George Bailey is a man who is dissatisfied with his life and contemplates suicide by jumping off a bridge on Christmas Eve in 1943. If you ever seen “It’s A Wonderful Life”, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, you know the story line of this Christmas classic. George encounters a guardian angel, Clarence, who grants George’s wish that he had never been born. George returns to Bedford Falls where no one recognizes him. After seeing how different his home town would be without George’s influence, he returns to the bridge where Clearance explains to George that he wanted more when he had already been given the greatest gift of all: the gift of life.
Christmas is that magical time of the year filled with colorful lights, last-minute shopping, fantastic food and fun family gatherings. Routine work comes to a grinding halt for many. Children are excited that Santa Claus will visit their homes on Christmas eve and leave gifts for them. Adults also gather with their family and friends to exchange gifts.
In my previous blog, The Visitor, I explained how God gave us His Son, Jesus, as a demonstration of His love for mankind. The Bible is clear on why Jesus came.
Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). And Jesus came to give believers an abundant life. (John 10:10).
Lost and Found
Early in our RVing travels, Carol and I were returning from Jacksonville, North Carolina to our RV in Maysville, a short trip of less than 16 miles. We were in an unfamiliar part of Jacksonville so I trusted our GPS to lead us to “Home”. After driving for about 20 miles, I came to the town of Richlands, NC and realized that I was lost. I reprogrammed the GPS for our correct ‘Home’ address. We drove about 50 miles instead of the normal 16 miles.
So what happened? I placed my trust and faith in a device that led us astray. This is exactly what happened to me in my early life before I met Jesus in 1972. As a young adult, I had placed my trust and faith in the world and was led astray. I knew of Jesus, but I did not know Him personally.
I consider myself a ‘good person’… won’t that be enough?
- Romans 3:23 NIV – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
- Romans 3:10 NIV – As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not one;
- Romans 5:12 NIV – Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—
Is sin really THAT big of a deal? If it is… what HOPE is there?
- Romans 6:23 NIV – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
After what I’ve done to grieve God… HOW could He willingly die in my place?
- Romans 5:8 NIV – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
HOW can I be saved?
- Romans 10:9-10 NIV – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Did God HEAR me? Did He accept me?
- Romans 10:13 NIV – For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
What do I do now?
- Romans 10:17 NIV – Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Do you know Jesus personally, as a real person? Or do you know of Him? You might wonder how it is possible to know Jesus personally if He is not physically next to you where you can reach out and touch Him. I wondered that as well. Once I accepted Jesus after confessing my sinful life, He delivered a gift to me that is still the most cherished gift I could have ever received. Jesus gave me the gift of the Holy Spirit to reside with me and in me.
“If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth [or Holy Spirit]. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
John 14:15-17, NIV
Are you ready to meet Jesus? Follow the instructions of Romans 10:9-10:
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
To know Jesus is to know God. The Bible is filled with promises for all believers in Christ. Here are just a few of my favorites.
- But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil 4:19, NIV
- My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Cor 12:9, NIV
- No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Cor 10:13, NIV
- But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 15:57, NIV
- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28, NIV
- Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Act 2:38, NIV
- My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:27-28, NIV
And if that is not enough, Jesus calls us His friend:
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:13-15, NIV
It is my hope and prayer that you know Jesus. Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.