If you’re anything like me, you’ve made a number of mistakes in your life. Almost every day I’m reminded of some stupid thing I did when I was younger and I wish I could go back and get it right, but that’s never going to happen. The best I can hope for is to live a more thoughtful life going forward. As a follower of Jesus, I have two driving forces in my life: The first is to love God and the second is to love my neighbor. Jesus taught that those are the two most important aspects of our lives. Beyond this simple teaching, Jesus offers three additional basic ingredients that we are to follow in order to give our lives a deeper meaning: We are to learn from the teachings of Jesus and follow his example, we are to then take that information and demonstrate our love for God by serving others the way Jesus did, and finally, we are to share this way of life with others so that they too can find God’s deeper meaning in life.
The above process is precisely why I’m sharing this information with you today. Following Jesus has given my life profound meaning, and freed me from fear, guilt, discouragement, and loneliness by connecting me to the family of God. I’m on a mission to help you make this same connection. I’m not here to get you to join any particular church, or to read the Bible from cover to cover, and I have no interest in your money. My only hope is to start you on a journey toward salvation through Jesus Christ.
So what exactly is salvation? To be completely honest, no one is exactly sure why God devised the process of salvation. Many aspects of God remain a mystery. Many aspects of God are simply beyond our ability to fully understand. Here’s what we do know: God created humans to be eternal beings – that means we were supposed to live forever; however, God also gave us the ability to decide if we want to go our own way or follow God’s instructions. When the first man and woman decided to go their own way and disobey God’s instruction, he took away our ability to live forever. Salvation is a gift from God that allows us to retrieve our ability to live forever.
There is some debate in the Christian community about whether or not you find salvation or salvation finds you. The truth is, it’s a little bit of both. If you have an open heart seeking to know Jesus, chances are he has found you and placed you on the path to salvation. If you have a closed heart and are skeptical of all things Christian, chances are you are still trapped in the devil’s snares. Your search for Jesus has to begin with your faith in God and his ability to change your life. The Bible tells us, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for the one who comes to God must believe that He exists, and that He proves to be One who rewards those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NASB)
God demonstrated his ability to provide us with eternal life by bringing Jesus back to life after his death on the cross. Ultimately, it is our faith in that event that triggers our salvation. If you truly have faith in the resurrection of Jesus, you are on the road to salvation. When you confess to God your understanding that you are a flawed human in need of a salvation, when you humble yourself before God and accept him as the ultimate power in the universe, when you have turned away from your disobedience to God in the pursuit of following Jesus – you will be saved. The Bible puts it this way, “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 NASB) “Jesus as Lord,” means God and Jesus are one and the same. Following Jesus means loving God and loving your neighbor.
Once you have trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior you will become a child of God and become instantly connected to the Spirit of God. This is sort of a short-hand version of the process, but it honestly is all you need to know to receive the free gift of eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus – sincere faith leads to salvation. A heart-felt commitment to follow the teachings of Jesus is the primary ingredient for salvation.
Salvation is not something you jump into without some serious thought. Wait for the right moment. Genuine faith is a process that plays out over time. You’ll know when you’re ready. You can seek out a Christian friend or pastor to guide you through the process or take this step all by yourself. Your salvation is just a simple prayer away. Let God know you trust him completely. Let God know you are nothing without him. Let God know you regret turning your back on him until this moment. Let God know you are guilty of making mistakes that you regret. Let God know you are ready to follow the teachings of Jesus – you are ready to dedicate your life to loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself. And finally, let God know that you have complete faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus as payment for your misdeeds and as your path to eternal life in the kingdom of God. Thank God from deep in your heart. Amen.
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