March 30, 2018

No Greater Love

Today is Good Friday, the day we remember Jesus’ incredible act of unconditional love. Hopefully, we allow His presence to live in our hearts every day, and never forget the sacrifice Jesus made.

 

What Was the Problem?

Sin. In the beginning, God created the world. He made man (Adam) and put him in the Garden of Eden. God commanded Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die,” (Genesis 2:16b-17). God also created woman, Eve. The man and woman disobeyed God, bringing sin into the world.

 

What Is Sin?

Sin is anything that goes against God’s ways. It is disobedience to Him, hatred towards others, and more. He provided the ten commandments in the first half of the Bible to help guide us. They can be found in Exodus chapter 20. These commandments prohibit murder, stealing, committing adultery, worshiping other gods, idols, dishonoring your parents, and more. Doing those things leads to pain, heartache, and separation from God.

In the second half of the Bible, Jesus is asked which command is the greatest. “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God will all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”” (Matthew 22:37-39

 

Why Did We Need Jesus?

The Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). Have you ever stolen a piece of gum? That’s stealing. Here’s what Jesus says about murder:

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” Matthew 5:21-22

Jesus sets a high standard for what it means to love others and follow God. I’m not saying this to scare you, but to highlight our need for Jesus. Friends, there is good news!

 

What Did Jesus Do?

We all have fallen short. God saw our sin and had a plan. He loves us SO much that He sent His only son, Jesus, to take our place on the cross. Jesus lived a perfect life, free from sin, and walked in fellowship with God. He listened to God’s voice and told others about Him.

The punishment for sin is death. We all have sinned and deserve death. But Jesus, having never sinned, chose to die in our place so we can be forgiven and reconciled to God.

Jesus, although completely innocent, died a gruesome death for us. He was flogged, had a crown of thorns put on his head, was mocked, nailed to a cross. He could have escaped, but He was obedient to God even unto death. He kept His eye on what was coming after the cross. In Hebrews 12:2b, it says, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” After he died, Jesus rose from the dead, conquering sin and death!

There is one way to Heaven, and that’s through Jesus.

 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) 

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17)

Jesus endured pain for us, so we can be forgiven of our sins and have a close relationship with God. God wants us to walk with Him every day, following His wonderful, life-giving ways.

 

How Do I Accept Jesus?

Accepting Jesus as your Savior means believing in Him, in God, and turning from your sins. Through Jesus, your sins will be forgiven, and you can experience life God’s way. He has an amazing plan for your life. He wants to take your burdens, pain, fears, worries, anxieties, and give you peace, comfort, strength, and love. God wants to hold your hand as you walk through life; “he will never leave you nor forsake you,” (Deuteronomy 31:6b). Not only that, but you will spend eternity in Heaven with Him.

My Pastor once said that John 3:16 is the gospel in 26 words: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

If you’d like to accept Jesus as your Savior, here’s a prayer you can pray:

 

Salvation Prayer

If you prayed that prayer, Heaven is rejoicing! Please connect with other believers or let someone know about the decision you’ve made so they can support you in your walk with God. The devil might try to tell you that your prayer doesn’t count, or it wasn’t “official.” Maybe he’s saying you’re too far gone. Those are lies.

Your prayer counted. God heard you, and nobody’s ever too far gone for Jesus. He made an incredible sacrifice so you can be forgiven. If you accepted Jesus as your Savior, you’re forgiven. Congratulations and enjoy your next steps with Jesus! 🙂 Living life for God is the very best life you can live.

If you have any questions about what comes next, or following Jesus, please feel free to message me. Here’s a ministry page with some great information to help you on your journey:

http://dianeburkeministries.com/

God’s love for you is unfailing. You are treasured, valued, and loved by Him. In Romans 8:38-39 it says:

Nothing Can Separate from His Love

C.M.

 

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About Caitlin Smith

Passionate Christian. New author. Loving wife. Exercise enthusiast. Secret guitar player. Really cool person.

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Inner Strength

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