Faith

“If you love Me…”

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

–Jesus (John 14:15)

If. A simple word, but it’s the basis for a relationship with Jesus.

Because however we choose to love Jesus, however we may view Him and His ways in comparison to our own, however much we surrender our selves to His plans, however much we listen for and respond to His voice by choosing (and re-choosing) to obey Him…

Our response to this “if” will impact how much we reflect the light of Jesus’ words.

Who is Jesus?

You may have heard nothing, much, or somewhere in between about Jesus.

He’s not a myth, legend, or band-aid…

Not another historical figure, prophet, or nice guy…

Not a liar, misguided, or mentally unwell…

But He is God.

The God Who crossed every obstacle to be with us by, shockingly, becoming one of us.

And this God waits for us to come home to Him because He loves us and keeps choosing to love and sustain us no matter how far away we go. He is love and His actions tell us what love is.

Because Jesus.

Since all of us have chosen to go our own way away from Him at one time or another, then we’ve all chosen to reject Hin to follow our own truth.

[ That’s why the Scriptures say that all of us have sinned and deserve the ultimate consequence for our sin: death, a life severed from Him…forever. (1 John 1:8-10; Romans 3:23; 6:23) ]

But Jesus.

Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, He made the way of salvation from sin’s penalty possible, to be forgiven and to become alive in Him.

Jesus offers us opportunity to be completely transformed, to become God’s sons and daughters instead of strangers, to turn into reconcilers instead of haters, to live in contentment instead of despair, to become whole… clean… new.

Exactly the way God designed us to live.

By His Spirit.

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” –Jesus (John 15:4)

In choosing Jesus, we don’t have to work hard trying to please Him merely by our efforts or best guesses. God offers amazing love, overwhelming comfort, and incredible strength by the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Through Jesus, we can live empowered by God’s Holy Spirit, Whom He freely gives to all of His children so we can live from changed hearts the real life, love, and joy that God desires for all us to know and give in the world. (Luke 11:9-13).

It all comes back to “If.”

If we believe in and call on Jesus Christ, God’s chosen Way back to the Father, the only One Who can save us, the perfect One Who never sinned but took upon Himself the punishment for our sin that we deserved to free us…

(Romans 3:23-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 10:13; John 8:23-24)

If we confess our sin and broken way of consistently choosing and relying on our own way of living instead of God’s…

(1 John 1:5-10; Romans 10:8-11)

If we surrender our lives to Him to do as He chooses, and give Him control of every part of our lives…

(John 3:31-36; Ephesians 4:17-24; Luke 14:27-30)

If we have a heart and mind to obey Him and live by the power of His Spirit instead of trying (and trying again) in our own weak strength…

(John 8:31-32; Romans 8:1-14; 3:27-28; Ephesians 2:8-10)

If we follow Him wherever He leads, pursuing His heart and voice the rest of our days…

(John 10:27-30; Matthew 4:19-20; Luke 6:46-49)

If.

The God Who is gracious, compassionate, just, slow to anger, and loves us dearly is calling out to those who might listen…

Hear His gentle, clear invitation to you:

“Come to Me…” –Jesus

(Matthew 11:28-30)

He waits for you now.

If you want to follow Him, simply tell Him:

Jesus, I believe that You are God’s Son, the One sent to save us from our sin. I am a [ man / woman ] who has chosen my own way instead of Yours, and I realize that is not how You designed me to live.

The Scripture says about You, Jesus, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-10)

I trust that’s true, that You hear and forgive anyone who comes to You confessing their sin, so I ask You now:

Forgive me for my sin. I want to stop living my own way and start living in restored relationship with You.

Jesus, show me how to know You as my God, to love You as Creator and Lover of my soul, to obey You as the Friend and Master of my life. Fill me with Your wisdom, Your love, and Your grace to truly know You and follow You wherever You lead.

Thank You for restoring our relationship. Thank You that I’m Your Beloved One. Thank You that You’ve put your Holy Spirit within me to mark that I belong to You and You belong to me. Fill me with Your Spirit and lead me to others with Your Spirit.

Thank You for making me new from the inside out through Your love for me.

Amen.

If you’re unsure about God

Take a step toward Him.

Ask Him to help you see if He is real or not. It’s okay to be honest with God about our worries, fears, and doubts. God invites us to reveal our hearts to Him so that we may experience Him and “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)

Tell Him:

God, I’m not sure if You are real or that You are even Who You say You are. But I hear You say that we can “taste and see that You are good.'”

So if You are real, I need help to see it. Would you please show me? And please help me to notice when You do.

Amen.

I pray that God will meet you in a way that uniquely confirms for you that He loves and wants you. Just you.

God is so big, so incredible – I know He’ll amaze you with His kind and honest response. It may be gentle. It may be loud. It will agree with His Word and not contradict what He’s already revealed. And He’s okay with repeating it so know He’s thorough.

His response will be just right…for you.