If I could say one thing to you, it would be this: I love you, but we may have a problem.
May I tell you more by what I mean by that?
My Dad (God) and I love you – YOU specifically – and desire to have a personal relationship. Nothing weird, but the kind of relationship where we would know each other really well. Like the kind of relationship you would have with your best friend.
The Bible (which God the Holy Spirit inspired people to write) says this about our love for you in John 3:16, "For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
What is eternal life? “This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent -- Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) Eternal life is knowing me!
So what is keeping you from knowing me? Well, to be honest, you are. You are full of sin – imperfection, wrongdoing, misbehavior. If it makes you feel any better you’re not alone in this! “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Who does all include? EVERYONE! It hard not to see to truth of this in our messed up world, isn’t it? Go to a daycare for one day and you’ll see from early on we are all deceitful, mean, manipulative, etc.! Whether it’s willful defiance or lack of care for our nature, it’s still sin.
Your sin only earns you one thing – separation from me. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” So instead of knowing me and having eternal life, your sin only gets you eternal death and separation from me. Unfortunately for you, that means that you go to hell.
WHOA! JESUS JUST USED THE H-WORD! Yep. Because it’s true.
It’s like this: Since God is perfect and without sin, and where He lives is sinless means that people – like you – can’t be with Him because that would change His “clean space”. People try (like you have) to be good enough to get to me, to earn a place in heaven. But it’s like swimming across the ocean on your own. It’s impossible! Olympic swimmers might get pretty far, but they literally can’t swim all by themselves without dying on the way there. It is impossible for you to be good “enough” on your own to get to heaven or hangout with God – because the requirement to get in is perfection. In our swimming analogy, you would have to be a boat.
You want some good news? I became a boat for you. Okay, not a literal boat obviously, but I, Jesus, made it possible for you to get to God. Instead of you trying so hard to get to me, I came to you. Instead of people trying to get to God, God came to people and be a perfect person. “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8) You didn’t anything to earn my love or prove your worthiness to me – I died for you knowing that you are sinful and unworthy.
Here is the clincher… I once said (and it’s recorded in John 14:6), “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” I’m not one of many ways to get to God. I’m not one choice of many to get to heaven. I Am IT!! I know this seems so contradictory to what may feel right, especially in light of our “tolerant world”. But I am inclusively exclusive – I give everyone a chance to know who I am and what I did for them but I don’t budge on truth. I died for all humanity throughout time – before they knew of me I died for them. It’s everyone’s choice whether they want to accept my gift. I don’t force people into a relationship with me (it would be like if someone just said they were you’re boyfriend/girlfriend, even though you didn’t want them to be… weird, creepy, awkward, right?). I want to be chosen, but I won’t make anyone choose me who don’t want me.
And that brings me to the last thing I want to talk to you about – do you want a relationship with me? Everyone makes a choice. To know God personally, to have eternal life, you respond to me.
You don’t have to choose me. You can choose your own way. You can choose to follow what seems what best to you, but be aware that you are going to stay in the sin that is keeping you from knowing God personally. You can’t be a good enough person to get to Me. My offer to follow me will stand for as long as you live (which, I know the day your life ends… do you?) I’m here whenever you’re ready.
Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift -- not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”
You are saved from an eternity separated from me – spared living a life without truly knowing fully who you are and what you’re made for, and a life after in hell. You are saved by grace – grace is getting something you don’t deserve. My grace is a free gift that you get by faith – faith is a fancy word for trust. Just like if someone you don’t know hands out a beautifully wrapped gift, you would have to reach out and take it trusting that it’s a good thing and not trash.
Listen! I am standing at the door of your heart and knocking. I’m trying to get your attention. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me. Are you hearing me? Are you ready to respond with opening up the door?
This isn’t just an emotional response you make based on how you feel, or a purely intellectual response based on doing this because you know all the facts. This is a choice you make because you want to. This response takes agreeing with God that you are full of sin and want to live a different life, trusting God to forgive you completely from your sin because of My sacrifice on the cross, and choosing to follow Me and putting me first in your life.
There are only two lives you can live – one without me or one with me. There is no middle ground. If you have more questions, you can ask me through prayer (which is just talking to me) and your friend who pointed you to this article. But if you know you are ready to follow me, you can pray right now. Talk to me! It’s not about your words as much as it is about the attitude of your heart. What’s stopping you?
Much Love, Jesus
Lord Jesus, I DO want to know you personally. I see my sin and I am sorry for choosing my way instead of yours for so long. I ask for forgiveness. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sin. I don’t want to do whatever seems right – that’s my old life. I want to follow you as Lord and Savior of my life. Please come in and take first place in my life. Guide and lead my life from here on.
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