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Jesus - My Reason for Breathing

I've got something to share with ya, so hang tight.  I think it's important, which is why I'm here.  I'm not a preacher, but I have a message for you from a God that took the time to love you at every moment of every day..

Just so you know where I'm coming from, I practice Christianity with all my heart.  I'm a person that believes the Bible is unendingly truthful, infallibly accurate, and altogether relevant.  I'm a person that believes the Bible is the God-breathed, God-inspired, and God-ordained source of absolute truth as recorded by those God chose.  However, I don't parade around with religious ritual just for the sake of doing it.  If it doesn't mean something in my life -- if it doesn't make a difference . . . I don't waste my time on it.  My time is precious to me.  I believe our lives are simply a collection of minutes.  What I do with my minutes is important to me.  But I can't think of anything more important than this, so I hope you will listen.

I want to talk for just a moment about a man that lived long ago.  He is the theme of my life and the only reason for it.  His name is Jesus.  He is God and He is man.  He is the center point of the Christian story.  He is all powerful, all wonderful, and all knowing.  He is love.  When He walked the earth, He was holy.  As in . . . He was (and is) perfect, in every way.  The life He lived, the decisions He made, the thoughts He permitted within Himself . . . they could not be improved.  He was without flaw -- the only one deserving the fullness of life, love, and happiness - the only one who has ever earned the right to judge or even to be selfish or prideful . . . yet He was humble and giving.  He was kind and compassionate.  He stood up for those that could not stand up for themselves.  He saved the people in trouble, found the lost, healed the sick, fed the hungry, led the confused, taught the listening, raised the dead, and drove away dark powers and evil spirits from those tormented by them.  He gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and words to the mute.  With His life, He painted a clear picture of God, our Father, for those completely undeserving of seeing Him.  No fault could be found in Him.  No fear ever overcame Him.  No disease ever scared Him.  No heart remained broken before Him.

At the creation of the worlds, God set up a law requiring death and the shedding of blood should any sin - or wrong doing - be found in His creation.

Unfortunately for us, our great grandparents joined God's self-declared archenemy in a great rebellion - even though they were not aware.  They were deceived by him, Satan (which means deceiver), or the devil, into not believing the words God has spoken to them, and then subsequently acting selfishly according to their unbelief concerning what God had told them.

These same mistakes, we still make today.  I've made them in my life.  We all have.  The Bible teaches that all of us, except Jesus, have joined in this rebellion called sin -- a lack of life-defining belief in God.  According to the law set forth by God at creation, we deserved death -- that is the punishment for this rebellion.  But Jesus, a co-equal and co-eternal part of God that He chose to reveal Himself as, chose to take the punishment for our sin instead.  Jesus chose to take our place.  He stood in the place of the guilty and declared us to be blameless.  He sat in the seat of iniquity in our place that we might sit in the seat of righteosness.  He gave His life on the cross -- a tool used by the romans for executing common criminals -- dying for us so that we would not have to pay the penalty for our crimes against God.  He took the full punishment of our mistakes upon Himself so that you and I could live in perfect peace with God, if we can only believe.

This life, and the Christian lifestyle, is not about being good enough.  It isn't about earning the sacrifice Jesus freely gave for our benefit.  It isn't a list of rules you must follow to maintain a state of being saved from the punishment of sin.  This life is about recognizing that we could never try hard enough -- never earn His sacrifice -- never maintain our salvation on our own.  This life is about celebrating a God that saved us when He didn't have to.  It's about being thankful for even our breath -- because we aren't even deserving of that.  It's about knowing and loving the God of life and love and confidently living in something we could never have earned or achieved -- the freely given life and love of an almighty and everlasting God.

Jesus is alive today.  He told us we would see Him sitting at the right hand of the God the Father.  How is that?  He rose from the dead 3 days after he died on the cross.  He spent a few weeks in His resurrected body with His followers.  He told them to tell others about the good news (that's what "gospel" means) of God's plan to redeem man from the trouble we caused ourselves - by believing in Him.  When He left us, He ascended into the heavens, as if riding a cloud to heaven, or even flying away, and He sent us the Holy Spirit -- the Spirit of Truth -- the Spirit of God -- to live with and in us (His followers), partners in life forevermore.  That Spirit is our comforter.  He is our advocate.  He is truly our very best friend.

All that I've said is true.  Now I will tell you why I am telling you this today.

God loves you.  He loves you, and He wants to have a relationship with you.  You may ask "what does that even mean?"  In truth, I don't understand the fullness of that myself.  Not because I haven't experienced it -- I experience this relationship constantly throughout every day.  I say I don't understand because there is so much love -- so much wonder in Him, I am constantly learning more and seeing something new and amazing about His great heart.  But let me try to explain anyway . . .
  • He wants to love you, and be loved by you.
  • He wants to know you, and be known by you.
  • He wants to speak with you, and be spoken to by you.
  • He wants to find you, and be found by you.
  • He wants to live with you, and lead you.
  • He wants to heal you, and protect you.
  • He wants to fellowship with you, and share experiences with you.
  • He wants to affect your life, and be affected by you.
He wants to use you.  Not like take advantage of you.  Even if He did, that would be His right.  He is God after all, but that's just not His style.  He wants to make you useful.  He wants to give your life purpose, wonder, joy, and peace that is everlasting . . . in a way you could never have without Him.

Not only is communication with this amazing, perfect, loving God possible . . . it is something He Himself desires.  He's with you always.  He's everywhere.  Always.  Just a whisper away.

Can He hear you?  Are you kidding me?!  He can't hardly wait to!  He woke you up today, hoping "maybe today is the day."  Of course, He knows already.  Time is just another thing among all He's created.  But you understand the sentiment.  OF COURSE He has emotions!  He made you in His own likeness, and you do, don't you?!

He understands.  He does.  If you're lost . . . He's for you.  If you're lonely . . . He's with you.  If you're confused . . . He can clear it up for you.  If you're tired or weary . . . He can carry you.  If you're hurting . . . He can heal you.  If you're perfectly content . . . He can make it better.  He can't hardly wait to!  He's for you, no matter who you are.  To God, You're YOU.  Not just some person.  You're YOU!  And that's all He wants.  You . . . His masterpeice creation, fearfully and wonderfully made.  You.   Exactly as you are.

If you're ready, and you're saying this Jesus -- this God -- is something I want to know, or maybe you're unsure, but you feel a gentle tug in your heart like for some reason you feel drawn to this truth.  You aren't reading this by mistake.  God's brought you through all you've been through to arrive here -- to stand at this intersection -- this crossroads and to embark on the adventure of a lifetime -- a life of liberty, compassion, power, and love hand-in-hand as partners with the Maker of your heart -- the Creator of your every dream or desire -- your life's best friend and greatest fan.

There is another side of which you should stand aware.  One day, God will judge sin.  He will say to sinners "depart from me all who work in evil, for I have never known you."  And those sinners will be judged in a lake of fire -- a place of torment where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth -- a place of darkness and dread, where even the flames give off no light and comfort is found by no inhabitant at any price.  The inescapable truth of this hell is also an overwhelming emotion that is unforgettable by anyone caught in its despair -- all who dwell therein are alone.  And there is no going back.

Do not be afraid.  You are still alive, so today could be your day to escape all that disaster.  After all, God did not make hell for humans -- nor does He desire that anyone goes there, even for a moment.  I wouldn't wish such a thing on my greatest enemy if it's even half what the Bible describes.  God made hell to deal with the sinful rebellion of the devil and his fallen angels.  Don't go there for anyone or anything.  Choose life.  Choose love.  Choose Jesus.  Choose today.  Tomorrow is promised to no one.  If you meet your end today, or tomorrow, be sure Jesus stands on your side.  Pray this prayer, and believe that God is faithful to hear every sound you utter and that He will grant your every request.

Say this out loud with me.  Say
  • God.  I want to know you.
  • I want to know your truth.
  • I want to know your voice.
  • I want to speak with you and have you speak with me, as a man speaks with his friend.
  • I want my relationship with you to be real, not something phoney or false.
  • I recognize that I have wronged you -- with or without knowing it.
  • Please forgive me, by the sacrifice Jesus made for me.
  • I reject Satan and his rebellion against you.
  • I reject any other God but you.
  • Jesus, save me.
  • Thank you for clearing my way to the Father.
  • Thank you for paying the full price for my sin so that I may live forever in peace with God.
  • Show me your truth and teach me your ways.
  • Spirit of God, come be with me.
  • Live with me and in me.
  • Help me in situations in my life to be successful at every good thing.
  • Help me to live in a way that brings praise to you for saving me.
  • Show me how to be the best me I can be.
  • Teach me how to pray, and cause me to seek out and enable me to find the place you have made for me -- the plan you have for my life.
  • Thank you, God.
  • In the name of Jesus, my Savior, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, congratulations!  I promise, you'll never regret it.  Welcome to freedom!  Welcome to truth!  If you'd like, go ahead and send me an email just to let me know.  It is a good feeling, isn't it?  To be as sure for heaven as though you were already there.

Now, remember, this is a real relationship.  The more time you devote to learning about God, your journey with Him, or the like, the better your relationship with Him will be.  How many know, if you ignore or forsake your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, family or friends, the more risk you take in not having a relationship very long.  Haha.  It's sort of like that, except God will never leave or forsake you.  He promised that.  But, He can be hurt.  And as a gentleman, He will permit you to push Him away.  But I'm confident you won't.  He's so wonderful.  But keep up your relationship with Him.  Pray -- just talk to Him like a friend . . . and tell Him about your life and be open to listening to His voice in your heart.  You will hear Him.  The only question is if you will recognize Him, but ask Him to make Himself clearly known to you, and He will.  Remember, He's not going out of His way to be evasive . . . He wants to be known by you!  Read The Bible.  Ask God to help you understand it.  If you don't know where to start, the gospel of John in the New Testament is a good place to begin.  It has a lot about Jesus.  I'd recommend following that book with 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John (smaller books), and then finally, the book of Revelation.  John wrote them all, and so it is a logical progression.  Don't be afraid of Revelation either . . . it is a very misunderstood book.  It was written to showcase the glory of our Lord and the coming of His kingdom.  It is surely nothing to fear -- only a warning.

I also really love Romans for gaining further understanding.  If you like poety (I really like poetry), you'll find Psalms directly in the middle of your Bible.  It's one of my favorites!!  There are different translations of the Bible available.  I use one called the New King James Version.  I have also used the New International Version, as well as the New American Standard Version.  This will just help you to further understand your decision if you care to know -- which I strongly recommend.  It is not a requirement to be saved.  Only faith in Jesus as YOUR personal Savior can give you salvation.  That sounds weird I know, but it's actually really easy.  It just means -- don't think of Jesus like the Savior of the World.  Surely, He is, but remember, He is YOUR Savior.  He is a Savior that has freely given Himself to you!  He belongs to you, and you belong to Him.  He loves you!  He wouldn't have it any other way!!  :)

I would also encourage you to find a good Bible believing and Bible teaching church.  Unfortunately, there are churches that don't follow the Bible or only teach parts of it.  The Bible is our ultimate authority, however, so a good church wouldn't have any problems backing up their beliefs, teachings, or behaviors with the Bible.  Church is a great place to meet Christians -- some could even become good friends.  Please understand, however, we are not perfect.  We're just on a journey with God the same as you!  But God still chose to use us, so don't be turned away by a bad experience with some churches or some Christians.  Ask God to bring true ones to your life, and I promise He will.  Just be patient.  You've already welcomed into your life the best friend you'll ever know!!  Besides -- if you know Christians that are hypocritical -- think of it this way.  YOU can be different.  You can do it the right way.  Don't be afraid.  God has more confidence in you to overcome than you could ever have in yourself.  He MADE you to succeed!!  Hypocritical Christians that mess up don't prove that Jesus isn't true -- it just means that even in a redeemed state, we still need a Savior.  Because we do.

Thanks for reading.  Thanks for believing.  I promise, you won't regret it.  :)