Our lives did not happen by chance. Psalm 139:13 says that God was working in our lives even before we were born. God loves us. We are special to Him, and He has a special purpose for our lives in this world and for our everlasting life in heaven!
God's plan for us cannot happen because of our sin. The Bible says that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Sin is disobeying God's laws and not doing what He wants us to do.
Everyone knows there is a difference between right and wrong, even people who have never heard of God's law or read the Bible. Jesus taught that God's two most important laws are to love God and to love our neighbor the way we love ourselves (Mark 12:28-31). The second of these two laws means that we must act toward others as we want them to act toward us. This law has become known as "The Golden Rule." We know what we do not want other people to do to us. So when we do those things to others, we know we have sinned. That is why anyone can understand that they have sinned.
We must be forgiven to have God's plan for our lives. When we sin, we must be punished. The Bible says the punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). The death the Bible is talking about is not just our body dying. It means our spirit, which lives forever, will be in everlasting punishment in hell. Jesus explained that hell is like a "lake of fire," and that everyone who goes there is separated from God forever and burns in fire that never ends (Mark 9:47,48). Our sin separates us from God both in this life and also after this life.
We can't have God's plan happen in our lives when we are separated from Him. Our sin comes between us and God. It separates us from His plan for us.
You know that many things in our lives have gone wrong because of our sin. God still has a plan for us even though we have sinned, but our sin must be forgiven to allow His plan to happen.
God made a way for us to be forgiven. God made a way to forgive us, save us from everlasting punishment and receive His plan for our lives. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be punished for our sins. God loves us so much that He gave His Son to die for us as payment for our sins.
John 3:16-18 says,
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Three times in the book of Mark, Jesus told His followers that He had to suffer and be killed. He also said that He would come back to life after three days (Mark 8:31, 9:31, 14:27-28). He said, "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45).
Jesus gave His life to be punished for our sins and pay for our forgiveness! We do not have to be condemned for our sins anymore. He will forgive us and save us from everlasting punishment in hell. He will give us a new life! All we must do to receive this gift is ask Him to forgive our sins and come into our hearts. Jesus said, "Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:16, NIV). Romans 10:9,10 says, "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
God's plan to save man from death was to give His only Son as a sacrifice for our sins. His Son Jesus was born as a man, but He lived His life without sinning. Men lied about Him and judged Him guilty of things He had never done. Then they hung Him on a cross to die. The very large curtain in the temple was torn into two pieces when Jesus died. It was torn from top to bottom to show it was not done by men. God did this to show that His Son?s death had made a new way for man to come back to God.
Jesus never sinned, but He was punished for sin. So death had no power over Him, and He came back to life after three days. Now Jesus gives everlasting life to anyone who receives Him.
If you haven't received Him as your Savior, you can receive Him right now, this moment! Pray now, wherever you are. He is listening. Tell God in your own words that you are sorry for your sins and that you want to receive Him as your Savior and Lord. Ask Him to change your heart and life. If it will help you, pray this prayer:
"God, I believe you have a purpose and plan for my life. But, I know I have sinned. I believe Your Son, Jesus Christ, died to take the punishment for my sin. I believe Jesus came back to life from death and has the power to forgive my sin and change my life. Forgive me. Come into my life and change me. I want to live for You and follow Your plan for my life, in Jesus' name."
God has forgiven you if you prayed this prayer and meant it from your heart. God knew before you were born that you would receive His Son as your Savior. Now you can begin the life He has planned for you! Step by step God will lead you to what He has chosen for you. He will show you the way to live and will teach you each day as you grow spiritually and become the person He planned for you to be.
Your commitment to Christ is not just religion, it is a relationship. There are four basic things that will greatly help you in your relationship with Jesus and to grow spiritually.
You need spiritual food. You know that if you don't eat for a few days your body gets weak. You are not just a body. Your spirit needs food like your body does or you will become spiritually weak. The Bible is God's Word. It is like spiritual food. I suggest you start by spending just five or ten minutes each day reading the Bible. You can start with the Gospel of Mark, which is the earliest and shortest record of the life of Jesus.
You need to pray each day. In any personal relationship, we need to talk to each other. When you read your Bible each day, spend time talking to God. Just speak to Him in your own words from your heart. Also spend a few moments just quietly thinking about what you?ve read in the Bible. God will communicate to your heart and guide you.
You need a spiritual family. That's what a church is. We can't make it in life alone. Your church family will help you grow stronger in Christ. They will be there to encourage you, be your friends, and pray with you. So, find a church home and be there every Sunday. Attend a church where Christ is honored, the Bible is taught, and everyone is welcome.
You need to tell others. When something wonderful happens, you want to tell other people about it! You will continue to find that the new life Jesus Christ has given you is the greatest thing that has ever happened to you. You know already that God has a plan for your life. A great part of that plan is that God will use you to tell others about the new life they can have in Christ. There are people only you can reach with the Good News about Jesus!
Jesus commanded us to tell others what He has done for us and what He will do for them. Some will receive that message and others will not. But we must obey Jesus and tell the good news so everyone has the opportunity to receive forgiveness of sin and the gift of everlasting life.
Before you were born, God had a plan and purpose for your life. Receiving Christ has opened the way for that plan for you.