And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. ~~ John 8:32 (KJV)
Freedom and truth are highly prized in this day – freedom more than truth, I fear.
But without truth, there is no freedom.
So how do we know the truth? There are some clues.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. ~~ John 14:6 (KJV)
Jesus came as savior and redeemer to give us direct access to a Holy God Who will not look upon sin without righteous anger.
I don’t know about you, but the righteous anger of God scares the pudding out of me.
Yes, God is a God of love. Yes, He loves all His creation. We have ample evidence of that.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. ~~ John 3:16-17 (KJV)
Jesus, Himself, is the evidence of God’s love. Look at these verses carefully. When it says the world, it means every single person in the world, no exceptions.
The daughter who takes care of frailing parents; the man who lives around the street corner under a bridge; the members of the family in the big house on the hill; the loudmouthed gossip at the coffee shop; all of them. Each and every one of them. And not just them.
He loves the victims of crime AND the perpetrators of those crimes. The saving grace of Jesus, our Redeemer, is open to them all.
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Romans 3:20-26 (KJV)
In the eyes of God, the person who steals a pen from a desk is just as guilty as the one who kills people at random. There is no degree of sin. Sin is sin, period.
We are not ever going to be “good enough” for God. There is no way for us to earn His favor. Only Jesus Christ can redeem us for eternity with Him.
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. ~~ Luke 13:3 (KJV
So what does it mean to repent? Is it just being sorry we got caught in something shady? Is it just feeling bad about something we said or did? Well, not really. According to Merriam Webster:
Repent means — to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life.
This requires a 180 degree change in thinking and behavior.
The other part is believing, believing that Jesus is Who He says He Is; believing that He is the means of our salvation; believing that obedience to His will is paramount in our lives.
Believing that He came for love of us. He loves us – each and every one of us – as if we were His only child.
The awful and awesome truth is that we make the choice. We determine our own eternity. We choose to believe – or we choose to not believe.
Please choose now. Time is running out.
Help us to see ourselves truthfully. Give us the wisdom to acknowledge our sins and the grace to repent of them. Fill us with a hunger to know You and let us empty ourselves of self so that Your Holy Spirit can take full possession.
In Jesus’ most precious name,