Categories
truth

What’s More Valuable than Your Soul?

Truth forces us to choose…

We meet Nicodemus in John, chapter three. He’s impossible to forget. He’s a moral man, a prominent religious leader among the Jews. He holds a powerful place in his community as a member of the Pharisees and the Jewish ruling council.

In spite of his lofty religious position, he was drawn to Jesus. He had seen the miracles and heard the teaching. He had to find out for himself. Were the Pharisees correct? Was Jesus an imposter? Or was Jesus the real thing?

Late one night, after dark, Nicodemus discreetly visited Jesus. He had much to lose. Aligning himself with Jesus would cost him his powerful position in the community. More than that, a follower of Jesus faced a very real risk of losing his life as well as the lives of his family members. To talk to Jesus was to jeopardize everything. Still, Nicodemus had to know. He approached Jesus, saying, “Master, you must be a teacher sent by God.”

As usual, Jesus responded in an unexpected way. “Jesus answered, ‘Nicodemus, listen to this eternal truth: Before a person can perceive God’s kingdom realm, they must first experience a rebirth’” (John 3:3).

Jesus blew Nicodemus’s mind by saying he must be born again. What is born of flesh is fleshly. To be spiritually alive, we must be born again by the Spirit. The need to be saved, to be born again, to be reconciled to God through Jesus, is an eternal truth.

Because of the truth of salvation through Jesus, every person alive faces a choice. Will we risk everything we have to follow Jesus? Will we jeopardize our positions, our wealth, our very lives to be born of the Spirit?

In Mark, chapter 8, Jesus lays out what it means to follow him. He says if we truly want to follow him, we must dethrone ourselves and place him on the throne of our lives. We must continually surrender our will to him. Mark 8:36-37 says, “For what use is it to gain all the wealth and power of this world, with everything it could offer you, at the cost of your own life? What could be more valuable to you than your own soul?”

Nicodemus chose Jesus. We see Nicodemus again in John, chapter 19, taking Jesus’s body from the cross and preparing it for burial. Maybe we’ll get to shake his hand some day in heaven. He made a dangerous—but wise—choice.

The choice still faces each of us today. If we are wealthy and powerful, but lose our souls, what have we gained? What is more valuable to us than our souls? Are we willing to take the crown of lordship off our own heads and throw it at the feet of Jesus?

Missionary Jim Eliot said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Choose to be born again. Choose eternal life. Choose Jesus.

Lord Jesus, sometimes it’s hard to lay down my own desires to follow you, but today I choose to totally surrender. I want to follow you. I want you to use me and my life as you see fit. Nothing is more important to me than my soul. Thank you for making a way for me to be born again. In your name I pray, amen.

Categories
truth

The Most Dangerous Lie of All

This lie has fooled so many…

Two Truths and a Lie is an icebreaker to help people get acquainted at a party, a training session, or a meeting. If you’ve never played, the title gives it away. Each person prepares three statements—two of which are true and one of which is false. The group has to guess which statement is untrue.

When the group discovers which statement is the lie, some people are happy because they weren’t fooled and others perhaps disappointed because they didn’t spot the lie. Everyone is a little better acquainted and no one is hurt. After all, it’s just a game.

But sometimes the truth isn’t a game. There are some lies that hurt us. There are lies with the power to destroy us forever.

Here’s one of them:

Good people go to heaven. Bad people go to hell.

This is absolutely FALSE, and is one of the most dangerous lies.

The truth about salvation matters more than anything else because it determines where we will spend eternity. If we’re wrong about tithing, we may miss a blessing. If we’re wrong about forgiving people, we carry grudges we weren’t meant to bear. But if we’re wrong about salvation, that’s forever. Nothing matters more than knowing the truth about salvation.

If we’re not saved by being good, how are we saved? The answer is in Acts 16:31: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”

This is more than believing Jesus existed. To believe in the Lord Jesus means we believe Jesus’s death and resurrection is the only way to be forgiven of our sins and to receive eternal life. We accept Jesus as our Savior and as Lord of our lives. When we do this, we are saved.

And when we’re saved, God is preparing a home for us in heaven. We’ll spend eternity in the presence of God in the city he planned and built just for us.

Don’t be fooled by a lie. Heaven isn’t for people who donated lots of money to charity. It isn’t for kind people. It isn’t for people who are better than that one guy at work. Heaven is for anyone who calls on Jesus for forgiveness and chooses him to be Lord of their lives.

If you aren’t sure you’re saved, Jesus loves you and wants to forgive your sins. You can be saved today by praying the prayer below from your heart. When you do, Jesus forgives your sins, saves your soul, and prepares a home for you in heaven. Friend, nothing matters more than that.

Dear Jesus, I believe you died on the cross to pay the price for my sins. I believe you rose from the grave. Forgive me of my sins. I want you to be Lord of my life from this day on. Thank you for forgiving me, saving me, and giving me eternal life. In Jesus’s name, amen.

 If you accept Jesus as your Savior, we want to celebrate with you. Let us know in the Reply section.

Categories
love

Minister of Reconciliation

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)

We were all estranged from God at some point in our lives. We did things that hurt him and offended him. But while we were in that estranged and sinful state, Jesus came to earth and died for us so we could be reconciled to him. To reconcile means, “to restore friendly relations between.” God, out of love, did what had to be done—what we could not do for ourselves—to restore friendly relations between us and him.

The magnitude of the love that saved us is beyond our imaginations. We couldn’t earn it. We didn’t deserve it. But God is relational. He actually IS love. So he sacrificed for us. He paid the price for us. He forgave us.

Now that we’ve been extravagantly loved and generously reconciled, he has placed us in the Ministry of Reconciliation. England has a Ministry of Defense, a Ministry of Housing, and a Ministry of Justice. God has a Ministry of Reconciliation. And we all have been appointed to a position there.

We are to reconcile ourselves to others, point people to reconciliation with God, and help other people be reconciled with each other. “Minister of Reconciliation”—that’s our calling. That’s our job. Every one of us.

A Minister of Reconciliation has this job description: Love God. Love people. Every person. All the time. That’s it. That’s why we’re here. You want to know what your purpose is? It’s simple: Love God. Love people. Every person. All the time. Making a living, the work you do at church, raising your family? That’s all just settings and vehicles to love God and love people—every person, all the time.

Our job on this earth is to share love with others, to be more and more loving every day, because God is love and we’re in the process of becoming more and more like God.

Here’s a word from Ephesians 5:1, “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.”

If we want to sum up what it means to be a Minister of Reconciliation, it’s right there in Ephesians 5:1. Not cautious love, but extravagant. Not to get something from someone, but to give everything to others. It says that, mostly, what God does is love us. Mostly, what we should be doing is loving God and loving others, with a generous, brave, God-given love. Every person. Every day. With everything we have.

Father God, your love is absolutely incredible. I can hardly fathom it. When I couldn’t help myself, your love pursued me and rescued me. I love you, Lord. Continuously fill my heart with your love so I can give it away to others. Let me be your ambassador and an enthusiastic minister of reconciliation. In Jesus’s name, amen.