The Love of God
With a world full of pain and turmoil, hope seems to be out of the picture for many people. The darkness of evil that can blind extends to many the suffering and hardships brought on through mistreatment, corruption, and selfishness. For many, this reality is very true and evident on a daily basis. Because of the pain of past events, depression, mental illnesses, and suicidal thoughts run through the minds of those who seem as if there is no hope. Where is hope?
Wages of Sin
We live in a deprived, fall world. Fast-paced and energized as it may be, this world has cursed with the lasting effects of sin. Sin is anything that we do, say, or think that displeases God. Through one man's desire, disobedience to God was produced, disconnecting our relationship and union with God (Romans 5:12). Through this one choice to sin, sin has passed to everything and everyone. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)
Here's the problem with sin: it leads to death. Romans 6:23 reads:
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
There are two conditions presented in this verse. The first being that the wages of sin is death. This isn't what might happen if we sin - this is what will happen. Wages are our works, and they can be either sinful or righteous. In either scenario, there are consequences. However, through our broken relationship with God, all of our attempts to be righteous are as filthy rags before God because we haven't rested our hope, trust, and lives in Him. The depth and amount of sin that we have can't be rectified by our own works, because we're sinful. We need a perfect Savior to redeem us from our fallen, sinful state.
We can place our hope in a number of things: money, our jobs, our relationships, our future. However, none of this is permanent. Our lives and the things around us are ever-changing, and no matter what we do to try to plan for better, there's always a chance of things not going our way. We need something that is constant, never-changing, and dependable to rest our hope in.
The Love of God
One thing that amazes me about my dad is his willingness to sacrifice, even his very last, for my mom, brother and I. I also know that if I was in pain, hurt or distress, he would go above and beyond his means to comfort, protect, and pull me out from any present danger.
Willing to pay any price it took, even death of His only begotten son, God sent His son Jesus to earth, taking the form of a man, to save and redeem us from our sins. Being perfect and holy Himself, God's ultimate love for His creation propelled Him to send Jesus to die on a cross for our sins. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
So, what are we to do in light of this? Romans 10:9 states:
"That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved"
If we believe that Jesus is the son of God, came to earth and died for our sins, we must confess our sins before God (Acts 16:31).
Nothing on our own could ever save us from our sins. Ephesians 2:8&9 states:
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."
Through being believers, saved by God's grace (His unmerited favor), we're able to come boldly before His presence, having access and relationship with God (Hebrews 4:16).
Jesus Christ died for us, not only so that we can become alive, but most importantly that we live for Him and through Him. We have the choice of whether to believe in Jesus or not - the ball is in our court, but know one thing is true, we'll never be complete, we'll never be whole without the unconditional, unrelenting love of Jesus Christ shaping and conforming our lives into His image. This decision to follow Christ, although it is a free gift from God, it does require every part of our being to commit, moment by moment, to live a life surrendered to His will. Serving Jesus may not always be easy, but it is always worth it.
Are you ready to decide to allow Jesus to be your Lord and Savior?
If you've made the decision to follow Jesus Christ, I would love to help you grow in your relationship with Him.