Now, I'm not sure that is always the case, but certainly any day with Him is better than a day without Him!
I ran across a couple Bible verses recently that in effect say: "If you want to love life and have good days, refuse that which is evil and do good" [I Peter 3:10-11]. In other words, having a good day comes from doing good, right?
"Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him [or her] keep his [or her] tongue from evil and his [or her] lips from speaking deceit; Let him [or her] turn away from evil and do good; let him [or her] seek peace and pursue it." I Peter 3:10-11
So to have a good day we should:
Speak less | Do good | Seek peace
However, society says something totally contrary to I Peter 3:10-11. Society says, If it feels good, do it, whether it is right or not. God says, if you do good, you will feel good— just the opposite of society.
The difficulty with doing good though, is that it just simply does not come naturally to us, even if we are Christians. If it doesn't come natural to Christians, it certainly does not come naturally to the rest of society! Most people put more value in feeling good rather than doing good.
"Blessed is the man [or woman] who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments!" Psalm 112:1
There is something inside every one of us that makes it easier to do wrong, than to do right. That something is our sin nature, which causes us to do wrong even when we genuinely know and desire to do right.
From the very beginning of time, we have chosen to disobey God and to do our own thing. That decision causes us to be separated from the love of God and the One Who created us in His own image. You can read more about how that separation happened in Genesis 3.
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his [or her] own way; and the Lord has laid on him [or her] the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6
Although we have made huge leaps in technology, self-driving cars, face-recognition software, automated everything, we have yet to invent a way to just be good so we can have good days.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23
In fact, the Bible tells us that we will be forever separated from the love of God and all that is good unless we can be saved from our sin nature that prefers wrong over right every time.
"And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he [or she] was thrown into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:15
Did you know that Hell is not just a cuss word, it is an actual, literal place! It's a place of eternal separation from God, from His love and from all that is good.
"The wicked shall return to Sheol [Hell], all the nations that forget God." Psalm 9:17
But there is Good News!
The God Who created all things loves us and wants us to see good days. Even better than seeing good days, this God wants you and me to live for all eternity in the Heavenly home He is preparing for us. And the Good News is, He has provided a way to make that happen!
"For God so loved the world [put your name here], that He gave His only Son, that whoever [if... put your name here too] believes in Him [your name here] will not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16
Salvation is personal, and I want to make it personal to me. So, I put my name there. I hope you will do the same.
God came to earth in the form of a person, and that person was the Lord Jesus Christ. That's what we celebrate at Christmas. Because He was God, He did not have a sinful nature like we do. He did good and lived a perfect life. Most people, including His friends and family, did not understand or appreciate Who He was. Although He lived to help others, He was hated and cursed and eventually beaten and nailed to a cross to die. Many in His day thought He was just another religious leader who got in trouble with the government.
"But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God." Romans 5:8-9
But the Bible says, that on that cross Jesus actually payed the death penalty for our sins. since He had no sin of His own. In fact, He was for a time spiritually separated from His Heavenly Father so that we would not have to go to that place of eternal separation called Hell. In other words, He suffered the Hell that we deserve so that we can spend eternity with Him in Heaven. How amazing is that!?!
"And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?" Luke 24:5
Three days later, He rose from the grave! Jesus Christ was the first person to permanently conquer death. That's what we celebrate at Easter.
This is the Good News
This is what we call the Good News—the Bible calls it the Gospel. This is the news I heard about and believed as a third grader on a city park bench, and I have found it to be absolutely true! I have found Him to be absolutely true, and faithful, and good, and merciful, and long-suffering, and patient, and loving, and kind. He has been to me what no other could be. He has held me when I needed to be held. He has uplifted me when I needed lifting up. He has protected me when I needed a protector. He has been my guide. He has been my provider. He is my Way, my Truth, and my Life—and He wants to be yours too!
You can have this new life that will give you peace in your heart, take away your guilt and sin, make you right with God, and give you good days. Can it really be that simple? Yes, it can and it is! I am so glad that God made salvation simple so that ordinary people like you and me can have eternal life.
"For by grace you [put your name here] have been saved through faith. And this is not your [put your name here too] own doing; it is the gift of God," Ephesians 2:8
This salvation, this eternal life, is a gift from God, not something we can purchase or even earn by working for it. If it were not a free gift, some of us would be too poor to buy it, and none of us could ever do enough good works to earn it— not even the best of us.
However, you can do today what I and millions of others have already done:
"God, I confess that I am a sinner and I need forgiveness for my sins. I need the Lord Jesus in my life as the One who can give me a new nature and a life worth living. I ask Jesus to come in and save me from my sin."
If you prayed that prayer, you can be assured that Jesus Christ has entered your life and you are a new creation! You have been born into the family of God. We call this being born again. Today is your spiritual birthday that gives you spiritual life just as your physical birthday gave you physical life.
Today is the beginning of your Christian journey. It's a new chapter in your book. It's your story being rewritten. It's your life headed in a new direction. And now that you're a child of God, every day can be a good day!
So, what now? Now that you are a child of God, you need help to grow and learn. We call this discipleship. You now have a Heavenly Father who you can pray to and trust in. You also need a family down here who you can reach out to that will teach and love you. Ask the Lord to direct you to a Bible-believing, local church that preaches and practices the Word of God—the Bible. Be faithful and get involved there. That will be your new spiritual family. Find a mentor, someone to disciple you. Join a Bible study or a small group. These are your new friends. They've been right where you are right now. They too were new Christians at one time. Now, they will show you how to love God just as you will show someone else one day.
To read more about what it means to be a Christian, checkout Explore Christianity.
If you made that personal decision today, we want to hear about it! Please share in the comments. If you're already a Christian, we'd love to hear your testimony, and you never know who that will be an encouragement to when you share it. Share your story!
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