The Lord Jesus Christ as presented in the gospels of the Old and New Testament is the central figure in human history, and makes startling claims upon every soul.
The greatest gift
Happiness and joy that will truly satisfy a persons needs often in fact, becomes a life long quest for most people. Always trying to put the “puzzles of life” together. This quest is not something that is limited to the “project” areas and underprivileged areas of our country but this quest for the “joy and happiness” that satisfies is worldwide. There is not a group of people you will find immune from their intense search for true happiness. Some think they find it in alcohol, in drugs, in gambling, in sexual promiscuity. Others think they find it in work, sports and even friends and family. But when all is said and done they still have the empty feeling that all their efforts never filled.
How might we account for this?
“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”
“There are people so poor that the only thing they have is money.”
“You might be poor, and unhappy; but become suddenly rich, and you will still be unhappy.”
“All the gold in the world cannot buy a dying man one more breath. So, what does that make today worth?!”
“He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has.”
So what brings us true happiness?
What is it that fills that empty feeling that we just can’t ever seem to satisfy on our own? To answer that question we need to take a closer look at the shape of that empty space we are trying to fill.
It’s like we are always trying to force the square peg into the round hole.
So what is that emptiness feeling?
We may try to shove all these other things in this empty feeling but it is never satisfying until we fill that hole with the only piece that fits.
That hole or emptiness is caused by our sin. Our sin causes our separation from God. We can only fill that hole with the greatest gift of all.
But I am not a sinner, one cries in protest. Oh I may have told a few white lies here and there but I’m not the sinner you make me out to be. I don’t cheat on my spouse, I’ve never stolen anything and I even go to church sometimes. I’m a pretty good person compared to most folks. If anybody deserves Heaven if there is one, I think I would be pretty high on the list.
The fact is, we can do as St. Paul did and admit we each are the greatest sinners of all.
See, Jesus said we are to “LOVE the Lord thy God with ALL thy heart, and with ALL thy soul, and with ALL thy mind.” Are you loving the Lord that way? Is He in fact Lord of your life, with nothing else having been given priority over Him? Are you serving Him with every bit of energy? Is He first in your finances, in your home, marriage, your job? In your mind, on your TV, in your music, in your speech, in every facet of your life?
If not, we have broken what God calls the greatest commandment. In fact, we probably break it every day and every hour. Oh, how we need to repent of the low place we have placed Almighty God in, in our lives. That’s just one commandment! I’m sure if we ran down the list we would find that we break most of them! The Lord said if you’re guilty of breaking just one of the commandments, you’re guilty of breaking the whole of God’s just and righteous law, each and every provision. God’s eye sees it all.
And the PAYMENT for our sins is DEATH!
The Bible in the book of Romans (6:23) says, “For the wages if sin is DEATH.” That means that we each have a payment due for our sins, and that payment is expected in full. This is not just talking about physical death, but eternal punishment in hell.
If we pay what we owe as sinners against God, we will spend an eternity in this place of torment and separation from God, according to the Word of God.
Jesus sacrifice on the cross to redeem His people washes away all our sin. Romans 5:8 declares, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” This, my friend, is the greatest gift of any. The Bible doesn’t say that Jesus is going to die for your sins; it says that He died for your sins, past tense. He’s done it; the job is complete, over and done. As He said at the end of his tribulation on the cross, “It is finished.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” The faith and repentance we speak of is a gift from God that Jesus did this for you and me.
But you must accept the gift, the Greatest Gift of all. How do I accept it? You do it by simple and childlike faith. You must trust that when God sent His only Son to this earth, who lived a sinless life and died on the cross for — (you can put your name here) — that it was sufficient to pay for your sins and effectual on your account. And you accept His death as the full payment for your sins, by faith and believe that He died for YOU. You have everlasting life! God’s Word says it was sufficient! God took ALL of our sin and placed it on Christ at the cross! Turn from your sins, follow Him with all your heart. You will be so relieved and delighted at this change of circumstances you will tell others what a wonderful Savior you have. Make Jesus your personal Savior now.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” (John 6:47)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:17)
Say this prayer as you accept Jesus as your Savior:
Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve to pay my own sin debt but I believe that you died for me to pay my sin debt for me. Today, I am trusting you as my Savior in the best way I know how. I will depend on you for now on for my salvation knowing I can do nothing to earn it on my own. Help me Lord to live the rest of my life as a good Christian, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.
If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you. Let us know by e-mail and if you included your mailing address, I will send you some helpful reading material.
God bless you.
— Jon Rector
Director, Union Gospel Mission