But the reality is this: If you don’t know Jesus as your personal Savior, then all of the messages of hope aren’t for you … but that can be changed!
A Crazy World
We live in a crazy world. Every day the headlines tell of new ways we have figured out how to hurt each other and harm ourselves. But it wasn’t always this way.
In the beginning, God created a GOOD world.
“God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” – Genesis 1:31
But once sin entered the world, no one was good and nothing was perfect.
Our default nature is sinful.
Our default position is rebellion.
Our default approach is to do it “my way.”
But our own ways are not good enough, and they leave us without hope.
The Problem and the Pardon
Sin is the problem.
“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” – Romans 3:23
Jesus is the solution.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
There is a price for sin, but Jesus already paid it.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
Jesus came to earth to die on a cross and be resurrected from the dead.
In dying, he paid the price for sin.
In rising from the grave, he conquered death.
He now lives and offers us salvation and eternal life.
It is a free gift, but it must be accepted.
It is a pardon from a death sentence, but you can refuse the pardon.
So how do you accept the gift and receive the pardon?
Recognize the problem: sin and separation
Just like a sick person must first know they are sick before they can seek treatment, so you must admit that you have been in rebellion against your Creator. (Romans 3; Romans 6 – see above)
Realize that you cannot save yourself
Many people attempt to save themselves by their own efforts or good works, but there is only one sinless person who could pay the price for sin: Jesus.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
– Romans 5:8
“For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
– Ephesians 2:8-9
Respond to God
You respond through faith offered up as a prayer.
You may have seen an evangelist lead an audience through a prayer for salvation, but there are no magic words or specific prayer or chant.
The emphasis is not on the prayer, but on the people:
You (your sin and need for a Savior)
Jesus (His perfect righteousness, His death on the cross and His resurrection; His grace to you)
As you confess your sin, admit your need for a Savior, and place your trust and belief in what Jesus has already done on the cross, God applies Jesus’ payment to your penalty and the pardon is granted.
“…that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord,
and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved;”
– Romans 10:9
”But God, being rich in mercy,
because of His great love with which He loved us,
even when we were dead in our transgressions,
made us alive together with Christ
(by grace you have been saved)”
– Ephesians 2:4-5
What do you do now?
This is your first act of obedience and it is very important.
“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death,
so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father,
so we too might walk in newness of life.”
– Romans 6:4
Where do you go from here?
Find a church home, a godly mentor, Christian friends
You weren’t meant to walk this journey alone.
Just because you are saved and you now have the promise of eternal life doesn’t mean it will be easy.
In fact, it may seem harder.
Worshipping every week with other believers will keep you returning to the source of hope: your Lord and God, who is worthy of all praise.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,
for He who promised is faithful;
and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
not forsaking our own assembling together,
as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another;
and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
– Hebrews 10:23-25
Learn ~ Grow ~ Embrace the LIVING HOPE!
Make your first prayer, “Lord, give me a passion for your Word and open my eyes to understand your truth.”
I PROMISE you He answers this prayer every time.
I suggest starting with the Gospel of John in the Bible.
I love the ESV (English Standard Version) Bible app.
Find the app and the online Bible here: http://www.esvbible.org/
John MacArthur, one of my favorite preachers, has a series in his library called “Fundamentals of the Faith”: https://www.gty.org/library/fundamentals
Another favorite of mine: Tony Evans offers many publications for download: http://go.tonyevans.org/free-christian-ebooks
And finally, in this day and time, your world is likely full of newsfeeds and social media, etc. Look at who you follow and what fills your mind. You may need to prune and cull your feeds. Replace junk food with good spiritual meat.
All of the above have social media accounts you can follow.
I also suggest adding Proverbs 31 ministries. You will be encouraged daily.
If you accepted Christ as Savior, please know I prayed for you as I wrote these words. I don’t know you but I know that God placed a burden on my heart to create this page. If you’d like to get in touch with me, you can like TheCheerioTrail Facebook page and then use the message feature to send me a note. I’d love to hear from you. ~ Christi