The Good News of Christ:
God Loves You
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him."
(John 3:16-17 ESV).
This is the Gospel--the Good News: the living God came down to earth because He loves you and me, and was willing to give up His life so you and I could know Him. Why do we need Christ's sacrifice? Why does it matter that a Man claiming to be God died for you and me roughly 2000 years ago?
We are all in need of a savior.
It matters because we all have sinned. To sin and break God's law is to simply miss the mark of how one ought to love, and to a holy God, all fall condemned under the law. Have you ever lied? Stolen? Cheated? Even looked at someone with lust, envy, hatred...? All people are fallen under the law because God is the standard--and He is perfect. Therefore, we all have a debt to God that we cannot pay ourselves. And that's the whole point--to trust in God. The only One who could make the payment to cover our debt is God alone, and He has done this through the Savior, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
The peace you seek can only be found in Christ.
Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life and went to the cross bearing our sins. God's justice against evil--which was meant for you and me--was poured out on Jesus, and by believing in His name, we can receive the gift of life in Christ that God has given. Jesus willingly went to the cross out of love and compassion for a broken and sinful people. Through Christ's sacrifice, we have access to the living God, and by His strength, we can overcome the world and its troubles. For Jesus has said, "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NIV).
You can know Him right now.
If you have never walked in a relationship with Jesus, you can start now. If you have but you fell away, God's arms are open wide. There is no pressure to do anything, no amount of money you have to give, and no requirement you have to meet; God just wants your heart. If you desire peace for your soul and a salvation that overcomes death, then you need a relationship with Jesus. If that is you, pray this prayer:
"Jesus, I want to know You. Show me who You are. Open my eyes to see You, and open my ears to hear Your voice. Speak to me; I am listening. I am sorry for everything I have done against You, please forgive me. I want to experience the peace You speak of--I want You in my life."
If you prayed this prayer with an honest heart, then you are walking down the path of faith. One cannot see God without faith! Nonetheless, Christ tells us to knock and keep knocking. Don't stop seeking God! Persevere in Christ, and you will see the power of God in your life. Believe, and keep praying! God is closer to you than you think.
The Word of God
If a relationship with God is something you are actively seeking, but don't know where to start, the best place is in the Scriptures.
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is the primary means in which God speaks. Approach the Word with an open heart and a humble mind, and try not to impose yourself onto the text. Read the words with God's love for you in mind. Filter everything through the lens of truth: that God loves you and was willing to give up His own life for you so you could simply have a relationship with Him.
Translations I recommend include: NIV (easier to read), NKJV (beautiful language), ESV (word-for-word accuracy and readability).
Along with prayerfully searching the Scriptures, a community in Christ is also essential. Ask God to help you find a church home, and try getting plugged into a community group. To follow and honor God means to honor and serve others, so keep a lookout for ways to get involved and to love people.
Remember, the ultimate goal is to seek after God. Christ's yoke is easy and His burden is light; go where He goes, and don't let worry take your mind captive!
CastTheNet is an organization founded on the Rock--not Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson, but Jesus the Messiah. All that we do is designed to lift up Christ's name.
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