Thursday, August 24, 2006

New beginning

olam haba
Originally uploaded by nice+smooth ultramedia.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come." - 2Corinthians 5:17

"Mom, I know God now!" My daughter excitedly announced over dinner last night. Really? Tell me, I said. She starts, "God the father is beyond the galaxy. He holds the galaxies in His hand. He is bigger than the universe. He's so so far away. Jesus is His Son. The one who is in our heart is the Holy Spirit."

That's cool! Now you're getting it, baby, I encouraged her. But deep inside, I felt encouraged too. As parents, our children should be our first ministry. It's our foremost responsibility to bring them closer to God. They may not completely comprehend everything, but we just have to trust God that He will let that little seed planted in our children's hearts to grow.

My daughter's reply though left me thinking. Indeed, at some points in our lives we may feel that God is so so far away. Like He's beyond the universe, comfortably "sitting" in His thrown, unmindful of what is happening in our lives.

Isaiah 59:1-2 says, "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear."

Truth is, our separation from Him is a "moral separation," as what theologians call it. We are separated from Him because of our sins. To paraphrase the words of Pastor Steve Murell -- God is holy, but we are not. Good is good, we are not. God is just, we are not. For all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

God is holy, righteous, and just. God's justice demands a sacrifice for all of our sins. But God is also a loving and compassionate God. He did not want us to be eternally separated from Him. He did not want us to go to hell. So His solution was to send His Son, Jesus, to bear our sins. Jesus became our "substitute." Jesus paid the penalty for our sin.

If we receive Jesus as the Lord and Saviour of our lives, then we are saved. You may ask, is it that simple? Yes. It is that simple. The Bible says, we are saved by grace through faith -- not from ourselves, it is a gift of God -- not by our works so that no one of us can boast.

Just for your thoughts:
* Have you stopped trusting in yourself and started trusting in
Christ alone for salvation?
* Have you turned away from all known sin?
* Have you confessed Jesus as the Lord and master of your life?
* Are you willing to follow and obey Him for the rest of your life?

Jesus is just a prayer away. Talk to Him now like you talk to a friend. He is our friend who is always there for us. He is not so so far away.

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