GOD WANTS YOU TO KNOW HIM.
Although God is holy and righteous, He longs for the people He created in His own image to know Him. This is what He says through His prophet Jeremiah. "Thus says the LORD, 'Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me" (Jeremiah 9:23-24). In fact, knowing God is at the heart of the giving of the new covenant to Israel. God spoke confidently of this through the prophet Jeremiah. "They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, declares the LORD..." (Jeremiah 31:34). You see, God's delight is for people, great or small, to understand and know Him. Because God wants you and I to know Him, Paul expressed his passion to know more of Jesus Christ. This is how he expressed his passion: "More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord" (Philippians 3:8). The privilege of knowing Jesus Christ is not reserved for only Paul or prophets like Jeremiah. God is extending that same privilege to you and me.
GOD LOVES YOU.
One of the greatest truths that is repeatedly affirmed in the Bible is that "God is love" (1 John 4:8, 16). As such, God loves people. It is His character to love people. His love for you is special. His love for you is sacrificial. His love for you is selfless. His love always seeks the very best for people. How precious! How truly wonderful! The Bible says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16). One thing you need to know today is that you are loved by God. You are created to be loved by God. His love for you is unconditional. His love for you is unending. He will never stop loving you when you accept His love. You can count on His love for you every moment of your life. His love for you will not disappoint you.
GOD DOES NOT DESIRE
FOR YOU TO PERISH.
The Bible makes it clear in its teaching that God does not want people to perish, that is, to be eternally separated from His loving presence. God makes this truth known to the people of Israel through His prophet Ezekiel. "Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?" (Ezekiel 18:23). Wanting to emphasize this truth, God repeats this message two more times through the prophet Ezekiel. "For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies, declares the Lord GOD. Therefore repent and live" (Ezekiel 18:32). "Say to them, 'As I live!' declares the Lord GOD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live" (Ezekiel 33:11). The New Testament also affirms this teaching. In the second letter of Apostle Peter, we are told: "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). Please take note of what the Bible says here. God takes no pleasure or delight in your death. In this age of grace, God is not primarily looking for an opportunity to "zap you or fry you up." Rather, He is very patient toward you. He is waiting for you to turn to Him.
JESUS DIED FOR YOU.
Yes, it is true. God wants you to know Him. God loves you. God doesn't want you to be eternally separated from His loving presence. His desire for you and me is to be in a relationship with Him. But because the Bible makes it clear that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), we cannot know God and personally experience His love for us in our sinful state. Our sin problem hinders us from personally knowing God and enjoying His love for us. In other words, our sin separates us from all God's very best for our lives. Thankfully, Jesus solved our sin problem for us. The Bible presents the solution for our sin problem in these comforting and caring words: "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:6-8). Friend, Jesus' death is for my sins and yours. His death on the cross is God's ultimate solution for our sin problem. God will not accept any other solution, such as trying to be good, doing good works, or being religious. The price for our sin problem is astronomical. There is no way anyone could pay a little part of it, let alone pay it in full. It is simply IMPOSSIBLE. Thank God He willingly paid it for us in full through the sacrificial death of His One and Only Son, who is fully God and fully Man. He had no sin. He committed no sin. He did no sin. He is sinless. As such, Jesus' sacrifice not only fully solved our sin problem, but also fully satisfied God's wrath against all our sins-past, present, and future. This is the good news for you and me.
Now, knowing all these truths, the important question is: "How does a person enter into a relationship with God to begin to know Him personally?" Simply begin by acknowledging to Jesus that you are a sinner.
YOU ARE A SINNER.
The Bible makes a very bold declaration regarding man's spiritual condition before a holy and righteous God. It strongly states that no one is righteous before God. Acknowledging this truth before God, King David prays to God: "And do not enter into judgment with Your servant for in Your sight no man living is righteous" (Psalm 143:2). This truth is also stated emphatically in the New Testament. "There is none righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10). As if these were not enough to make our sinful spiritual condition before God very clear, the Bible further settles the matter beyond doubt by saying: "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23); and that "you were dead in your trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1). With these undeniable facts about our sinful spiritual condition before a holy and righteous God, we are left with two choices, namely to acknowledge that we are sinners or to deny that we are not and that we are basically good. The only choice that brings a person to a relationship with God and opens the door to knowing Him personally is the former. I must acknowledge that I am a sinner. And you must acknowledge that you a sinner too. It takes humility to acknowledge that you are a sinner before a holy God.
ADMIT THAT YOU
CANNOT SAVE YOURSELF.
Having acknowledged that you are a sinner, a person must also admit that he cannot save himself or herself. You must admit that leading a good life cannot save you. Doing your best in life will not save you. Doing penances will not either. Membership in a lodge or fraternity will not get you to heaven. Trying to obey the Golden Rule will not open the gates of heaven for you. Church membership, gifts to charity, giving money to a local church, taking communion, doing good works will not save you. Admitting that one cannot save himself or herself hurts our pride. But it is the right thing to do. It will bring you to the most important decision you would ever make in your life. That is to accept Jesus's offer of full forgiveness for your sins.
ACCEPT JESUS' OFFER
OF FULL FORGIVENESS.
The Bible makes accepting Jesus' offer of salvation very simple and straightforward. It is so simple a little child can understand it and practice it. The Bible says: "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" (Romans 10:9). My friend, today you can confess Jesus as Lord, that is, agree with God that Jesus is indeed Lord who came to seek and save the lost, who died on the cross to pay your sin debt in full. With simple childlike faith, you can trust that God has accepted Jesus' sacrifice for your sins by raising Him from the dead on the third day. If you hear God's voice speaking to your heart to enter into a relationship with Him today, please do not harden your heart. Please, don't put it off. Please, don't drag your feet. Please, don't delay. Remember, today is what you have, tomorrow may not be yours. The Scripture says, "Behold, now is the acceptable time, behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2). Today can be your day of salvation. Right at this very moment, you can take the first step toward entering into a saving relationship with God and begin the life-long process of knowing Him personally. You can pray the prayer below or use your own words.
Dear Lord Jesus,
I come to You just I am, a sinner in need of Your salvation. Today, I admit to You with all my heart that I have sinned against God and cannot save myself from my sins. I humbly ask You to forgive me all my sins and all the wrongs I have done against You. I put my trust in You and in Your death on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins and in Your resurrection from the dead to bring me into a right standing with a holy and righteous God. Thank You Jesus for saving me. Please fill my heart with love for You and for Your word. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and a desire to know and obey You and live for You.