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Jesus Died for You

What follows is what a conversation might be like if you and I could sit down together and share our lives with each other.

Start here!

On a scale of 1-10, how fulfilling would you say your life is?

Your answer: ______________________________

What would move you from that number to a 10?

Your answer: ______________________________

Would the number change in either direction if God were in your life?

Your answer: ______________________________

How it is for me

I was taught by my parents to decide what I wanted in life and then to go after it. We were 3 girls and no boys. My father had been a captain in the army and pushed me to do things that may have been unique for a female at that time. I started my own landscaping business at age 12, was an exchange student in W Berlin for a year at 17, and took a 70 day camping trip a friend and I planned around the U.S. at 18. Then I started engineering classes at the University of Michigan and was 1 of only 3 women in that college at the time.

I attended a group that studied the Gospel of John. I was on a campus of 40,000 students at a time of campus unrest due to the Vietnam War and the draft which affected my fellow engineering students. I could see the full life was being offered in John and that none of the things I had done or was seeing on campus provided inner comfort. Through this process of comparison I decided to follow Jesus who is himself the full life in me. As the years have gone on, I have continued to go to school and the world has continued to have problems. But I am different. I have access to and experience of the full life God meant me to have.

After I received Jesus Christ into my life, my life changed for the better. I found over time that abundant life was his presence and help and comfort in addition to my circumstances in life. I only wished I had asked him in sooner.

Jesus offers life to the full, both now and forever! Jesus said, "I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full) till it overflows." (John 10:10 Amplified New Testament, the Bible)

Full Life

After I received Jesus Christ into my life, my life changed for the better. I found over time that abundant life was his presence and help and comfort in addition to my circumstances in life. I only wished I had asked him in sooner.

Jesus offers life to the full, both now and forever! Jesus said, "I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full) till it overflows." (John 10:10, the New Testament, the Bible)

Jesus has that life planned for you, now, later today, tomorrow, every day and forever.

Our Problem

What do you think stops us from having life to the full?

Your answer: ______________________________

Let's say you have a new neighbor move in next door to you. You welcome him, you bring over some treat for him to enjoy. You try to make friends with him but he doesn't want to know you. He ignores you for 3 years. Now imagine that you've been saving for a new car and you finally buy that car and you bring it home and park it in your driveway and it's been there for 10 minutes. You hear a knock on your door and it's your neighbor who has ignored you for 3 years. He tells you he would like to borrow your car. He wants to borrow it right now. What would you say to him? It would probably be, "No chance!" And the reason would be he has ignored you all this time and that breaks any relationship between the two of you.

One thing that breaks relationships is sin. The consequence of sin against God is eternal separation from him. We can sin in attitude and we can sin in things we do, either by our actions not living up to what God wants or doings things he doesn't want. None of us is exempt.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23, Amplified New Testament, the Bible)

All of us, not just you, sin by our attitude of ignoring God and/or full rebellion which results in death because our relationship with him is broken.

God's Problem

How do you think God will react to those who ignore him?

Your answer: ______________________________

There was a leader of an army in the wilderness in the winter. In those days families of the soldiers traveled with the army. There wasn't enough food so food was rationed. To enforce food rationing the leader announced that anyone caught stealing food would be publicly whipped.

Food was stolen and the leader told the second in command to find the person and whip that person publicly. The second in command found that the thief was the leader's mother.

When it came time for the leader's mother to be beaten, the leader had a choice. Don't beat her as she was old and frail and could die while at the same time making his orders invalid and losing all respect, or he could have her whipped as he would have any food thief which would be hard on him since he loved her. Everyone was watching. The leader surprised all when he took his own coat and shirt off and asked to be whipped in her place. This way he could not only still love her as a son should, but also maintain discipline and the validity of his orders which were necessary to keep them all alive. Justice was done as he took her punishment since someone had to take it.

God's problem is that he is loving but at the same time he is also just. He solved the tension between his love and his justice, when we ourselves could do nothing, by sending his son Jesus to die for us.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23 Amplified New Testament, the Bible)

We get to feel like the army leader's mother must have felt. She did not have to experience the punishment, but her son did.

Jesus died for you

God solved this tension between His love and His justice through Jesus.

Who do you think Jesus is?

Your answer: ______________________________

Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus was fully God and fully man. He lived a perfect and sinless life. He experienced the problems of life just as we do, but lived without sin. He knowingly took our penalty, assumed our guilt, paid our debt, and rose from the dead to prove it.

Imagine I am sitting across the table from you. I am holding my left hand palm up with my fingers pointing toward you. Someone has been following me around all my life keeping an exact record of everything I've done. They now place the DVD record of these things on top of my left palm. Now I lift my right hand up and turn it over so that it is now directly above my left hand that has the DVD on it. The right hand is God wanting to give me full life but as he comes near to me, he runs into my sin. He loves me but he sees the wrong I have done. He sees my sin, my ignoring him in attitude and action. He sees when I have rebelled against him. Our relationship is broken and we are stuck apart.

My left hand remains where it is with the DVD on it. But God sent Jesus to earth and he lived without sin. Jesus died for us to take away our sin and to take away our guilt. The right hand now is Jesus and he reaches over to my left hand and takes the DVD from my left hand. He places it to the side on the table. There is now no barrier between us and God.

This time when the empty right hand is over the empty left hand, there is no barrier and the right hand comes all the way down and touches the left hand. God's love for us now is no longer blocked as Jesus has satisfied God's justice. God now offers us full life from that perfect relationship Jesus has with God. We are free!

How would you feel if someone stepped in and took your punishment?

Your answer: ______________________________

Jesus came and lived the life we live so he could give us the full life he lives, which is way more abundant than ours without him.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16 Amplified New Testament, the Bible)

Just has Jesus died for you, God also raised him from the dead. This is proof that Jesus' death for you worked!

You now understand

How do we receive this life to the full? Your answer: ______________________________

Let's say you get in a boat and go far away from shore. It's a nice day but all of a sudden a big storm comes up. Your boat sinks and all you have left is an oar. You can't swim to shore, it's too far, but the oar seems to keep you floating so you hold on to it. You realize you need to be rescued. You see a boat coming and a man has a rope that he is throwing out to you. This is like Jesus who died and rose again for us. He throws us the rope; he is the only way to a relationship with God.

You have a choice, are you going let go of the oar and grab the rope and be rescued or are you going to keep holding on to the oar? You have to agree to be rescued.

Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me." (John 14:6 Amplified New Testament, the Bible)

You must put all of your trust in him and let go of whatever else you think could possibly rescue you. Let go of the oar, grab the rope.

Simple as ABC now

Does this make sense to you?

Your answer: ______________________________

If not, perhaps there is someone you can ask about the concern that you have. Perhaps you need more time to think about this. This is fine!

Would you like to begin this relationship with Jesus and have life to the full?

Your answer: ______________________________

If your answer is no, this is truly up to you. It is possible you just need to be sure that it's your decision! Then be sure!

If your answer is yes, you just need to admit to God that you have ignored him, that you need to repent (turn away from what displeases God to follow him), and that you need to be forgiven. You believe Jesus is the Son of God who died and rose from the dead for you. You commit to follow Jesus as your Lord and Savior for the rest of your life.

Admit Believe Commit

"I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life." (John 6:47 Amplified New Testament, the Bible)

Read this prayer (talking to God from your heart using words) and see if it reflects where you are right now. If it seems close enough, you can pray it to God and he will surely hear.

Prayer of Commitment (ABC)

My Lord and my God, I admit that I have been wrong in not following you. I turn away from my sin - I repent. Please forgive me. I believe that You paid the penalty for me on the cross and that You rose again from the dead to offer me new life. I commit myself to following You as my Savior and Lord. I want Your gift of life, now and forever. Help me to live for You by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen (so be it).

If you have prayed this prayer, congratulations!

If you did not, you can do so at any time.

In Roman times when two people wanted to shake hands, each one would extend his arm to the other as we do today, except that the hands would grasp the other's arm near the elbow. Whatever the reason for doing it this way, if the hand slipped, the two would not come apart. The wrist would stop them.

You have reached out to God with your life and he has reached out to you. You may slip, but he will not let you go. Just get a firmer hold as soon as you can.

I don't need a phone!
I don't need a phone!

You went too fast for me

I heard what you said and it sounds good but I have issues.

The church is full of hypocrites and I don't want to be a hypocrite.

That's exactly how I felt. I realized right away, if I did not receive Jesus and went to church, I would be the hypocrite. I have since learned that people who know Jesus are the church and not everyone in a church building knows Jesus yet. Church is a place where true Christians are likely to meet.

Aren't there many ways to God? Aren't all religions correct and equal if people sincerely believe?

Our assignment in life is to learn about as many things as we can while choosing what is right for our lives. "There is a way that seems right unto man, but they end of it is death." (Proverbs 14:12 The Amplified Bible) You can also look at Acts 4:12 (Amplified Bible). There is no room left for any other. All those who claim to know the way to God or be God themselves either are dead or will be dead. Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and sits next to God the Father, not as an unmoving unfeeling statue but living, feeling along with us what we are going through and acting on our behalf as much as we allow him to do so.

God was careful over the many centuries of human existence to show clearly over time his character, his plan, and then he worked through Jesus. Jesus was very clear that he is they way the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father but through him, because no one else could solve God's dilemma between love and justice or man's ignoring God. No other religion offers so much to you in exchange for your life. If you are concerned that someone you love doesn't know Christ, don't turn from Christ yourself, come to Christ, and then share Christ with them. There are no group decisions, but all individuals in a group (such as a family) can decide for Christ.

How do I know that the Bible is valid?

Initially, you don't know. In accounting all the columns and rows must add up sideways and up and down. It seems repetitive but if there is a mistake, you can find it quickly because things don't add up. In the same way, the Bible is full of history and promises that have come true. Just look at Isaiah 53 AMP in the Old Testament. Does the person described there remind you of Jesus and remind you of no one else other than Jesus? It was written centuries before Jesus came and Isaiah was dead a long time by the time Jesus came so he couldn't update it. God showed Isaiah what to write although Isaiah didn't understand it at the time. The Bible also claims to be God's word. (scripture) The Bible contains words that have life in them and you can experience that life.

If God were loving and powerful and just, why is there so much evil in the world?

The book of Genesis 1-2 AMP states that God created the world good. He created humans who like him could choose. Otherwise, we would be like robots. We were given dominion over the earth by God. When we decided to disobey God in the Garden where we first lived, we allowed sin and the effects of sin into all that was under our dominion. To add to that, the serpent, who we sometimes call Satan or the devil, became the god of the earth that before sin was ours only. So we rather than God brought much suffering into the world. God in his mercy has kept some of the structures in tact (day/night, seasons, harvests, land and seas staying separate) but others seem to be out of control. Turning back to God through Jesus is actually the first personal step each one of us can take to being to erase the effects of sin on this planet. You can keep blaming God but it doesn't reflect what has happened and what the fix is. In the end, God will set everything straight. Right now he wants your heart to be straight. After that you can talk with him personally about the state of the world and how he can act through you to better it.

I just plain am not interested. I don't want to change.

This is a tough one. If you have been hurt or abused and you think God abandoned you, he fully understands. But don't delay due to self pity.

The Bible states that Today if you hear his voice is the day of salvation. Postponing getting right with God is at your risk. You do need to be informed that narrow is the gate that leads to life and wide is the gate that leads to destruction. Few find the narrow way. There is no shortage of God's provision but there is shortage of people taking advantage of it. You may be such a person that in the end doesn't do what he knows he should do for his own good.

How can my past be forgiven? (You don't know what I've done. I can never be forgiven.)

God says he knew you in your mother's womb. He planned for your salvation before he created the first humans, because he saw the risk in giving of freedom of choice. God declared he would save you just seconds after the first sin in the Garden. All through history he confirmed it. Over 2000 years ago Jesus performed the deed necessary to forgive you. Others had to look ahead in time, you get to look back. You compare your sin to Jesus' death for you and you say your sin is greater. Your heart may be grieving heavily over sin, but God is greater than your heart. God would have to be greater than your heart, wouldn't he? What you really will do in the end, if you continue like this, is to die for your own sin, trying to duplicate what Jesus did, but without the same result. It may take you a while to compare his free gift with your own expensive method of dying for your own sin until you see his method is better. Or maybe you have been abused and you feel unworthy. Yes, you are unworthy of his free gift but this unworthiness is the exact reason he died for you. It only works if you are totally unworthy.

It's too easy. That can't be the way to God.

You are stuck in religion which is a set of rules that you have to follow to earn salvation. You underestimate God's love for you and what he would and did go do to get you back. Or you just can't accept that God did it all for you and that all you have to do is to receive it. You want to add something you did so you could be proud of yourself. Again, it doesn't work that way. You can't accept the finished work of Christ if you want to add something to it and then call it finished. That would be like you rejecting a beautiful painting by a world famous artist and asking for a paint brush and some paint so you can make needed changes.

I believe in reincarnation and "I'll be back!" (Don't bother me with this now!)

Hebrews 9:27 AMP: "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment." You are betting against the Bible. The odds favor the House (Bible) overwhelmingly.

You may have other reasons. Just make sure they are substantive and not petty.

General Bible links which are online in many languages and versions. You can change the language or version.

The New International Version with all the books of the Bible listed.

Last updated: 05/10/2017

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