Imagine Your New Life

In our church, often, songs with the themes of heaven and grace are sung. As we all join together heralding this good news, the idea of this blessed condition makes me weep at times. While singing, my mind ponders how freeing it is to live a life indelibly marked by the grace of Jesus. None of us deserve this grace. Gratitude often springs from my heart because I know without the Lord, my life would be as dark as the night sky with no hope of a new day. Quite the opposite is true, and I know it is because of the grace of Jesus.

If you are a follower of Jesus, surely you know and experience the grace of God daily!

He cares so deeply for His children, and His love is boundless and inexhaustible, and unfathomable.

If you aren’t a follower of Jesus, you may wonder how to make sense of it all. Surely, observing the events of our day would rattle the most stable person and cause questions to swirl. I’m wondering if you are in that state now; would you be looking for lasting peace?

The One who lives inside me is the only One who’s been able to give my life peace, purpose, and a plan. He is my stability and my joy.

This all-encompassing God also has a place reserved for me in Heaven. I know this for sure, and it’s not because of anything I’ve done. It’s actually because of everything He did for me when He died on the cross. Then, when I chose to receive His gift of salvation, certainty and assurance became my eternal hope.

I don’t deserve this one bit.14817349-b429-4450-b53f-185aa2348732

This gift came at the most supreme of sacrifices. God sent His One and Only Son to this earth with a mission to die for my sin and your sin. Receiving this gift has nothing to do with anything I’ve done. I am not a good person, nor do I have to do good works to earn this salvation. Any good coming from me is only because of Jesus and His righteousness. Any good works I do spring from my love for Him.

My faith is in the person of Jesus, not a religion. Because of Jesus, my heart is more tender to this world, and prayer is my response. I don’t lose hope. I know there are spiritual forces at work in this world.

Certainly, I’ve decided to follow Jesus, which means my life focuses on being part of the solution to the world’s ills. But my hope and peace are not found in this world. This world, as we know it will not last. So how does one find this peace? How can one have peace with God in a world shattered in pieces?

Consider these verses:

John 3:16 & 17 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.

John 14:6- Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Romans 3:23 -for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

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

Ephesians 2:8-9 – I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. 9 It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it.

Acts 2:21 – And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

If you believe what you’ve just read, then you can ask Jesus to come live in your heart and He will. By recognizing your need for Him, you can begin a relationship with the eternal and loving God. It is the best decision you will ever make. Once you do this, you will want to find a Bible-teaching church to attend. You can find several resources on this blog about reading the Bible and learning to walk in His ways.

Dear Jesus, if I don’t know you, I pray now and ask you to come live in my heart. I need you to forgive me of my sin. I believe you died on the cross for my sin and rose again. Please take my sin away and come live inside of me. I want my life to count for you. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

It’s Not an Even Trade

Whether you’re a believer in Jesus for 50 years or 50 minutes, you know this, you’re life HAS to change. The Lord requires nothing less. As a matter of fact, He requires ALL. He gave His all for you and me. It cost Him everything. 

You must trade-in your old life.

The ladies at Buried Treasures Home, where I once served, have a term called “couch surfing.” This is what addicts do when they are homeless and going to wherever the drugs are. It’s a hard reality to hear.

As horrible as this is, they tell me an addict has to be ready to change; otherwise, they will get pulled back into this destructive life. They tell me it is vital to remove old places, people, and things that supported their lifestyle. That’s not an easy decision. It costs them their old life, which at the time seems a risk.

Not all people have such a dramatic choice to make, but it is the same choice, none the less. The decision to follow Christ is a daily one, and it also requires choices, some of which seem tiny and inconsequential. These may be some of the most important.

He said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23

You learn to love the Giver and not just His gifts.

You learn to embrace the narrow road, not just in outward behavior, but in your heart.

At a recent fellowship dinner, someone said, “Keep your foot on the narrow road and keep reading your Bible. The wide road may look attractive and have pretty flowers, but if you get too close, the bugs will come out!”

There are many descriptions of what can happen on the wide road. But keeping your eyes on Jesus is a daily walk, and it’s not an even trade. No, the Lord Jesus already paid it all. Any sacrifice you make to follow Him is worth it and doesn’t compare to His sacrifice. Not even close.

You get way more from this trade. You get His gifts. Things like:

Peace

Protection

Joy

A plan for your life

Direction in decisions

His intervention in your circumstances

Forgiveness

A body of believers become family

Provision

His Word to read and depend on

His faithfulness to you

and so much more.

So, where is your commitment today? Half-hearted is no heart. The Lord demands all because HE gave it all for you. Again, any sacrifice on your part, although He often honors it, is still nothing compared to Who He Is and what He’s done.

It’s not a list of dos and don’ts. It’s about your heart.

You get far more walking closely with Jesus than walking casually by Him.

There is no comparison. It’s not an even trade.

 

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“For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

Dear Faithful Father, the narrow road can be uncomfortable at times but is a place of protection. Help me to want to take the narrow road always, but to choose it each day. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.