God wants each of us to experience an abundant life filled with meaning, direction, love and peace. God makes this kind of life possible through a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. You can start this relationship by accepting Jesus as your Savior and inviting him into your life. But before doing that, here are five truths that will help you understand God's desire for you:
- God has a plan for your life. "No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven" (John 3:27) God created you and has good plans for your life. To know those plans, you must know God personally.
- God's plan gives meaning. "Jesus replied, 'I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty'" (John 6:35). Many people seek meaning and purpose for their life. But they never find it because they look for meaning in the wrong things and the wrong people. When you follow God's plans for your life, the most important of which is to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will find meaning and purpose in all that you do.
- God's plan gives direction. "Jesus spoke to the people once more and said 'I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life'" (John 8:12). Without God's direction, you may not know what to do with your life. You may try a lot of things, hoping to find meaning in each one. But if you have God in your life, He will lead you and show you how to make your life count for Him and His Kingdom.
- God's plan brings peace. "I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is the gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid" (John 14:27). When you follow Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will be at peace with God. You will also be filled with God's peace. So when troubles come, you will be able to have peace as you endure hardships.
- God's plan is for you to live with him in heaven. "For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Before Adam and Eve sinned, they had a good relationship with God. Therefore, they were not ashamed to come into God's presence. But after they sinned, their relationship with God changed, and they were ashamed to come into God's physical presence. Sin had separated them and the entire human race-including you-from God. But God did not want sin to keep people from having a relationship with Him. So He provided a way in which people could be cleansed of their sins and live with Him in Heaven forever. He gave his only Son, Jesus, as the perfect payment for everyone's sins.
Here are three things you must do in order to know Jesus personally as your Lord and Savior:
Copyright Quiet Strength New Testament, NLT, Tyndale House Publishing
- Recognize that you are a sinner. "For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard" (Romans 3:23). "As the Scriptures say, 'No one is righteous-not even one'" (Romans 3:10). Because everyone is a sinner, no one deserves eternal life with God in Heaven. In addition, no one can work hard enough to earn this life. Instead, God gives eternal life to everyone who believes that Jesus Christ is His son. Before you can appreciate what Jesus has done for you, you need to recognize that you are a sinner in need of God's forgiveness. If you never acknowledge this, you will never receive God's forgiveness for your sins. And you will never enter into Heaven.
- Ask Jesus to forgive you. "Yet now He has reconciled you to Himself through the death of Christ in His physical body. As a result, He has brought you into His own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault" (Colossians 1:22). If you recognize that you are a sinner, then you may be ready to ask Jesus to forgive you. Do you believe that Jesus in the eternal Son of God, who died to pay for you sins? If you do and you have never thanked Christ for dying for you, thank him right now in a simple prayer. Pray "Lord, I thank you for paying for the sins I have committed. I give my life to you. Teach me the right way to live. Amen."
- Turn away from your sins. "Those who have been born into God's family do not make a practice of sinning, because God's life is in them. So they can't keep on sinning, because they are children of God"
(1 John 3:9). As a Christian, you may sin from time to time. But you should not continue to live a sinful lifestyle. Putting your faith in Jesus means that you are willingly turning away from your old sinful nature. It also means that you are living to please God. You can live to please God by obeying the commands He has given everyone in the Bible. If you obey God, you can be sure that you are a Christian and will one day have eternal life in heaven.