42106 Know God Personally

God Loves You

God loves you and offers you a way to connect with Him. He wants to have a relationship with you!

Through His plan of forgiveness, it’s possible to connect with God personally. We’re not talking about a religion but a personal relationship with the living God who created you.

Imagine that! The God of the universe cares about you personally. It’s true!

The Bible promises:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. ” (John 3:16, NLT).

God has made a way for you to come into a personal relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus declared,

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NLT).

Because God is holy and just, He must punish sin. But He is also loving and merciful, so He has provided a way for you to have eternal life with Him in heaven.

God, in the person of His Son Jesus Christ, died on the cross for all of your sins – past, present, and future. Now He offers you a pardon for all of your sins.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, ESV).

God loves you so much that He personally became the perfect substitute for your sins by dying on the cross and then rising from the dead.

God loves us. However, our sin separates us from God. The Apostle Paul explained the consequences and the solution,

“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NIV).

In spite of our sinfulness, our loving and merciful God found a way for us to have a personal relationship with Him!

Jesus Christ—God’s Solution

In the Old Testament, people “paid” for their sin through the sacrifice of an animal. When Jesus came, He provided the ultimate sacrifice for our sin: a one-time last sacrifice that paid for all sin for all time.

Jesus entered the world through a supernatural conception (Matthew 1:18-25). He was God’s son, born of a woman: fully God and fully human.

When Jesus began his ministry, the Jewish religious leaders hated Him because Jesus claimed to be God (John 10:33)—which He actually was! The leaders just couldn’t accept that Jesus was the long-promised Messiah. In a mock trial, they convicted Him and turned Him over to the Romans to have Him executed. Jesus was crucified on a cross and then buried in a heavily guarded tomb. All hope seemed lost.

But, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day … just as He had promised (Matthew 16:21)! Historical records from eyewitnesses testify that Jesus Christ was then seen alive by over 500 people (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). He is alive today!

Wow! Isn’t that incredible? Jesus paid the penalty for our sins so we can spend eternity in heaven with God.

Jesus loves you. He offers you purpose in life, forgiveness for your sin, and eternity with Him in heaven. Beginning a personal relationship with Jesus is the most important decision anyone can make — a decision that has eternal significance.

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn! This is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan–this rebirth comes from God. (John 1:12,13, NLT).

New Life in Christ

When you receive Jesus into your life, you instantly become a child of God through a spiritual birth and are assured of a home in heaven.

Yes, that’s right. The Bible says that before you die, you can be certain where you will spend eternity.

Jesus promised, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again. They are given eternal life for believing in me and will never perish….” (John 11:25, 26, NLT).

What does it mean to “believe in Jesus”? In the original Greek language, the word “believe” means to “trust in, cling to, rely upon.” In other words, “believe” in the original Greek language requires something active from you. It is not just intellectual acknowledgment that something is true.

Becoming a Christian is putting your faith in Jesus’ death for you on the cross, and in His resurrection for your eternal life. It is a choice that you make.

Eternal life is a gift from God. You can’t do anything to earn it! But, like any gift, you can choose to accept or reject it.

 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony … God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
(1 John 5:10-12, NIV).

It’s Your Choice

God has given every person the freedom to choose their own destiny. He didn’t have to do that. He could have created us to be robotic people programmed to love and obey him. But then our compulsory love would be meaningless. God wanted us to love him freely.

In real relationships, we want someone to love us for who we are, not out of compulsion. But to make freely exchanged love possible, God created human beings with a unique capacity: free will.

How will you choose? Will you choose to accept God’s amazing offer of forgiveness and eternal life? Or, will you decide to reject it or even ignore it? The choice is yours. But choose wisely because you are determining your eternal future.

Becoming a Christian not only involves your intellect and your emotions, it also involves your will. You must be willing to receive Christ by faith into your life.

Most people seek forgiveness and eternal life by being faithful members of some religion. However, although classified as a world religion, true Christianity is not about earning eternal life, but rather about receiving eternal life as a free gift from Jesus. It is not based on our works but rather on our relationship with Jesus.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9, NIV).

The Bible says it is impossible to earn entrance into heaven through our good works. Why? Because God’s holiness requires perfect obedience. And only Jesus was able to live that perfect life.

In order to receive God’s forgiveness for your sins, you must honestly face the claims of Jesus Christ and believe that He is God, that He died for your sins and rose again, and that He wants to come into your life.

God knows your thoughts and motives. He desires you to come to Him, thanking Him for Jesus’ death for you on the cross. You receive Jesus Christ into your life by faith alone. However, you can demonstrate your faith through prayer by personally asking Him to come into your life and forgive your sins. He wants to be your Lord and Savior.

If you have never invited Jesus into your life, simply pray the following words. But remember, it’s not the words you say but the attitude of your heart that is important.

“Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for all my sins—past, present, and future. 

Thank you for giving me eternal life, which you made possible by your death and resurrection. I receive you as my Savior by faith and desire you to be Lord of my life. 

I give you the right to make me into the kind of person you want me to be.”

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If so, pray it now or pray something similar using your own words.

When you ask Jesus Christ into your life, you begin a life with Him here on earth that will extend into all eternity. There are blessings for you to experience now as well as in heaven!

What was your response?

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