I don’t write about Jesus because I think it will earn me any ‘points’ with God.
He isn’t my chosen topic because I grew up in church and went to Bible college.
It’s definitely not because I’ve figured out how to be a perfect follower of Christ.
I write about Jesus because I have tasted and seen His goodness.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Psalm 34:8 (ESV)
And the Lord has been pressing on my heart to write an invitation for you to do the same.
Have you heard God’s redemption story? If you have, I hope this will serve as a worshipful reminder. If you haven’t, I pray that you take some time to drink in these truths. They are as life-altering as they are sweet.
It starts with God’s creation of the earth. Everything. Sky, land, night, day, birds, fish, sun, moon, mountains, plains, oceans, streams–it was all Him. Then, He called it all good.
He makes a man named Adam and gives him a purpose. He is to name all of the animals on the earth. But Adam is alone, and God says that this is not good. God then creates Eve, a woman, from the rib of Adam and gives her a purpose as his helper. The two of them are to work together in their calling, be fruitful and multiply in the earth, and all the while enjoy close relationship with God.
They only thing they are not allowed to do is eat fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve is the first to be unsettled by this, believing that God must not have their best interest at heart to keep them from something that seems so good. She decides to eat, then Adam eats, and this is when sin enters the world. There is no longer complete communion with God. There is death, sickness, cruelty, pain, and all other things imperfect.
Over many years, God tries again and again to instruct His beloved people in the way of life with Him. He gives them guidelines for living that are trustworthy. He showers them with guidance in uncertainty and deliverance in times of trouble. He displays steadfast love, enduring patience, and extensive forgiveness.
Still, every person chooses sin. It is embedded in the fabric of humanity. No one is perfectly righteous, and the result is the same across the board: death and eternal separation from God.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Romans 3:23 (ESV)
But God had a plan for redemption in place from the beginning. A plan to restore relationship between Himself and humankind. And this plan was built entirely on His own work, and not on the striving of imperfect, sinful people.
He sent His son Jesus to earth, and Jesus is perfectly human and fully God. He lived a perfect life without sinning once, and He lived in complete dependence on the Father. Jesus endured exclusion, stress, grief, loneliness, anger, and temptations just as we do, but it never led Him to disobey the Father.
Even though He was perfect, many people hated Him. Especially the most religious people of the time. As a result, He was eventually tried as a criminal and sentenced to death.
He knew all along that this happen and that it was part of God’s redemption plan. He knew exactly what He would endure and how excruciatingly painful it would be. Still, Jesus gave Himself over to the people He loved to be tortured, ridiculed, and killed.
It was all because of deep love and compassion for us.
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:7-8 (ESV)
Because He was sinless and spotless, His death paid the price of all of the sin in the world. His blood covered every offense past, present, and future.
This is good news. And it gets even better.
Jesus did not stay dead, but He rose from the grave 3 days later. He conquered death–the one thing that humans can never outrun or overcome. This is how we know just how powerful and worthy of worship He is! He now lives forever with the Father.
We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
Romans 6:9 (ESV)
Here comes the best part of the news.
Everything that Jesus did was to make a way for us. He remedied everything that fell apart back in the garden with Adam and Eve. He made it possible for us to enjoy perfect relationship with God, to restore relationship with others, and to spend our days worshiping and using our gifts for His glory. When we trust in what He did, this will invade our reality now and be made perfect someday for eternity.
All we have to do is believe in what Jesus did.
if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:9 (ESV)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)
“Not your own doing.” Not my own doing.
Nothing to prove.
Nothing to earn.
I was 13 years old when I placed my faith in Jesus. I prayed with a trusted friend, proclaimed that I believed in what He did, and told Him that I wanted to spend my life in relationship with Him.
I didn’t understand everything perfectly. I definitely wasn’t going to stop sinning, and I still fall short every day.
I remember waking up the next morning and thinking, It’s me and God together forever. No turning back. He’s going to carry me through everything to come.
He gave me such assurance then, and He still does. I never have to wonder that He’s holding me. That when I go against His ways or start to doubt that He won’t love me anymore.
He is a God who tells us exactly how we can know Him. He gives us assurance.
Once we have tasted and seen this incredible gift, we are never the same.
I pray that this is already true in your life or that it becomes your story soon. If you ever need anything or want to talk about this redemption through Christ, do not hesitate to reach out.
I love the way A.W. Tozer describes the importance of making a personal decision regarding these truths:
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
The most important thing about me. The most important thing about you.
I’m for you and cheering you on, and I’m certain He is, too.