Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Fresh Beginning for Broken Lives

Yesterday we explored some Scriptures that help connect with God during grief. But what if we don't even know God? The first key is personally accepting God's salvation and love.

God wants a relationship with us. Isn't that amazing? The Creator of the universe + you. Sometimes I wonder why He doesn't make us all automatically love Him and respond to Him? He's God, He's powerful enough to do that, right?

Right, but He's also kind. And gentle. And He's given us a free-will to choose Him. Or not. God will not force Himself upon us.
We're separated from God by our humanity, by being flawed with sin. And some of us are pretty proud of that at times. We sing that song, "I Did It My Way," and think God will be proud of us. But we need to come to grips with the fact that sin separates us from God--its humbling to admit we need Him, realizing that Jesus died on the cross to cover our sin.

Look at it like this: He paid to take away the judgment of our sin. And just as if someone paid for our meal at a restaurant, we need to decide if we will accept their payment, or if we'll argue and object. We either accept Christ paying for us with His death and resurrection, or we refuse to believe. There's no middle ground.

I don't really understand why people refuse to accept Christ's offer of salvation. His purpose in dying for us wasn't to make us raving Republicans, do-gooders or even the nicest neighbor on the block. A lot of people do become a little nicer with Christ in their life, and unfortunately some morph into fanatics, but that's certainly not why Jesus chose to die. Bottom line--He died to save us from eternity in Hell. Have you ever taken Him up on His offer of salvation?

Scripture tells us over and over how to do that. Here are some examples:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9,10
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9

Why not talk to Christ about His offer of salvation right now? Let Him know if you believe --or not. Ask Him to forgive your sin and make you righteous and pure in God's sight.
Some people like to write their prayer out like a letter. That's a good idea, it's a tangible reminder of this event. Others silently form the words in their mind in the privacy of their home, or in a church or a special place in nature. (My father was in the Navy and his first prayer was while gazing upon the Pacific Ocean). Or you might like to have a friend or pastor pray with you. They can tell you some words to say and Scriptures to stand on.

Or, you might do like a woman I know. For days she'd been hesitating, vacilating between her longing for God and her fear of God. Finally, one day as she was driving around on some errands, she could stand it no longer. She pulled her car to the side of the road, looked up and cried out, "God, take away all this junk!" And you know what? He did. He'll do the same for you. A fresh beginning . . . the real gift of Christmas . . . a transforming relationship with God in the midst of grief.

Sound good? E-mail me or comment below if you have questions. If you'd like me to pray with you please let me know; that's what I'm here for--to help you know God is with us; to know that He cares and He wants to connect with you. He's the hope we need when life is hopeless. Just like when the shepherds in the Christmas story heard the good news, God enters our lives when the nights are cold, dark and lonely.
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1 comment:

  1. It amazes me that there are still many non-believers around us even though Jesus is known by everyone except the far reaches of the world. If He were just another man, why are there not others carrying the same name of Jesus? The Latino name 'Jesus' is pronounced "Hey suice" (rhymns with juice). He waits until all people know Him and have a choice to believe in Him or not. I think that with the technology of today, these peoples will receive the good news of God and His beloved Son, Jesus. Some think He was a philosopher or another prophet. Even in His time on Earth, fellow Hebrew clergy would not accept that He was truly the Messiah as described in their very own scriptures as He stood before them, read the scriptures, and said He was their Messiah. What exactly were they waiting for? He came to them as it was written. But, they wanted their Messiah wrapped in rich garments and carrying all the trappings of a powerful king. Their idea of what His presence should be was never described in their scriptures of old. I absolutely believe I could not have gone forward as I have without Jesus as my Protector and also my God that loves me so much.

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