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. Romans 10:9
Three years ago today around 10:00 a.m. EST I was reborn…became a new creation…became a Christian…got saved. No matter how you say it, my life changed in a way that I never would have imagined possible. Much of that change is discussed throughout this blog, with posts about experiencing God in a personal way, growing in faith, and truly understanding the meaning of God’s grace. If you’ve read more than a few words of “clay,” you know the changes in my life were significant.
Prior to June 17, 2010 I was mired in a life of sin. Having rejected God’s offer of salvation over and over during my 52 years – an offer I was well-versed in, as I grew up hearing the gospel preached time and again – I was without hope and bound to spend eternity that way. And, as I believe in a literal hell as described in the Bible, that’s where my rejection would have landed me.
Ponder that for a moment – I definitely have, especially today.
But there was hope – I didn’t have to continue in the life I was in; I didn’t have to spend eternity separated from God, from everything good. Because of that hope, I can spend eternity in God’s presence. If you’re not a Christian, I know it may be hard to imagine just how incredible that will be, but do this: think of the greatest thing that could ever happen to you – winning the world’s biggest lottery; being handed the keys to the house of your dreams in the location of your dreams with the car of your dreams in the garage; being able to travel the world for the rest of your life; having anything or anyone you want – and multiply it by the largest number you can think of.
Even then it will still pale in comparison to what awaits you as a follower of Jesus.
So maybe you’re thinking, “That’s fine – if you believe all that.” That’s fair and something that, on my pondering occasions, I’ve mulled over.
I would be dishonest if I said there hasn’t been a moment when I’ve thought: What if there isn’t really anything after this life? What if we die and that’s it – no heaven, no eternity? What if that’s just a dangled carrot to get us to love each other, to be good and kind, and to get us to dangle that carrot in front of everyone else?
I can say with certainty that this life isn’t all there is, but what if it were?
So what? It wouldn’t make a bit of difference.
There’s no way I would go back to the life I lived three-plus years ago. Those changes in my life I mentioned earlier have been the stuff I could only dream of before. Today, those dreams are reality. Today…
- I have peace:
“The Lord blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11
- I have purpose:
“My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24
- I have love and support, both from an army of mortal spiritual family to a host of the immortal:
“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11
- I am blessed – abundantly:
“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
- I have a personal relationship with Jesus:
“If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20
- I have nothing to be afraid of:
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
If you’re not a Christian, maybe you just think it’s all about the “thou shalt nots”; that you would have to give up all the stuff you like to do. Again, that’s fair. That’s what the liar who whispers in your ear wants you to think. It’s easy to buy that lie. Sin can be pretty attractive.
Granted, I quit doing some things that I knew were not pleasing to God, but they were things I haven’t missed one bit. They were all unhealthy physically and emotionally anyway, so no big loss.
So even if all I ever experience as a follower of Jesus are the things I’ve experienced so far, that would be enough to convince me to give up everything I’ve ever had, ever known, or ever been – or ever will have, know, or be.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
That’s me – a new creation. And today is my re-birthday.
Today can be your re-birthday, too. Maybe you’ve thought about it before and procrastinated, or thought you were OK, since you’re kind to animals and people and give to the Red Cross.
Or maybe not…
Do you feel a tug at your heart? An unsettled feeling in the pit of your stomach that all isn’t right? A desire for more than the father of all lies is offering? A gnawing that, if something were to happen to you, you’re not sure if you would be with God forever?
It doesn’t have to be that way. All that can change right now with a simple, sincere prayer. That prayer can sound something like this:
“Heavenly father, I admit that I’m a sinner and that I’m sorry for the life I’ve lived. I believe that Jesus is your son, and that He came here to earth to live as one of us – but a perfect one of us, one of us without sin. I believe that He freely gave His perfect, sinless life to pay the sin debt I owe, a debt I could never pay on my own. I also believe that You raised Him from the dead. I ask You now for Your forgiveness of my sins. I want Jesus to be in control of my life.
“Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me and for giving me eternal life. Amen”
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