We’re all looking for happiness. Is it inside of us–do we just need to fix ourselves? Or is it impossible–do we just give up and get by? What are we missing? Why do we feel so empty?
The Bad News The bad news is, no matter how hard we try, we can’t fill this emptiness on our own. The problem isn’t our effort; it’s sin. We all sin–we do things our way instead of God’s way. We are self-centered, not God-centered. We put ourselves first, not Him. We were created by Him, to worship Him, but we ignore God every day and look for satisfaction everywhere else. We sin against Him every day in our thoughts, words, and actions.
God is just, and so He must punish every sin we commit or ever will commit. The only right punishment for sin is death: separation from God both now and eternally. On our own, there is nothing we can do to make ourselves right with God, nothing we can do about the problems of sin and separation.
And so sin has broken our relationship with God. What’s missing from our lives is Him. Without Him, nothing will ever be enough. But there is Good News…
The Good News God is righteous and just, but He is also Love. He loves us so much that He has done for us what we can’t do for ourselves. He has provided a substitute to take the punishment we deserve and restore our relationship with Him.
God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to Earth as a man. He first lived a perfect life, loving God with all His heart,
soul, and mind. He lived the life we should live. Then Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice for our sins, taking the punishment and death each of us deserve. He allowed Himself to be tried, convicted, and hung on a cross. As Jesus was hanging on the cross, God, knowing us individually, placed all of our sins on His Son and punished Jesus in our place. Jesus bore the terrible wrath of God for us. He died. Having paid for all of our sins, He rose from the grave, proving that He has the power to forgive sin and offer eternal life. When we believe in Him, our sins are paid for by His death, and His perfect life record is transferred to our account. We are now in right standing with God. Jesus offers forgiveness and the gift of eternal life with God to those who trust Him. Now you are complete; nothing is missing.
Trust Him Do you understand the bad news about yourself and the good news of what God has done for you through Jesus? To accept this gift of eternal life through Jesus’ death on the cross, God asks us to believe in what Jesus did and put our trust and faith in Him. Faith is transferring your trust from your own efforts to the efforts of Christ. When you do this, two things happen at once: 1) your account is cleared, your sins are wiped out permanently, and you are adopted into God’s family; and 2) the Spirit of God enters your life and begins to change your character to be more like Jesus.
We do this as individuals by having a sincere moment with God where we say to God something like this, “I believe that I am a sinner and that Jesus died in my place to take the punishment for my sin. I put my faith and trust in Jesus. I accept this gift of salvation from eternal death, and I look forward to You changing my life from the inside out.”