But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.
If somebody came to you and said, “How can I become a Christian?” do you feel confident that you could lead them to Christ? God has entrusted His gospel message to you and to me. Let me share with you four parts of this message that have to be communicated on God’s behalf.
1. All of us have sinned. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Sin is anything we do that breaks God’s laws, and the Bible says no matter how good we are, we have all sinned. Let’s suppose you and I try to swim to Hawaii. We jump off Santa Monica Pier, and I only make it fifty feet before I give in to exhaustion. You keep swimming, and a few thousand miles later you can see Kailua Beach. But fifty feet from shore you give out and sink like a rock. Which one of us made it to Hawaii? You made it much further than I did, but we both fell short of the goal. In the same way, we have all fallen short of God’s perfect standard.
2. We deserve to be punished for our sins. In our legal system, there are consequences for breaking the law. It is the same way in God’s system of justice. According to Romans 6:23, “the wages of sin is death.” The word “death” here literally means “separation.” Our sin results in separation from God that begins now and extends through all the eternity in hell.
3. Christ died for our sins. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Imagine a teenager is convicted of speeding and brought into court. He pleads guilty, but he cannot afford to pay the fine. The judge says, “If you cannot pay, the law requires me to sentence you to jailtime.” But then the judge stands up, takes off his robes, pulls out his wallet, and pays the bailiff himself. Why would he do such a thing? Because he also happens to be the teen’s father. That is a picture of what God has done for us. He declared us guilty before Him; yet in His mercy, He took off His heavenly robe, came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ, and paid the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross.
4. We must individually receive God’s gift of forgiveness. A gift is not really a gift unless it is received. John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” You have to receive the gift of forgiveness for it to do you any good.
That is the message God has tasked us with delivering. Are you ready to start getting out of life what God intended you to experience? God is inviting you to start booting up for service by making His purpose your purpose.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Booting Up For Service” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org