Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Good News! by Paul Ellis

      If you have heard the good news (the gospel of grace) that God loves you so much He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for you then I thought you would appreciate this article written by Paul Ellis, author of The Gospel In Ten Words, which helps to explain how we are to respond to this wonderful news.  You can read it online at http://escapetoreality.org/resources/good-news/2/, where you will also  find many other helpful articles and resources.

Good News! by Paul Ellis
What should I do in response to the good news?
God has done it all – the only thing you can do is respond. He offers no carrots or sticks, just invitations. Jesus once said, “Turn to God and believe the good news,” and on another occasion, “Come to me all who are weary and find rest.”
What does He want from you? He wants friendship, love, and intimacy. He doesn’t want your toys or your service – He just wants you. He loves you more than you know. Need proof? Look at the cross and the empty grave! He died for you and now He lives for you. His intentions are clear; He wants you to be with Him and enjoy Him forever.
But I’m not worthy
You don’t feel worthy? Then look at the cross! You’ve been redeemed by the most precious commodity in the universe – the blood of God. That’s how much He values you! You are the apple of your Father’s eye and because of Jesus you are highly favored.
If Jesus was speaking to you right now, He might say this: “If anyone opens the door I will come in and dine with him and he with me.” Do you realize Who is knocking on your door? It’s the King of kings! The most beautiful, loving, gracious and mighty person in the universe knows you by name and He’s come to win you with His love. Don’t be distracted by your unworthiness, but be amazed by His grace and respond. The Creator of heaven and earth waits to see what you will do with Him. Will you ignore His overtures or will you say, “Lord, come in!”
How can I respond?
The only thing you can do with a gift is receive it or reject it. God has offered you the greatest gift of all – Himself. This is called grace. What does grace look like? It looks exactly like Jesus. He is grace personified. You cannot earn grace and you cannot buy it. You can only receive it through child-like faith.
One of the most common phrases in the Bible is: “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His love endures forever.” What is an appropriate response to God’s goodness and love? It is giving thanks! If you want to turn to God, you could pray like this:
“Thank you heavenly Father for loving me. Thank you for sending your son Jesus to rescue me from sin and death, and thank you for raising Jesus from the dead. I was lost but you have found me. Jesus, be my king, my savior, my friend. Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may know you more and reign in life with you. Lord, I am yours and you are mine. Thank you for promising to never leave me nor forsake me. Amen!”
What happens now?
If you just prayed that prayer with a sincere heart, then rest assured you are saved. The Bible says so (see Romans 10:9-13)! The gift that God gave us 2000 years ago is now yours forever and you have peace with God. Just take care that no one tries to make you pay for His gift. The only way you can set aside grace is by thinking you have to perform to remain pleasing to God. The truth is you are saved by grace and you are kept by grace. It’s grace from start to finish! Don’t let anyone frighten you into doing dead works, but rest secure in His finished work. Just as you did nothing to earn salvation, there is nothing you can do to lose it.
The best thing is to see your old self as crucified with Christ. You are now brand new and He lives in you. But you are not Him so don’t try to be Him. In fact, don’t try to do anything at all. Just trust. And allow Jesus to live His life through you. If you have questions, just ask Him! He has given you His Spirit to teach you and guide you into all truth.
The adventure is just beginning!

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