When I was in my twenties, I didn’t just hit bottom, I dug a hole. I remember just wanting to disappear into thin air. All that would be left were some chalk lines on the pavement. Sorry no details here, I’m sure you have a story of your own.
The problem is that we all have a tendency to believe we can create our own happiness. If we just do a little more or better, than everything will be all right. We’ve bought the lie that if we just work hard enough our lives will match the stock photos where everyone’s hair is perfect and nobody has zits, let alone skeletons in the closet.
The bible says otherwise. It says someone, not just anyone, but Jesus, had to die for me….before I was even born! An innocent person had to die for the guilty. Me. You.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His [a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 (New American Standard Bible).
I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel pretty good. Especially when I examine my own personal performance on a weekly, daily and moment by moment basis.
He loved me. He died for me. He was buried for me. And he triumphed over the grave. That’s really good news and it applies to you.
In the words of a song writer, “Living, he loved me. Dying, he saved me. Buried, he carried my sin far away. Rising, he justified, freely forever. One day he’s coming O glorious day!”
Have you ever wanted to be rescued? I think many people do. We saw that this past few weeks when people were buying Powerball tickets. Why? Because we honestly believe that a payout like that has the potential to fix everything that’s wrong with our lives.
I’m not against people who take chances. Faith means trusting God and taking a chance. Farmers take a chance and plant seed with the hope that it will produce a crop. As believers, we should be planting seed and taking chances. The bible says if we sow a lot of Tomato plants, chances are we will harvest a lot of Tomatoes.
What if you took a chance and trusted God with your life. Right now. “Heavenly Father, I’ve sinned. Please save me!” If that’s too fancy, why not just cry out “HELP!” He knows your heart.
If you fell into an icy river, you wouldn’t be shouting anyone fancy. A stander by on the banks would see your need and understand your simple cry for help. Why is it that we often feel like we have to figure our problem out before we ask God for help.
If your life is a mess right now, I want you to know that you’re not alone. We don’t have to live in this world very long before trouble and heartache comes along.
God created the world to be perfect. Paradise. Heaven on earth. Mega pixels beyond measure. There was no sin, no death. The Lion laid down with the Lamb.
Then sin entered the world and the picture began to change. There was friction between the first man and wife. The ground was increasingly difficult to work. Weeds and thorns popped up. Child bearing was painful. Their oldest son killed their youngest son.
For thousands of years it got worse. There were murders on the front page headlines. Horrors beyond horror. Rape. Greed. Entire populations wiped out. Deaths by arrows, death by stones. Death by strangulation….
Finally, when the timing was just right, God sent a Deliverer. A Messiah He had been predicting for thousands of years. Jesus!
When Jesus died on the cross, he died for us. He died for those in the past who foresaw his day and believed he had the power to save them. He died for all who would live in the future and need forgiveness. He died for you. He died for me.
How do we know? He arose from the grave after he was buried. That was no accident. It had been predicted. He showed that he was who he said he was and that he has the power to give eternal life.
Even if the story ended right there, it would be a good one. But there’s more. One day he’s coming back for us! In the meantime, we can live a life of purpose knowing that he loves us and meeting our needs.
What are you afraid of right now? What has you down?
There’s no problem that’s too hard for him!
He can restore dreams. Health. Relationships. Incomes. Hope. You name it, he’s got it covered.
Mostly, he wants to come and live with you. He wants to set up home in your heart and give you a hope beyond your wildest dreams.
Paul had this to say about Jesus’ death on the cross and how it changed his life, “What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.”
Paul realized there was nothing he could do to diminish or gain God’s love for him.
God’s love does not change. Once we accept it, it’s ours forever. It never waxes or wanes, it’s always full, whole and perfect. God is in the process of working everything that has happened in our lives for good. The good, bad and the ugly. Why? Because he knows we can’t do it on our own. Left to ourselves, we’d be miserable and hopeless. Only one person could pay for our sins and solve all of the problems of the world. They nailed him to a cross. Aren’t you glad?