Most of us have a long list of regrets for the things we have done in our past. In fact, we waste an extraordinary amount of time thinking about things that we have no power to change. It is important to remember that we are not defined by the person we were in our past. We are defined by who we are today. It is through the choices that we are making right now that people understand who we are. Oh, I know that people remember the mistakes that you have made. Your relatives will think back to those foolish things that you said and did when you were younger and define you in those terms. The incredible thing about today is that you can begin a whole new life for yourself, if you want to. In no time at all, people will begin to think of you in a new way and define the person you are by the things you have been doing from this moment when you decide to change your life.
An important principle of life and one that I only learned after living for sixty years, is that the good choices that I make, cause me to feel better about myself than the bad. Many people are suffering through depression, anxiety, and low self esteem, simply because of many years of bad decisions. We are made with a conscience. It tells us when we are doing and saying things that are right and when we are wrong. If we violate our conscience, it hurts us. We begin to add up all of these violations to our soul and over time, we start to see the negative results. It is true that many forms of depression are cause by unresolved guilt. God made it possible for us to rid ourselves of this guilt and clear our conscience by simply talking to Him about these things. If we acknowledge that we have been wrong and are sincerely sorry, God will always forgive us. This was the very reason that Jesus came into the world: to forgive sinners. Here is the thing: we are all sinners. Every one of us are in need of forgiveness. Those who have found a fountain of love and compassion in Jesus, carry far less guilt for their past than those who have never come into a personal relationship with the Lord.
The power to change your life is under the control of no one else except you. It is only your heart that needs to change a little in order to begin and entirely new life.
A new life is yours, if you only ask for it. Eternal life and the hope of heaven, cannot be earned or purchased. God created heaven for every person. He made it perfect, beautiful, without suffering or death; for every person that has lived upon the earth. It is His desire to give it to you—free of charge. He paid the price for you. He now offers forgiveness and eternal life to you. All you must do is be sorry for your past and want to start a new life. If you come to God through His Son, He will hear you and accept you. The entire purpose of Jesus coming to earth was to become a human being like us so that He could be qualified to die for us and make our redemption possible.
Jesus is the Eternal God. He has lived forever and the Bible describes Him as the One who created all that exists. Being God, Jesus knew ahead of time that we would each choose to live our lives apart from God and the results would fill us with sadness and despair. Jesus determined to come to earth at a specific time and offer His life for all the wrongs that we have done so that our past could be wiped away. When Jesus died, He paid the debt that we owed for all of our mistakes. At the moment that you believe this and ask Him to forgive your sins, it is done. Something happens inside of us that is not observable from the outside at first. The Bible calls this a “Spiritual Birth.” In John 3: 16, Jesus described this event as being “Born Again.” Each one of us were born physically into this world. Jesus said that we must be born a second time, by the Spirit of God, if we want to appropriate heaven for ourselves. This happens only when we believe that Jesus has paid for our sins and accept his death for us, as the payment for our sins. Then we determine to live for Jesus for the rest of our life. We set out to read the word of God and learn more about Jesus from the New Testament. Then, after we have a foundation of understanding, we go back to the Old Testament portion of the Bible and begin to learn about all the people who came before us, who also came into this new relationship with God.
People in the Old Testament were saved in the exact same way that we are saved: by looking to Jesus death for us and the solution to our sins. People in the Old Testament looked ahead to Jesus coming. People in the New Testament days, look back to Jesus coming into the world as the solution to their sins.
You can start a new life today by one small step. A tiny decision that will enable you to enjoy a big life. How do I know this? About forty-one years ago I was a typical young man of 19. I knew that there had to be more to this world that just living and dying. I started asking questions and seeking answers. I found that this man called “Jesus,” lived the most extraordinary life that has ever been lived. He said and did things that no other human being has ever said or done. He lived a perfect life, without a single sin. He loved people in a way that no one has ever loved. He taught things about God and how to make it to heaven that are far different that anyone else had ever taught. Jesus said that the forgiveness of sins and heaven are free gifts that God wants to give to every person. All that anyone has to do is believe it and receive it.
In the complex world of religion and so many churches, I found a simplicity in Jesus that made perfect sense. If God exists, then He would make it easy for us to know Him. He would make a way that we could understand who He is and what He wants from us. I found this in Jesus. All that God wants is us. He doesn’t care about all our failures. He doesn’t mind our inadequacies. He only cares about us and whether or not we are willing to come to Jesus and let Him love us.
If you will come to Jesus and just talk to Him—telling Him all about your failures, doubts, fears, hurts, and disappointments, He will understand. He lived amongst us as a man so that we would understand that He knows what it is like to be us. Nothing that you have done will shock or surprise Him. He already knew all about you even before you were born. In spite of your failures, He loves you and nothing will ever change that.
It is up to you if you want to change your life. Know for sure that Jesus has the power to do this for you if you will just give Him a chance. I have lived a life of incredible happiness and fulfillment because I decided to follow Jesus and trust Him in April of 1975. He can do the same for you.
Maybe you have been going to church for some time. Perhaps you have been serving in a church or trying to live a Christian Life, but still feel empty. Maybe you are doing all the physical things right, but you never did the one thing that God requires, a new birth in the Spirit. Many people go to church but have never been born again. They have started to live a new life, but they find that they have no power. After a time, they become tired, discouraged and give up. This is the difference between becoming a Christian and being Born Again. One brings us a new way to live. The other, a new life that reside inside us. Without Jesus living within our heart, and there being a new birth of our spirit, we will not apprehend this new life.
I have met many people who said that they once believe in Jesus, but now no longer believe. Upon taking to these persons, I discovered that they never came into a new relationship with Him after a confession of their sins and a moment when they received Jesus into their heart. Some said the words, but failed to really believe them. Certainly God understands whether or not we are sincere when we come to Him. If we are sincere, then we will be born again. If we are just saying the words and going through the motions of being a Christian, our efforts will fail. We cannot gain eternal life in the same way that people acquire things in this world. The way into a new life is by the Spirit, not by a physical work. We enter by sincerely and diligence If we genuinely want to be forgiven and gain eternal life, we will.
Here is how the change takes place: You want a new life. You come to God in Jesus Name. You are sincerely sorry for your sins. You ask Jesus to forgive you, based upon His death and resurrection. You are willing to turn from your old sins and live a new life, apart from sin. You ask Jesus to come inside your heart and live His life through yours. You make a life-long commitment to Jesus to follow Him and live the rest of your life for Him. You determine to not sin again. When you do sin, you confess these to Jesus and ask for His forgiveness. This simple process keeps you in constant fellowship with the Lord and enables to you continue in your life with Jesus.
When you fail, these are opportunities for learning and growing, not signs that you should give up. You are one of millions of people who have also failed today to live the life you should.
What you do now, determines what you will do later. If you acknowledge your sin, Jesus is faithful and just to forgive your sins. Your righteousness is based upon what Jesus has done for you, not on what you can do for Him. All that you need for heaven, has already been done for you. Rest in Jesus competed work for you. Have confidence that you are a work in progress, not one that is already complete. Every day of your life you will have struggles, doubts, fears and disappointments. These are all a part of life for every person who follows Jesus. It is Jesus living in you that is your source of strength, not your own strength. It is the words and actions of Jesus that you should model yourself after, not the people in the world or the way that everyone else does things.
These are the words that I said to Jesus when I determined to make Him my Savior and Lord:
“Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for me. I want to ask you to forgive all of my sins. I know that I am a sinner and I need you to take away all my sins. I ask you to come into my life and fill me with your presence. I want to accept you as my Lord and my Savior. Jesus thank you for dying for me. Thank you for coming to me right now and for giving me a new life in the Spirit. Please help me to live this new life by allowing you to live through me. Help me to open the Bible every day and seek you. Help me to talk to you each day in prayer and seek your will for my life. Forgive me when I sin. Encourage me when I fail and struggle. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me. Give me your beautiful Spirit so that I might speak to people and treat them the way that you do. Give me a new heart with your laws written upon it. Hold on to me all the days of my life and don’t let me fall away from You. Help me to endure until the end. I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.”