Finding hope... Wow! It's been six months since I have written
here! Time passes so quickly and that is the point of this post.
I’ve been preparing for CrosskKds children's camp for months, and now that we are only days out, the race is on! Time is of the essence!
This urgency to have everything ready for camp also causes me to look around and sense such a great urgency for those around me that don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Savior!
I live in what many call the “Bible belt” in the USA. There are churches on almost every corner and because of that, many have been lulled into the false hope of religion and doing good works to make them right with God.
I was one of these. I grew up in church and Sunday school. We prayed before meals at our house and each had our own Bible. I totally missed Jesus though! Oh, I knew about Him in my head like I know the facts about George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, but I didn’t know Jesus as my companion every day. I didn’t know Him through a personal relationship.
That changed the summer I was 18. God had caused me to wonder, “Could there be more to life?” He showed me there is! On June 23, 1981 He changed my life! I wasn’t in a revival or even in a church service. I was at my sister’s home kneeling by my nieces’ bed. I wanted more; I needed more; I needed Jesus! That night I accepted Jesus into my life as my Lord and Savior, accepting His forgiveness for my sin and giving my all to Him. I said, “I do!” to Jesus! He changed me and I have never been the same. He has given me purpose and hope, peace and joy, mercy and grace; He has given me true and eternal life! Each day as I spend time with Him, I know Him better and better. Now I don’t just know the facts about Him; I actually know Him as my daily companion. Just like a wedding is only the beginning of a marriage, it's a journey together and yes, He's still working on me!
Life, eternal and abundant, is not found in religion or following the rules or trying to be good or do better. Finding hope isn't there. It’s found in Jesus and the work He did for each one of us on the cross. He laid down His life for us and took our punishment and death; this could be called “The Great Exchange!” It’s not automatic though. We each have a choice to choose Him and His gift of life or reject Him and keep the punishment of sin and death. God loves us too much to force us to love Him; that wouldn't really be love now would it?
It would take too many words to try to explain everything in
this writing. The place to begin though is realizing we have a need for a
rescuer, a savior. Jesus is the only one that can fill those shoes. James
4:8 says, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” Seek Him; He will
be found! Finding hope begins in Jesus!
A great place to begin seeking Him is the Bible, His Word. The Gospel of John or the Book of 1 John are both full of truth and a great place to start!
1 John 5:12 puts it very simply, “He who has the Son, has the life; he who does not have the Son, does not have life.” Choose life; say “I do!” to Jesus!