It’s always interesting how quickly the word “rules” comes into the conversation when discussing faith. Yet, the topic is extremely out of place. Christians are in a close committed relationship with God. They are not following a list of rules. If you told me you were married, wouldn’t you think it odd if I asked: “So what are the rules?”
Out of love for God, Christians seek to please God and do the things we know he wants us to do while refraining from the things he does not want us to do. It really is quite different from following a set of rules. The role of God could be compared to a Father, a brother, or a spouse. Yet none of those roles quite capture the deep sacrificing love of Christ. Still, you can plainly see that rules have little to do with any of those relationships.
Christians learn about God’s expectations for us by reading the Bible. We listen to hear God in our hearts. We depend on the Holy Spirit that we have welcomed in to guide our decisions. Do you see now that our relationship with God is not about the rules? If you want to enter a relationship with Christ then make him Lord of your life right now and welcome the Holy Spirit to reside alongside your own soul.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”—John 14:26
You may think you are a good person. I don’t doubt it but only by comparison to other people. Compared to God, you are not a good person. Let’s take a look at some of the standards God set forth for mankind, also known as the Ten Commandments.
- Have no other gods but God.
- Do not worship statues.
- Be careful with God’s name. (Only when you are talking to or specifically about God with reverence—never saying OMG or using the Savior’s Name as a cuss word.)
- Remember the Sabbath. (Rest from work and dedicate the day to worship).
- Honor your father and mother (yes both of them).
- Do not murder.
- Keep your marriage vows (all of them.)
- Do not steal (not even a pen).
- Do not lie (even little lies).
- Do not covet (or wrongly desire what belongs to someone else).
Even if you kept some of these, you did not keep all of them perfectly. Even if you did, there are many more wrongdoings that qualify as sins. Even knowing the right thing to do in a circumstance and failing to do it is a sin according to God.
Yet somehow Jesus kept every commandment perfectly. How? Because He is the Son of God. The good news is He died to pay for your sins and the sins of the whole world. If you die, please don’t try to justify your sins by saying “I’m a good person.” Your best bet is to simply say, “Jesus died for my sins.” In God’s eyes, Jesus is a good person.
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…” —Ephesians 1:4-5
I feel God has stirred a memory for me to share with you. My mother’s friend had no children of her own but desired to have a daughter. After spending a great deal of time and money on the adoption process, she flew to China to adopt the young orphan girl. When she arrived, she discovered that the girl had an older sister. She decided to adopt both of them. Again, she went through the long expensive adoption process. However when it was time for the two girls to travel to their new home in the United States, the older sister refused to go. She refused her new mother, and in doing so rejected her sister and the amazing new life of love and family that awaited her here in America. Instead, she remained alone in an orphanage. This true story reminds me how Jesus laid down His life for us; yet, some refuse to come. Some reject a loving Father, multitudes of brothers and sisters in Christ, and citizenship in heaven. Do not let your opportunity to be adopted into the kingdom of heaven slip away. It has been paid for and is simply waiting for you to say, “Yes, Lord. I will come with You.”
PRAYER: Father God, I confess I have made mistakes in my life and sinned against You. I believe Your Son died on the cross, and His blood paid for my sins. I believe You raised Him from the dead, and He is alive today. Thank You that Jesus Christ is my Savior. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
There are many reasons people doubt Christianity. How many of the following reasons apply to you? Answer true or false.
- People consider me a rebellious person.
- Friends think I have too much pride.
- I avoid certain situations because I am fearful.
- I suffer from deep emotional pain.
- My family says I am stubborn.
- I hate conformity.
- I have not forgiven someone for abandonment/death/divorce.
- I have not forgiven persons for neglect/abuse.
- I have not sought healing/counseling for neglect/abuse.
- It is hard for me to accept my own vulnerabilities/weaknesses.
- I think I should be the master of my own life.
- I do not think God is loving.
- I do not think Jesus is the Son of God.
- My identity is in my family.
- I often worry and have anxious thoughts.
- I have not sought information about God.
- I depend on my physical beauty to gain approval.
- I depend on my skills/success to gain provision.
- I depend on wealth to protect me.
- I depend on indulgence/pleasures to make me happy.
- I depend on intellectualism to make all of my decisions.
- Righteousness seems boring to me.
- I enjoy my sins.
- No one has taken the time to explain the deeper things of Christ.
- I have never asked Christians about God or to visit their church.
Even one single reason can block you from knowing the true God. You need God’s help to see He is loving, and Christ is His only Son. Ask God to show you if He is real. Ask Him to tell you if Jesus really is His Son that died on the cross for Your sins. When you discover all these truths, do not waste a moment! Tell God you trust Him to save your soul. Tell Him you do want to live eternally with Him in heaven. Today, you have been invited into the kingdom of God.
MY PRAYER FOR YOU: Lord, I pray for any person reading this list and their loved ones to overcome these blocks to salvation. Bring about healing for the ways in which they have been wronged. Open their eyes to Your true character and the true nature of Your Son. Inspire forgiveness, wisdom, and righteousness in their hearts. Deliver them from any thing that keeps them from accepting Christ fully into their lives. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” —Matthew 7:7
Back in the 1990s, there were Magic Eye posters everywhere. Magic Eye posters look like a patterned image, but there is a hidden 3D image inside that pattern. It is some type of stereogram optical illusion. For some reason, everyone around me saw the 3D image immediately. They talked about how cool it was to see. Meanwhile, I could not see it no matter how hard I tried. I stared at it and tried their tricks and tips to no avail. Then one day, I finally saw it without really trying hard at all. Suddenly, I could not help but see the hidden images.
I have often thought how much this mirrors my walk with God. Everyone had talked about how great Jesus was, but I saw absolutely nothing. Then one day, I met Him for myself. In fact after that point, it would have been impossible to unsee Him. Now I am in agreement with the others. God is beyond great and well worth serving.
If you keep hearing about how Jesus is so amazing, but you haven’t seen anything so far….don’t give up seeking Him. Tell the Lord you want to meet Him. Seek Him out in prayer. No one will be able to stop you from becoming a committed Christian.