He's Throwing You a Bone

It always seems fitting to me that Easter falls toward the beginning of Spring. It was as if God knew that we needed a new beginning both in life and in season. Spring represents the beginning of the new harvest. It’s a time to plant. It represents the fact that we acknowledge that Winter has killed off everything that could survive and Spring ushers in hope. Even if last year’s crop failed and even if we lost a few souls during the brutal Winter, Spring brings with it expectant hope that perhaps this season and this year will be better.
 
Jesus brings us a hope that isn’t an expectant hope, but He is a guarantee. Jesus guarantees our spot in Heaven. He paid the price for us so that we can be reconciled to God the Father.
 
However, Jesus is more than just knowing who God is. Jesus is so much more than just believing that there is a God who created everything in the universe and is in control. He is so much more than just rules and rituals. Jesus is life…eternal life. 
Sadly, I, like many people, went through so much of life believing in God, even believing in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, yet I completely missed the mark on how important Jesus’ sacrifice was for humankind.
 
For instance, Jesus himself acknowledged how few would actually have an “aha moment.” In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus says, 
 
You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
 
Jesus came into existence in a place that was heavily religious. These people were doing the Lord’s work. They were fairly good people. But our works fail us. We cannot measure up and the sacrifices of the people at that time were no longer good enough.
 
Many today still think they are “good enough” or at least “trying to be good enough” to earn their way into Heaven. Many believe that people can pray you into Heaven. Some even believe that you can pray to Mary, the mother of Jesus, to get someone into Heaven. However, each one of us, even Mary the mother of Jesus, needs a Savior. Mary was not deity. She was a woman chosen by God to participate in His glorious plan. She had an exceptional part for sure, but she was just as much as a simple participant as you and I. I was reminded recently that she, herself, had to choose to believe in Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She did not get an “advance to Heaven; no need to accept Jesus” pass.
 
I think one of the greatest illustrations in the Bible as to how narrow the gate is and how few actually get it is the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. In Acts 2:1 it says,
 
On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place.
 
Now let’s be clear. All the believers in God the Father are not the ones spoken about here in this scripture. If that were the case, there would not have been enough room in this small upper room. No, these were the people who believed that Jesus was Lord and Savior.
 
I do not know the population of Jerusalem at the time of this event, but I can assure you it was a lot. And they didn’t all believe Jesus was who he said he was. They instead decided, at least prior to the amazing things that happened as a result of the Holy Spirit coming down upon the believers in that upper room, to stay on the broad road.
 
As you reflect on Jesus’ final days here on Earth leading up to Easter, please pray about whether or not you truly, truly believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior, that you believe you are a sinner in need of a Savior and that you confess your sins and praise God that He sent His one and only Son to die for your sins and take your place.
 
We are living in a time when many will deny God and Jesus. We are living in a time also when many well-intentioned people believe that doing good works will get them into Heaven. None of it is true. Sin separates us from God and we are all sinners, even believers. We cannot access the throne of grace without confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior. God is just and has to punish sin, but He is also loving and has thrown every person still breathing a bone….receive My gift He says to each one of us. This gift is free and nothing you do can take the place of my gift because I get the glory, not you or your family or a some other saint (see Ephesians 2:8-9)…just Me.
 
I am currently writing a new Bible study contrasting the fruits of the Spirit with what it looks like to live in unforgiveness. Before I could even talk about the fruits of the Spirit, I had to ask the question whether or not someone is a believer and has the Holy Spirit indwelling in them. Without understanding the sacrifice of Jesus, we cannot even begin to understand what forgiveness means or what it means to operate within the power of the Holy Spirit.
 
We can be good all we want, but it won’t get us into Heaven. Only Jesus will - the same Jesus who died on the Cross, was buried and raised and the same Jesus who is the intercessor between you and God. He’s the only one capable of presenting Himself pure and clean in the presence of a Holy God on our behalf.
 
I pray this season is one of new beginnings for you. I pray that if you have never put your faith and trust in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior that today is the day. I pray that today you receive the gift of eternal life and receive the filling of the Holy Spirit.  I pray that if you are a believer in Jesus Christ and you have fallen off the narrow path, I pray that today you would turn back toward God, accept His forgiveness and ask for a fresh filling of the Spirit. He can get you back on track if you let Him. I pray that this Spring brings you expectant hope of the day you will stand before the presence of the Holy One not because of your good works, but because of the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ whom you confess.
 
If you would like to receive the free gift of eternal life today, pray a prayer like this:
 
Dear Heavenly Father, I come before you today completely humbled and willing to surrender my life. I confess that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, was crucified, buried and rose again on the third day. I put my complete trust in Him today to be the Lord of my life. May today be the day that I pick up my Cross and follow Him. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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