Thursday, January 30, 2014

To Be Real – Part 1: New Life


 
He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.  And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.1 John 5:10-12

When my son was growing up, Disney movies were all the rage.  As each would be released, we would go get the movie.  But with a shelf full of selections, his favorite was Pinocchio. It’s a wonderful story about Mister Geppetto, who was a toy maker, his cat Figueroa, and his goldfish, Cleo. One day Geppetto made a marionette puppet boy out of wood and named him Pinocchio.

As he lay in bed that night, Geppetto wished upon a star. He wished that little Pinocchio would become a real boy. Geppetto drifted off to sleep. The Blue Fairy heard Geppettos’s wish, and that night, while he slept, the Blue Fairy came to visit Pinocchio and gave life to the little puppet boy. He was still a wooden doll, but he could now walk and talk on his own with no one holding his strings.  The Blue Fairy told Pinocchio that if he wanted to become real, truly real, he needed to prove to be three things: brave, truthful, and unselfish.

God wants to give us life too – eternal life. That’s why He sent Jesus to be our Savior.  He wants us to have eternal life, and never be lead around by the strings of sin again.  While many people may wish we were saved through their faithful prayers, no Blue Fairy is going to come and give it to you.  You have to ask for it yourself. Your parents, grandparents, Christian friends, and many others may pray for you to be saved. But becoming God’s child doesn’t happen only because of their wishes. You have to want it for yourself.  You have to want to be made different.  Salvation is a gift, but God only gives it to those who ask for it.

Do you want real life? Do you want to be free from the life you lead, and the strings that sin pulls? Real life, eternal life, is a prayer away.

Believe that Jesus was God’s son. Even demons, the devil’s crew, know it to be true. James 2:18 says “Even the demons believe—and tremble!”  At Jesus’ baptism, God spoke in Matthew 3:17 with an auditable voice saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Admit to God that you are a sinner, and you’re ready to stop being one.  New life comes when the old life is no longer wanted. Romans 3:23 says we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Jesus died to right your wrongs, to cleanse you from your sins.  1 Peter 3:18 says “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the [Holy] Spirit”.

If you can believe those things from your heart you can be saved and made into a new creation.

God waits for you to ask for it – to wish for it. Simply pray, talk to God, and tell him you want him as your Father, you want the new life he has promised, and that you accept Jesus as your savior. Then tell others that you have been given new life! Romans 10:8-10 says “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Just as the new life given to Pinocchio was only the beginning of his story, your being made ‘real’ through salvation, the gift of eternal life, is also just the beginning. 

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