When we think of New Years, we also think about starting anew. I talked a couple of years ago about how people make New Yearís resolutions and that the Bible tells us not to do this, it says:
Matthew 5:33-37 (King James Version)
33Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
34But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:
35Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
36Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
37But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
We cannot do anything ourselves, but only with God can we do things.
It dawned on me that I keep telling you that you must do everything with God, but I never tell you how to have a new life with God. You see, going to heaven is a free gift from God. There is nothing we can do to earn or deserve to go heaven. The Bible says:
Ephesians 2:8-9 (King James Version)
8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9Not of works, lest any man should boast.
What keeps us from getting this? Our sin. The Bible says:
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
It also says:
Romans 3:23 (King James Version)
23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
You see, sin is a word that is translated from Greek that means miss the mark. Like in archery when the shooter misses the bullís eye, it is called a sin. You see we miss the mark of what God wants us to do. This is everybody, nobody is perfect except God.
You see on the one hand, God is love,
1 John 4:8 (King James Version)
8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
In addition, He does not want to punish us. Nevertheless, on the other hand, God is just and must punish sin.
And that He will by no means clear the guilty;
This looks like a problem to us humans, but to God it is not. He solved this with Jesus.
You see Jesus is the God-Man. He is fully God and fully man. You see the Bible says that He is God.
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
In Revelation it says that Jesus is the Word, and the ďWĒ in Word is capitalized, meaning it is a proper name. So letís substitute Jesus for the Word.
In the beginning was Jesus and Jesus was with God and Jesus was God.
You see, Jesus has been around forever, He was with God and is God as part of the Godhead.
Jesus had a very specific job to do. He was to come to earth, die on the cross, and rise from the dead to purchase a place in Heaven for us.
How do you get this gift of heaven? That comes by faith. Letís talk about faith for a second. First, letís talk about what faith is not. Knowing Jesus is not enough because the Bible even says:
James 2:19 (King James Version)
19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
You see, the devil knows who Jesus is, but he will not spend the rest of his life in heaven. Just as I know who Abraham Lincoln and George Washington are, but I am not believing in them to get to heaven.
There is also temporary faith. That is like when like you are sick and you pray to God to get you better. You have faith that God will heal you. However, after you are better, you do not continue to pray that you get better; therefore your faith was only needed for a short period of time, or temporary faith.
What you need is saving faith. The belief in Jesus alone for your salvation. This means trusting in Christ alone, in what He did on the cross to get you into heaven. The Bible says:
Acts 16:31 (King James Version)
31And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
The best way to show this is through an illustration. Letís say you are on a little boat on the sea and big storm comes up and capsizes the boat. You are out in the water, you find a plank that is floating, you pull yourself up on it, and it keeps you from drowning. After a day a big boat comes by, sees you, throws you a life ring, and will pull you to safety. The only problem is you must let go of the plank, grab the life ring, and trust in them for your safety. This is exactly what Jesus is asking you to do. Let go of what you are trusting in this world and place your trust or faith in Jesus. It is just like letting go of the plank and grabbing onto the life ring.
Is this what you want to do? If so, please pray to Jesus to forgive your sins. Tell Him that you trust in Him alone for your salvation. That you believe that He died on the cross for your sins and that he arose on the third day to prove to us that we will have life forever with Him in heaven.
If you have made this prayer please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org I would like to get to know you and encourage you in your walk of faith.
I also wish everybody a Happy New Year. In addition, I hope everybody has a new life this year.