Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Gift to Begin all Gifts

It's Sunday! So we're going to talk about the most important thing in a Christian's life.

Many people would think it's prayer, or Bible reading, or witnessing, which are all extremely important things to a Christian life. But none of those could happen without the great gift from God, which is salvation.

A verse was drawn to my attention this morning in church, and it is John 3:3. 'Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'

The kingdom of God that Jesus is referring to heaven. Heaven is beyond words. It is the most glorious, beautiful place God ever created. Those who enter will be there for eternity. We don't know exactly how we will spend our time. We know that we will worship God, because we will be surrounded by all of His glory.

So how do you get there? Jesus says you have to 'born again' to see the kingdom of God. Now, if you've never heard this phrase, you might be asking the same question that Nicodemus asked Jesus. 'Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" And Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." '

It isn't a physical rebirth that Jesus calls us to. It's a spiritual one, of the Spirit and water. The Spirit is the Holy Spirit, the one Jesus sent to us specifically to help and comfort us.

How does this rebirth happen? By this prayer:

"Lord, I know that I am a sinner, worthy of being cast forever from Your presence. But I also know that Jesus came down to die on the cross for my sins and rose again, so that I could spend eternity with You. He went to that cross, not because of some wrong of His, but because of a wrong of mine. I ask, Lord, that You will forgive me for my sins, and come into my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen."

If you just prayed that prayer for the first time, Congratulations. If you read this post, and some of the other posts, but aren't sure about this prayer, I have to ask you a question: What do you have to lose by praying it?

If you aren't ready yet, that's okay. But don't close your heart. God loves you more than I can ever tell you, more than you can ever know. You might be wondering, why would God send Jesus to die when He didn't deserve it, for me? Why did Jesus do it? The answer: He loved us. And love can't be explained, or understood. It's a miracle.

If you aren't ready yet, I would encourage you to open a Bible to the book of John, or one of the other gospels (gospel means 'good news', or the four perspectives of the story of Jesus). Try to keep up with God: read the posts on this Bible Study, go to your youth group or a friend's, or invite yourself along to a friend's Bible Study group. I pray that you will be ready soon, and accept Christ as your savior, in the prayer above or in another similar prayer. The exact wording doesn't matter, it's the spirit of the prayer that does.

In His Service,


rocktalk951 said...

What's the most important thing you've learned by experience about God because of your Christian life?
What's that tidbit of advice you would give to a new believer?

Thank you very much, by the way, by responding to these comments. Let me know if you have any ideas to make this better.

Anonymous said...

God is always with us. We just have to remember that. It's not God that abandons us, it's the other way around. Whatever the situation, God is there for us.