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Jesus loves you and he has Good News.
Having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ is not about having religion.
Well, some may ask, what is the difference?
Having religion is the world’s way of looking toward a god through works, thinking that their deeds will save them and that when they die, the good will outweigh the bad, thus giving them entrance into eternal life. The world is full of people who do these works and hope they will have eternal life when they die but don’t know for certain if they will. The world has some religions that have nothing to do with Jesus Christ, while others have mixed a blend of religions, like making a recipe – with a pinch of Christianity and a dab of something else – and for the person who is not a student of Jesus, that can be a recipe for eternal death. Don’t be mislead. Are you willing for yourself or a loved one to gamble on personal goodness and good deeds to receive eternal life? If you don’t know for sure that you have eternal life, there is a way to know for sure.
We have been learning about Mark 11: 23-26 and have learned that if we want to receive the promises of God, we must do things God’s way, and to attempt any other way is not going to produce the desired results, no matter how much we want it and how hard we work at it.
I encourage each one to read and be refreshed by what God says in the Bible about what a person must do to be saved from hell and to be adopted into the kingdom of God. It is in John 3:16, and Romans 10:10. The good news of Jesus is that God wants everyone to come into his family and God has provided the way through Jesus. Christianity, unlike the religion of the world, is about relationship with God, not works. The good news is Christianity has a loving God coming to man through the person of Jesus Christ; who reaches out to us in our fallen state to restore the lost love relationship that had happened by man’s fall into disobedience. God never left us – we left him and couldn’t get back into relationship with him under our own power. We needed God’s help desperately even if we didn’t know it. This leads us into the final two verses of Jesus’ teaching, and we should be reminded that this teaching of Jesus occurred before he went to the cross, before his sacrifice for us…Mark Ch. 11, verses 25 and 26 read “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
A paraphrase of this portion using the Strong’s Concordance reads this way, “When you stand firm, persevere, persist, praying, let it go if you have whatever against a certain one: that your father which is in heaven may let go of your trespass. But if you do not let go, neither will your father let go of your trespass.”
Jesus commanded them to forgive everyone, so God would forgive them. That was before Jesus died on the cross.
Now, let’s jump forward in time; Our wonderful Jesus has shed his blood at the cross for the sins of the world, God has raised him from the dead, and the resurrected Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God the father in the heavenly realm, waiting for the appointed time to come back for the family he loves…Paul the apostle explains a portion of the magnitude of what Jesus has done in 2 Cor 5: 17-21 and we are directed to verse 19 which reads, “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Before Jesus paid the penalty at the cross, and because God is righteous, every trespass was counted to them, like an accountant adding numbers, which is why it was so important for those following Jesus to forgive everyone, or else God would not forgive them. But God used the cross, and the blood of Christ Jesus to reconcile everyone in the world to himself, through faith in Jesus, and is no longer counting their trespasses against them.
Did you receive that good news? If you are in Christ, which means if you believe in Jesus as your personal savior you are In Christ, and if you are in Christ you are forgiven and relationship with God the father is reconciled. God is not going to count your trespass against you, ever. What good news. You are forgiven. Understand also, that a true believer in Christ will not get lasting pleasure from sin, and it may take a while to grow and renew their mind to walk outside of sin, but just like with everyone, when you fall short from the mark, you only need to ask Jesus for forgiveness, and keep on walking with God, fighting the good fight of faith, because God loves you and no longer counts trespasses against you. You are forgiven.
After the cross, we walk in forgiveness because we are to imitate our father who forgave us forever, not so that we may receive answer to prayer. God is not holding trespass against you, it is cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus.
God wants a relationship with you so you can do good works with love, not earn God’s love through works. That bears repeating… God wants a relationship with you so you can do good works with love, not earn God’s love through works. God’s love may only be received one way, through faith in Jesus.
The good news is simple to hear and easy to receive for those who are willing. We just have to have faith in God, believe Jesus saves us, say it out loud, and receive Jesus and the wonderful Holy Spirit into our hearts. He will meet you right where you are. If Jesus is your savior, you can know with certainty that you have passed from death into eternal life – John 5:24. Thank you Lord.
If this teaching has been a blessing to you, raise your hearts and voices to Jesus and thank him, to the glory of God the father.
Until next time, God bless you and your loved ones.