I'm sitting at my desk, looking out the window and wondering what the weather will be like this day in late February. It's been colder than usual in the San Diego area this winter. Spring is anxious to burst forth, and it did, for a few days. Some trees are in full bloom, and the hillsides are beginning to brighten up with colorful blossoms. And, most fun of all, the birds have begun their mating rituals. The cooing of doves in love is such a pleasant sound. We can watch big beautiful whales glide through the Pacific Ocean just off our local shoreline, on their way to frolic in the waters to the north. We all await the promise of spring. And, God never fails to bring us the warmth, light and new life we desire.
Isn't it an incredible truth that the self-sufficient God of the universe desires a personal relationship with each of His children? All through Scripture God expresses how important our friendship and communion is to Him. In fact, He has placed such importance on having a relationship with us, that He was willing to be born in a human body, live as a common man, suffer rejection, experience a painful death and ultimately, rise from the dead. God did this in order to create the way for us to enter into His dimension and live forever with Him.
Notice I didn't say He created a way, He created the way. A big difference. There is a common belief that there are many ways to know God and be pleasing to Him. According to the Bible, this is not true! There is only ONE WAY...and His name is Jesus Christ. My humanity tells me that this isn't fair, but we are not to judge God's plan and purpose for only He knows what is 'fair'.
"I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
Jesus was speaking to Jews on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd had gathered. They were spiritually dead, but alive in good works and keeping 'the law'. They were confused because Jesus wasn't telling them to be 'good' and keep the law. He was saying something very different. Many wanted a personal conversation with Him. They sought Him out and asked, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" John 6:28. Today, we might ask that question a little differently. We might say, "How can we be sure we'll go to heaven when we die?" Jesus answers the question.
"The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."
Who was sent? Jesus, born of a virgin, God's child, God Himself.
# 3 God desires a personal relationship with His children.
Prior to the coming of Christ, there was a barrier between us and God. This barrier is called sin. God simply does not tolerate sin. No one with sin can enter His presence. The problem is, we are all sinners. I'm going to summarize Romans 3:9 - 28. I hope you'll read it in your Bible for yourself.
This passage of Scripture declares that there is no one who is righteous, no one who understands, and no one who seeks God. The Jews were looking at the Ten Commandments, the law, not at their Savior, Jesus Christ. We all are accountable to God. We became conscious of sin because God described perfection through the law and we knew we didn't measure up to His standard. But then in Romans 3:21 it is written that a righteousness, apart from the law, has been made known. This righteousness comes from God through faith in Jesus to all who believe. This is the good news of the gospel.
All through the Old Testament, God was preparing the minds of the Jewish race for the coming Messiah who would redeem them from their sin. And when He came, they didn't recognize Him.
"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him."
When Jesus died on the cross, and rose again, the barrier was removed between God and us. We are now free to have a personal relationship with God, to enter His heaven and live eternally.
Lord, this is difficult to comprehend unless You open our minds. We are totally dependent on You. Please give my readers a desire to know You in a very real, personal way. Help them to be able to understand your Word, how much You love us and desire our friendship. We praise You, in the name of Jesus.
Bobbe Van Hise
- Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.