Saturday, August 7, 2021

What can we do to do what God wants us to do?

Christianity is about a personal relationship with God. It's about a reconciliation between one person, you, and God, through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It's like a romance, or a close friendship, or a father-son/father-daughter relationship. It's not about ritual or superstition. It's about turning from sin, and the lies we've believed about reality, and turning to Jesus Christ in faith.

On this planet Earth, we’re being reviewed on how we live by God. And we’ve all sinned and made mistakes right? Tons of them for me. And on judgment day, we’ll all be judged for our sins. And God has to punish sin. So he’ll have to send us to hell. But God set up a second option. He sent Jesus Christ, God in human form, to Earth, to live the perfect life we couldn’t. Then he was crucified on the cross, to make payment for our sins. And 3 days later, being God, he raised again to life, and lives forever now to help us. So if we believe in Jesus Christ, it’s as if Jesus comes into the court room on judgment day and says hold on judge, I paid for that persons sins on the cross. I made payment. So they can go free. I’ve paid their fine. That’s what Jesus does for us.

Repentance is key to salvation in Jesus Christ. The word of God the Bible says to "Repent and believe the good news!" -Mark 1:15. What does it mean to repent? The concept of repenting is that we turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. To repent, means to "put to death" the works of our fleshly desires. A few of the sins that I had to put aside included: Drugs (I was a drug addict), alcohol (I drank constantly), cigarettes (destructive to the body), having sex outside of marriage, pornography, lying, stealing (even pirated movies and music), movies/tv series full of gore and sex, and many other sinful practices. Trust in the Holy Spirit, who will lead you to areas in your life that need to change. Be focused and concentrate on this process of repentance, because Christ expects us to be holy as He is holy.

Christianity is also about serving God. We renounce our plans for life and we embrace what God's will is for our lives. Like for me, I wanted to be a journalist or a novelist. But when I became a Christian, I realized through prayer, fasting, and Bible reading that God was calling me to be a minister. He doesn't call everyone to be ministers, often he calls us to a certain job or vocation. Once again, the Holy Spirit will lead you if you're yielded to His influence.

The three most important parts of our relationship with God are prayer, fellowship, and Bible reading. As a Christian I try to pray twice a day. Sometimes I'll say the "Our Father" but most often I'll just get on my knees and talk to God. It's about communication and love. And remember, if we love someone we'll spend real time with them. Prayer is how we talk to God, but how does God talk back? That's where Bible reading comes in. As I read the various books of the Bible, God will communicate through them to me. Isn't that cool?

Joining a church is an absolute necessity. We can't do it alone. A gazelle wandering away from the herd will be picked off and eaten by lions. There are no solo Christians. We must join a weekly fellowship and a must is also a weekly Bible study/small group. I repeat, this is not optional!

I would encourage you to find a Bible, a good understandable translation like the NIV or ESV. Read through the Gospel of John. That is my favorite Gospel. The Psalms are great to read through, they are poetry about out wonderful God. If you have trouble understanding exactly what's being talked about, consider purchasing a quality Study Bible. A Study Bible will include commentary.

If you prefer to read on the computer, check out Bible Gateway. You can go through the Bible in any translation you like. There are even Bible commentaries, studies, and Audio Bibles. For topical listings of Bible verses check out Open Bible. There are Bible apps as well, like YouVersion for all phones. Check out the Bible Project on YouTube, it's a great way to learn the big story of scripture.

Once you've read through the Bible, ask yourself, do I understand that I need a Savior to remove my sins? Do I realize I've fallen short of the perfect requirement of God, just like the rest of humanity? Do I understand that God is sovereign over my life, and I want him to be my personal God?

Then it's time to cry out to Jesus Christ. Call out to the name of Jesus Christ, with belief in your heart that Jesus can help you. Cry out with all your might. Would you pray with me:

Father God of the Bible, I realize now that you're real, your Bible is real, and your son Jesus Christ is real. I admit to you Father that I've sinned against you, I confess my sins to you now (confess them one by one). I repent of my sins, please Lord set me free from every sin. And I admit that I need a Savior. You have provided that Savior. I accept him Father, today I accept your son Jesus Christ, and his work on the cross as the necessary payment for all my sins, past, present, and future. I recognize that Jesus resurrected from the dead to give me eternal life. Please Father, cloth me in His righteousness. Father God I acknowledge you as the sovereign Lord of my life, please grant me your Holy Spirit to guide me in my new life as a Christian. Thank you so much Father, it's in Jesus Christ name I pray this prayer, Amen.