is a practical application of Heb. 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.
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Your Invitation to Life
Jesus said, “…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, NIV). Have you discovered the joy and peace of personally accepting Jesus’ invitation to life? Perhaps you have believed in the existence of God and His Son and have tried to live a good life, but have never consciously invited Him to be your Savior and Lord. No matter who you are or what you have done, at this very moment, you too can make the decision of a lifetime. Right now Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart. He offers you the same wonderful life which millions through the centuries have received with life-changing results. He has already paid the penalty for your sin. He is asking you, in the quiet of your heart, to put your trust in Him. Here are four spiritual points that will help you discover how to know God personally and experience the full life He promises.
1. God loves you and wants to have a personal relationship with you.
God’s Love: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NASV). “Now this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). God wants you to know Him. Why is it that most people do not have a personal relationship with God? Because:
2. Our sin cuts us off from God so we cannot have a personal relationship with Him and experience His love.
We have all sinned. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23, NASV). We were all created to have a personal relationship with God, because we all choose to go our own independent way, our relationship with God was broken. The fact that we are selfish and self-centered is obvious because we either rebel against God or don’t really care about Him. This is evidence of what the Bible calls “sin.” We are cut off from God. “The wages of sin is death…” [spiritual separation from God] (Rom. 6:23). God is holy (pure and sinless) and we are sinful. A great gap cuts us off from God because He cannot tolerate sin. People often try to find a full and meaningful life through their own efforts. They try to live a good life or be religious. But the Bible clearly teaches that there is only one way to bridge this gap.
3. Jesus Christ is God’s only cure for our sin. Through Him you can know God personally and experience His love.
Jesus died in our place. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8, NASV). Jesus rose from the dead. “…Christ died for our sins . . . He was buried . . . He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures . . . He appeared to Cephas [Peter], then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred . . .” (1 Cor. 15:3-6, NASV). Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6, NASV). God has done the work to bridge the gap which cuts us off from Him. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sin. But it is not enough just to know these truths. We must take the next step . . . and “cross the bridge.”
4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know God personally and experience His love.
We must receive Christ. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12, NASV). We receive Christ by personal invitation. Thus, receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins so that we can begin our personal relationship with Him. Just to know in your mind that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins is not enough. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will. Would you like to accept Jesus’ invitation to life? You can receive Jesus Christ right now by faith through prayer. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Millions of people all around the world have already found new life in Christ. Here is a suggested prayer which can help you express your trust in Jesus, too: