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“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:12 (NIV)
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” John 3:3 (NIV)
WE NEED TO BE SURE WE HAVE JESUS IN OUR LIVES.
It’s really that simple.
Jesus … and no other.
Pastor Louie Giglio, in his book ~Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your Giants~, lays it out this way:
“Yet this kind of belief is more than simply mentally ascribing to something as true. It’s putting all your trust in Jesus to be all he says he can be in your life.”
Have you done that? Have you come to grips with the single most important decision you can make in your life, whether you have latched onto a saving relationship with the Creator of the universe, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Savior of the world?
Have you told him, “I believe”?
JESUS ILLUSTRATED THIS POINT one day with His disciples. After asking them about the chatter in town as to who men (and women) thought He was, He drilled down to the essential question for all of our lives:
“Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15 NCV)
The Bible tells us that Simon Peter immediately gave the correct answer: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16 NCV)
Later, another one of Jesus’ disciples, Judas Iscariot, gave a different answer: “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” (Matthew 26:15 NIV)
Those two answers are polar opposites, and yet they represent the totality of possible answers:
“You are who you say you are” … or … “You aren’t.”
“I will follow you” … or … “I won’t.”
GOD’S WORD TELLS US that He gives life to those who believe in Him and follow Him, but that those who do not believe will not be rewarded with the abundance that God intended for everyone.
Here are just two examples, one each from the Old Testament and the New Testament:
“Today I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses. I am offering you life or death, blessings or curse. Now, choose life! Then you and you children may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19 NCV)
“A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10 CSB)
Is there a greater shame in all of life than that many of God’s creatures — men and women fashioned in His image — willingly choose to have little or nothing to do with Him?
In Noah’s day, they were wicked and thought only of evil (Genesis 6:5).
In Jesus’ day, they called out to Roman authorities: “Crucify him!” (Luke 23:21)
HAS ANYTHING CHANGED?
What about today?
Today, God’s people are called “bigots” for calling out sin among the populace.
No, that does not mean that all of God’s believers are without sin — only Jesus holds that honor — but God’s believers are called to turn from sinful ways and show their good works before men that men will give the glory to God (Matt. 5:16; Titus 2:7).
Remember the prophet Amos’s litany to the ancient Israel? He called out their sin and God’s response to their continued sin. You can read it in Amos, Chapter 4. God kept saying, “Yet you have not returned to me.”
As a people individually and collectively, we have failed to “return to [God]” with the obedience and humility to which we are called. If we do, the Lord has promised to hear that prayer:
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)
For those who do not believe, there will be judgment (2 Thessalonians 2:12). For those who do believe, there will be life (Romans 8:1).
Our Lord said it this way in John 3:36 (NET):
“The one who believes in the Son has eternal life. The one who rejects the Son will not see life, but God’s wrath remains on him.”
Father God, maker of heaven and earth, please hear our prayer of repentance. We need your love and grace to experience life with all the abundance You intended when You created us. Forgive us, O Lord, for our sinful ways, for our disobedience, for our unbelief. Turn our hearts toward You and toward life. We pray in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen
- What does being “born again” mean to you? Does the Lord’s use of that phrase in John 3:3 mean something special to you? Does it sound different coming from Him than from someone else — a family member, neighbor, pastor or Bible teacher? Can you take Jesus’ statement at face value and believe Him when He says you must be “born again” to experience life?
- Do you believe you have turned from your sinful ways, the natural ways we tend to act because sin is in our hearts? Do you base you answer on your personal effort or are you dependent on the Holy Spirit living within you? Do you accept that your salvation is determined solely by God’s grace and not by your works?
- Do you see a difference between “head knowledge” and “true faith” when it comes to salvation? Do you understand that simply knowing that Jesus is Lord is not enough to be saved? Can you ask Him into your heart now?
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