When I was just a boy, I used to sit by the telephone and wait for someone to call me up. I was that desperate for love. I just wanted to be accepted. I wanted someone to hold me. I wanted someone to tell me that I was a good boy, and that everything would be all right. I was just like anybody. I wanted to be loved.
When I was a bit older, in my pursuit of love and acceptance, I got involved in a relationship with a woman. She was a nice woman in a way. But she couldn’t offer me the love that I needed. She was just another person, herself in need of love. That relationship didn’t turn out too well. She left me for another man, and I felt devastated. My hopes at finding love and acceptance had failed.
We all search for love in many ways. Perhaps you have tried smoking, or are even addicted to the habit. Perhaps you are trying to fill that empty space inside of you with that habit. Or, perhaps it is drinking you are using to try and fill that empty space with. Or, perhaps it is even eating. Or, in fact, some people even try dieting, or exercising, just to try and find some sense of satisfaction in life. (Both of these can be good in moderation.) They are trying to fill that empty space deep inside of them. That empty space is a God-sized hole that only God can fill.
God created us each with a sense of real need for Him. We all need the love that He has to offer. He has a real love to offer us. It is a real love, not a fake one. It is a love which has no limits. The Bible calls it an ‘everlasting love.’ Each of us here on this earth has that need, no matter what color our skin is, no matter what background we come from. We all need that love. It is a love which only Jesus Christ can bring to us. We must each receive that love. We can receive that love today. It is easy to receive. All you have to do is open the gift up, and receive it just like you would receive a gift for your birthday.
When we receive a gift, we acknowledge that it is a true gift which we didn’t purchase. That’s the way it is with God’s love. It is something we can’t purchase. We can only receive it. It is just like a little boy, at a Bartmitzva, or at Christmas time, or at any other event which you might celebrate. That little boy opens the gift and knows that something good is inside. That is the way it is with God’s love. It is a good gift. It doesn’t disappoint. It’s a gift which we can trust is good. Man would disappoint. But God would never disappoint. You can count on His gift. It is that good. You can trust it. You don’t need to be afraid. You need to have courage to open that gift up.
A long time ago, Jesus died on the cross. When He died on the cross, He was saying to you and me, with arms stretched out, ‘I love you, I care for you. I want you to have a good life.’ How do we know this? We know this, because Jesus was sinless and powerful, and did not have to die. He was sinless, meaning that he did not ‘have’ to die the death of a sinner (like he did), and he was powerful, meaning that he did not ‘have’ to go to the cross (he could have prevented it, had he wished to!).
Jesus said, ‘I lay my life down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it back up again.’ (John 10:18). Jesus also said, while being taken away by the authorities who were about to have him crucified, ‘Do you not think that I could pray to my Father, and that he would give me more than 12 legions of angels?’ (Matthew 26:53). While being apprehended by those Romans and Jews and Pharisees, Jesus could have easily called on his Father for immediate deliverance! (One legion of angels represented 6,000 angels!) But he chose not to. That was his decision.
And why did he decide not to do it? Jesus himself knew that, as the Bible says, ‘Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.’ (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus knew then, that there was ‘no other way’ for us to find favor with God, no other way for us to be able to be forgiven of our sins, unless a perfect ‘scapegoat’ would ‘sit in’ our place — unless Jesus himself would ‘take our place’ of suffering that we, in fact, deserved to take. That is why Jesus is called the ‘lamb of God’ in the Bible! He is God’s lamb. He is the ‘perfect sacrifice’ for our sins! That is why I say that, when Jesus was on that cross with arms outstretched, he was saying, in effect, ‘I love you. I care for you. I want you to have a good life!’ He knew that without the shedding of his own blood, that we would forever be found ‘guilty’ in God’s eyes, for all of the sinful (bad/unlawful) things that we had done.
The message of the cross, then, is one of freedom! It is truly the message that we need to hear so that we can ‘find the love that we have been looking for.’ It is the way — it is the only way, the Bible says — that we can be brought back into a harmonious, loving, and perfectly friendly relationship with God as Father. Would you like that? Would you like to know God as your Father rather than as your Judge? All you have to do is commit your life to Jesus as your Savior and Lord. It is a matter of saying ‘yes’ to him — from your heart. That is what counts. If you are sincere, then the Bible promises that you will become a ‘child of God’ (and that is what it means to be ‘born again’ — you become ‘born of God’ the moment you come to a ‘saving heart knowledge’ of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life).
Jesus said, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no man can have a relationship with the Father, except by Me!’ (John 14:6, paraphrase). Will you make that decision today to trust him? As you do, He promises to send his Holy Spirit into your heart. You will become a brand new creation in Christ, and your life will take a ‘whole new and fresh start’ before God. You will have received the very best gift of all: ‘The free gift of God which is eternal life through Jesus Christ!’ (Romans 6:23b) What an amazing gift that is!
Have you received the free gift of God, which is found in Jesus Christ?
‘But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to them that believed on His name.’ (John 1:12).
‘Behold, today is the day of salvation!’ (2 Corinthians 6:2)
‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you died on a cross for me. I understand that you did it of your own accord. You didn’t have to do it, but you decided to it for me and for all who would trust in you. Lord, I repent (turn away) from all of my sins right now and ask you to come into my life and make me your child. Holy Spirit, come into my life and empower me to be your witness. Fill me up to the full with your love and your mercy and your kindness. Deliver me from evil, and make me a bold witness and testimony for you. I want you to be pleased with me. I invite you to do your work in me and use me for your kingdom’s sake! It is in Jesus’s name and for his sake that I pray. Amen!’
(PS ‘Amen’ is a somewhat formal end of prayer which simply means, ‘I agree.’ Strictly speaking, it is most appropriately used only when at least two people are praying together, since you must agree with ‘someone’.)
For more information on what it means to be a Christian, don’t hesitate to visit our websit at [orgurl]. But most importantly, make sure you visit a good evangelical/Bible believing church, where you can grow in your faith and meet other Christians with whom you can share and worship.