The first thing I want you to know is God loves you. He loves your brokenness, your aches, your pains, your shortcomings, and your greatest successes. He loves you because He made you. I want to tell you God wants nothing more than for you to accept His free gift of Salvation and spend an eternity in Heaven with Him. Getting that free gift is very simple- all you have to do is accept it. I also want you to know why we need that free gift. You see we are sinners. And when I say that I want you to hear me- we are ALL sinners. I don’t mean just you- I really mean all of us. We all sin and fall short of the Glory of God. We all are in need of a Savior to come and atone for our mistakes and we all require that bridge given to us by the blood, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I am no better than you are and my sins aren’t less than yours- in fact in the eyes of God, the punishment for all sin is death and hell. THAT is why we need a savior and THAT is why it is so important to accept Christ as our Lord and Savior. I want you to know that there is absolutely NOTHING we can do on our own to reach Heaven. That is how bad we have messed up and that is why we have a need for Jesus. We can’t be nice enough, we can’t give enough, we can’t go to church enough, and we can’t help people enough to earn Heaven. Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “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.” It is only by the Grace of God that we are saved. I know that the natural question is to ask why I still do all of those things if it can’t get me to Heaven. Because I am a new person in Christ. I don’t do them to be saved, I do them BECAUSE I’m saved. Here is the neat part- when you accept Christ, you become a new creation. You get to say goodbye to the old ways of doing things, you get to forget about the person you used to be, and you get a chance to make something new of your life- in essence, you get a do over. Upon accepting Jesus as God’s Son, by accepting that he lived a perfect life, was crucified, and 3 days later rose again; you get to hit the reset button on life.
I also want you to know that following Christ isn’t always easy- but it’s worth it. Jesus gave us a plain picture of what it means to follow him. Luke 9:23 says, “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” That means to follow Him, you will make drastic changes in your life. You will turn away from ways of living that contradict what God says, you will realize a need to avoid certain places and situations that try to trip you up, and almost everyone that follows Christ winds up losing people from their lives because of their decision. When you choose Christ, you put a large target on your back. Obstacles will be put in your way to try to lure you into making bad decisions or try to coax you into returning to a former way of life. When you accept Christ, you get to say goodbye to your past, but many times the people of this world refuse to forget it and do a grand job of reminding you of who you once were. To follow Christ is not easy because he deserves our unwavering devotion. The one who took the nails for you and me deserves everything that we have and all that we are; and often times that means giving up ways of living that please only ourselves, but does not glorify or honor God. You will stumble. You will fall. The key is to fall moving toward Christ instead of falling moving away from Him. It’s not always easy- but it’s worth it
Why is it worth it? It is worth it because we are not meant to be citizens of this world. Philippians chapter 3 discusses this at length, but I wanted to highlight one part of that chapter: “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Our citizenship is not of this world. When we accept Christ, our citizenship belongs to a place where there is no more sorrow and no more pain. Where everything is right and nothing feels empty.
I write to you because I love you. I write to you because God loves you. You will see Christians who will not be the greatest examples of Christ’s love. You may see myself not being the greatest example of Christ’s love at times. It is those times that I ask you to remember that I’m on this path to redemption too and I am constantly trying my very best to serve my Lord. Don’t make the wrong decision about following our perfect savior based upon the imperfections that I or other Christians may show from time to time. In the end and the summation of my point tonight it this, we all need a savior- we ALL need Jesus. I would love to talk with any one of you about accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior and I know many of my good friends out there would love to do so too. Come on this journey with us and we will follow Jesus- together.
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach