I have had this running through my mind for a couple weeks.
Do you take God personally? Do you really realize He thinks about you as an individual?
How personal is God to you?
What I mean is, when you read your Bible do you personally take on the promises and commands of God?
In John 3:16 for example. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that who so ever believed on him should not perish but have ever lasting life.
Do you realize that verse is equally true if you read it:
For God so loved me that He gave His only begotten son so that I might believe and not perish but have everlasting life.
Too often I think we get… used to the ambiguity of the “world”. These verses make big claims. The world is a big thing. However God didn’t mean it to be impersonal. When He says the world, he means you, and me, and Sally and Sam and so on. We each figured into His thinking. The great big God of all the universe thought of us each as an individual. Some verses remind us that He thought of us before our parents even knew we existed. Yes I know the verse specifically refers to Jeremiah, however I see no where that indicates God doesn’t know us all.
Think of that. God is calling YOU. Yes you reading this right now.
How do we answer the call? We decide to accept his gift of grace. This covers all our sin. Then we act in Faith. What does this mean? Well if you trust Jesus to save you, won’t you show it? He asks so little of us. Jesus says He that believes and is baptized shall be saved but he that believes not shall be damned. He asks us to be baptized. Commands us to believe. You can do one or the other, but Jesus clearly wants us to do both. If my Faith is not strong enough to convince me to be baptized to please and obey Jesus, how will it ever get through the really big stuff that will come?(Mark 16)
More to the point, who of us is better than the Son of God? Shocking question? Well then consider this. When John protested to baptizing Jesus, the sinless, righteous Son of God what did Jesus say? Mat. 3 13 Then came Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and come thou to me?
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
What better reason is there for baptism than to well please God? Who needs more encouragement to do it than that?
What does a life of Faith look like? Well Galatians says this:
Galatians 5:21-23King James Version (KJV)
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Again in Ephesians we find this:
Ephesians 5:8-10King James Version (KJV)
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
There are many examples of how we will live if we truly accept Jesus. Philippians 4, the entire chapter lays out many things. This is a good section, VS 8:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
How hard this is in today’s world! Everywhere you turn there is negativity and wrong thinking!
However, reading the words of Jesus, you will see that this is all to be expected. Jesus tells us that children will turn against their parents, that right and wrong will be twisted and turned in ways God does not approve.
Fathom this. A book written over 2000 years ago, by many different men, would nail this current world to a T. They weren’t just writing to those churches back then, they were writing to US.
Each one of us is individually responsible for how we respond to God’s words. In the end it won’t matter on our account what the preacher, the pope, or who ever told us. We, just as God called us individually, will answer for our life individually. God writes to us individually. He watches and sees us individually. Not just in an ambiguous way. He will come to us individually when we go to Him as he commands us to.
Will you come? Do you believe the life He offers both here and hereafter is worth it? He won’t strew the paths with roses, but He will guide us and comfort us among the thorns.