Life Lesson 37: Despite our best efforts, discouragement is inevitable. But having a relationship with Jesus Christ…
Life Lesson 1: To know God is to trust Him and to love Him with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and to live a life of complete surrender to Him.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16 (NLT)
I consider it a privilege and a tremendous honor to share with you, the God I Know for Sure. Before I came to know my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I was living in sin. I was living life in my own strength, doing what I wanted to do, manipulating circumstances to my own advantage, and believing in my own self-sufficiency.
You have heard it said, “If I knew then what I know now.” That saying is never more true than in my own life. I must admit, it’s true because if I knew then what I know for sure now, I would most definitely live my life for Jesus from the start. He is my rock, my refuge, and my strength. He has taught me and showed me the love of God. How? Well, let me give you the condensed version. First of all, it didn’t happen overnight. For years, I had several close encounters with God through various believers in Christ and circumstances, yet I rejected the Lord Almighty. My heart was hardened. My focus was on accomplishing what this world promises, not realizing that the things this world has to offer are only temporary. I sought wisdom from the world. I was sure that this world and my own selfish desires were exactly the tickets to a life of fulfillment. How foolish I was to think that I can walk through this life without Jesus. Along the way, many faithful followers of Christ pursued me. They passionately shared the gospel of Christ, and still, I rejected the Message. I wanted nothing to do with Jesus or even be associated with the name. I was too absorbed with my own self-interest and the fleeting desires of this world, so much so, that I was blinded to the eternal light of God.
Let me just say, if you are a believer right now who is zealous for God and is boldly proclaiming Christ, sharing the gospel with nonbelievers, and planting seeds of hope in their hearts, don’t give up because the seeds you plant now will one day germinate and bear good fruit. I implore you, keep praying, keep believing, and keep sharing because you never know when or how God will nurture and grow the seed you plant in a person’s heart. I’m a testament that your investment in the Kingdom of God is not in vain. Keep being a witness for Christ.
On the other hand, if you’re not yet a believer and someone approaches you to share the good news of Jesus, I encourage you to give them a chance because it’s not about convincing you. Consider this, if you’re asleep and your house is on fire, would you not want someone to wake you up so you don’t perish in the blaze? In the same way, this sinful world will someday pass away and there is a beautiful eternity awaiting you and me. All you have to do is receive Jesus in your heart and life and you’re are welcome to spend eternity with your Creator. Know that your commitment to God is about patient endurance in faith, and sharing what you have seen and heard about the resurrected Christ. It is up to the nonbeliever to decide whether he or she will receive or reject Jesus. The question then is: Will you stay in the house and get burned or will you heed the warning, get out and take refuge in the shelter of God?
The truth is, accepting Jesus into your heart and life doesn’t guarantee an easy journey, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that it will be well worth it. As you travel the path with Him, you will come upon some bumps in the road. There will be potholes, roadblocks, twists, and turns; you may even run out of gas and have a flat tire or two along the way. I know, saying it that way, doesn’t sound very appealing. Keep in mind though, this is not about what you may face along the journey as you follow Jesus, it’s about the destination. I desire that every nonbeliever will come to Christ and share in eternity, so don’t ever let the bumps in the road deter you. Remember, you are never alone. We’re all a work in progress. Jesus will be with you every step of the way (Hebrews 13:5). In fact, He’s always interceding for you and me (Hebrews 1:3). Rest assured that Jesus is the creative and sustaining power of God. Victory belongs to Him.
As I look over my shoulders of all the wasted years of chasing after the wind and rejecting Jesus, I finally came to know Him, but not in a utopia kind of sense. It was when I hit rock bottom, lost my sense of self…what I believed was my true identity, and basically falling into a deep valley of hopelessness and despair, that I cried out to Jesus, the same Jesus who had been wooing me all along. Is He wooing you today? How are you responding to His call? My friend, please don’t ignore the One who created you, and don’t take lightly the call of God on your life (Isaiah 55:3).
God desires a relationship with you. He loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). He is a loving and holy God; a faithful God; a God who is accessible. He is the Creator of all. He is the Eternal God. He is the God of glory. He’s a good and gracious God. He is our preserver, provider, and Savior. He’s sovereign and wise. He will guide your life. He is immutable; He doesn’t change. He’s an impartial God; no one can force His hand to do anything. His thoughts are unsearchable, therefore He’s incomprehensible. He’s infinite and invisible. He is a jealous God because his jealousy stems from a protective love. It’s not the humankind of jealousy. It’s the kind that even when you reject Him, He pursues you! God is righteous and just. God is not only the embodiment of love. He is love. He is merciful; He’s omnipotent (all-powerful); He’s omnipresent (everywhere); He’s omniscient (all-knowing); He’s patient, perfect, and yes, God is a person. He’s not some kind of concept that we conjure up. He has an identity and a personality. Where do you think you get your personality?
I love how Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) sums up the Lord God Almighty. In the “Attributes of God” from BSF, we are taught that “He is one being in three persons. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and all work together to accomplish our salvation. As a person, God has a mind and a will, and He communicates. God made people in His image with a mind and a will and the ability to communicate. He speaks to us through His Word, the Bible, and we speak to Him through prayer.”
God is so much more than all that is written here. He is the beginning and the end (Revelation 21:6, 22:13). To know this great and awesome God is beyond words. To know God is a profound spiritual and eternal experience. He is a wonderful and loving Father who is always available and desires so much to be in oneness with His children. Don’t be afraid to talk to Him, and please, don’t delay. What do you have to lose? Just like you get insurance for your automobile, home, and life in case something happens, wouldn’t it make sense to investigate or even get this Jesus, just in case? My prayer is that you would consider Jesus right now and take a step of faith to make Him your life insurance–Lord and Savior.
“Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain. What was once foolishness to us—a crucified God—must become our wisdom and our power and our only boast in this world.”
– John Piper
Pictures by shutterstock.com