “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

If you are wondering if God will accept you, let me assure you with even more good news: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

This is what you need to do in order to receive eternal life: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

Pray this simple prayer with me. “God, I confess that I’ve made mistakes. I know that I’ve disappointed you. Thank you for loving me anyway, and for proving your love by sending Jesus to die for me. Thank you for accepting me just the way I am, in spite of my sin. I want to turn from those things and live for you from this moment on. Please be a part of my life and help me to follow you. Amen.

This, or any other, prayer is not a guarantee of salvation; however, it is a very good place to start. What needs to follow is the knowledge that "...if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." (Romans 8:13-14)

If you have accepted God’s gift of eternal life through Jesus, I would like to show you something that will help you with your new life: “…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)

If you give God first place in your life, other things will work out according to God’s plan for you. Your life will be transformed! This does not mean you will have "Your Best Life Now", and certainly has nothing to do with the "Health, Wealth, and Prosperity" nonsense that many false teachers are teaching; but it does mean that everything in life, including the most awful (although we may not see it at the time), will be worked together by God for our eventual good. This refers both to the refining of our character in making us more like Christ, as well as preparing us to receive the reward of eternal life (our ultimate good).