I think it has been close to a year that I have been scribbling my thoughts on this page. Naughty and I have witnessed God work through the comments and laughter many share on our page. It has always been my prayer that "if just ONE person is reached…if ONE person is encouraged…if just ONE comes to know you, Lord…" When I started this project, I bowed my head right here at this table and I gave my words, my hands, my feet, this page to Jesus. If you are feeling those heart strings tugged and wanting to know more about "Jesus", please keep reading…(Remember, I've taught children many years--so I like to explain-- A LOT!)
"There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…" Romans 3:23
SIN. What is it? God, in His Holy Word gave us guidance and direction. The Bible has many references to what pleases God, and what doesn’t. People are most familiar with "The Ten Commandments"…So basically "sin" is doing wrong. No one here on Earth is perfect, despite what our favorite Old Auntie may think! The verse says, "ALL have sinned…" At some point we have all lied, stolen, cheated, or worse. Therefore, we "fall short"--meaning, we don't measure up to God's level. He IS God, perfect and Holy.
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23
"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9
Some of my favorite words, "BUT GOD". God is the ONLY one who can help us in this situation. And He does---Why? Because He LOVES us. He created us--and all of this. Look up from your phone or computer. The clouds in the sky, the green grass, the birds, the trees, the sun, the little girls out front playing. ALL OF IT. He created me--and he created YOU and loves YOU. Knowing we are sinners, He still sent His Son--Jesus. Jesus left Heaven, came as a baby born in a manger. He walked this earth as a man, teaching, leading by example of all the ways His Father desires us to live here on this earth. At the end of His time on earth, Jesus was crucified….hung on a cross…to die. At that moment on the cross every sin you and I have ever committed, along with everyone else's in existence for all time---was "placed" on Jesus. So imagine--the pain in your heart you have when you feel guilt…or the panic from worry because you've done something wrong---Imagine ALL of that---yours, mine, everyone's--"placed" on Jesus. He carried it. And then He died. As most of us know, that wasn't the end of the story. Three days later, Jesus arose from the grave they had placed Him in, and went on teaching…eventually He was "taken up" (ascended) to Heaven. (There is SO much more to the Story---I encourage you to read it for yourself!) This Story not only expresses God's power, His love and His plan---it is the example Jesus has set for us and how He came to earth to "save" us.
"The wages of sin is death"--- Meaning if we chose to live a sinful life, not acknowledging our brokenness, our need of "saving"---we will spend eternity (life after our physical death) in Hell.
"BUT--- the GIFT"---It isn't brightly wrapped in a box with a big, shiny, bow. This "GIFT" is Jesus and what he took on that cross for me---and for you. With that, if we "confess" (acknowledge) our sins, our broken, messy state to God, and "believe" God raised Jesus from that grave three days later. "YOU WILL BE SAVED". Being "saved", accepting the "gift" means spending our eternity WITH God, in HEAVEN. (And there's a BUNCH in the Story about what Heaven is like!)
If that "tug" on your heart is there, if these verses have opened you up to the "state" you are in, please don't hesitate to "call" on the One who created you, loves you--and will forgive you. He has the ability to heal your brokenness, to provide you with strength and comfort and to welcome you into His Amazing Grace! An example of how to do that is below…
"God--I am a sinner. I have done some awful things. I know they are wrong. I want to change, Lord. I know you are God. You are Lord. I believe you raised Jesus from the dead and He is with you in Heaven. Lord, I want to be part of your family. I want to live how you want me to live. I give my life to you. Show me your purpose for my life, Lord. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen…"
"for, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved…'" Romans 10:13
Continuing in prayer….Shannon, and Naughty Dog….