Following the Lord means giving God your heart. You can walk into a church but that doesn’t make you a Christian; you can go to any religious place but unless you give God your heart you will not change. Even getting baptized in water doesn’t make you a Christian. Reading the Bible doesn’t make you a Christian. Going to Bible studies doesn’t make you a Christian.
In order to be a Christian you have to give God your heart. You have to let Jesus Christ come into your heart. You need to call out to God to be saved. You need to ask God to forgive your sins. You need to say to God that you are a sinner and ask Him to forgive you. You need to give God your heart.
The Bible says: “If you look for me with your whole heart, you will find me.” (Jeremiah 29:13).
“But from there you will search again for the LORD your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.” (Deuteronomy 4:29).
“And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.” (1 Chronicles 28:9).
“Let your heart therefore be wholly true to theLord our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day.” (1 Kings 8:61).
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8).
So you see, receiving salvation depends on whether or not you give you heart to God.
You are not saved by reading the Bible
Many people think that they are saved if they do the things that Christian do: like going to church or reading the Bible. But you are not saved by reading the Bible or just because you decided that you would read the Bible.
To be saved you need to be born again which means that you have received the Holy Spirit into your life. To be saved means that God has given you His Spirit and you have been born again, you have been born from above, you have been born to a new life in the Spirit of God.
Jesus said it like this: “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.”
So we see that we need to go to Jesus in order to be saved; we need to go to Christ to become a Christian; we need to be touched by Jesus Christ, we need to be filled with His Spirit, we need to be washed in His blood in order to be saved. Glory to God.
And Jesus says in His word:
“I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”
They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”
Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
“Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”
Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”
Believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour will give you eternal life; you will receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life if you put your faith in Jesus.
You don’t have to be a university scholar to become a Christian; you don’t have to be special to become a Christian; you don’t have to be rich to become a Christian; you don’t have to be born white or black to become a Christian; becoming a Christian is the same for everyone, it is the same for the rich and the poor, white or black, young or old, male or female – salvation is available for anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord because the Bible says: “All you call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” Anyone, all, each one of you, everyone – if you call upon the name of the Lord you will be saved.
Do you want to be saved
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
If you want to be saved then you need to come closer to God; you need to give Him your heart.
God is asking you to give Him your heart: God says: “give me your heart.” (Proverbs 23:26).
God wants your heart, but He cannot steal if from you – you have to give it to Him. Jesus says:
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”
Jesus is compassionate, Jesus is kind, Jesus is forgiving. Do not be afraid of God. God is love and full of compassion; He is filled with everlasting mercy and truth and love; God is rich in love and forgiveness and compassion so you do not have to be afraid of Him. You can draw near to God and tell Him that you have sinned and that you want to be forgiven of your sins. God will not destroy you in anger, or wipe you off the face of the earth.
God wants you to draw near to Him and tell Him that you are sorry for the sins that you have committed and that you want to have a personal relationship with Him; God wants to communicate with you and you want to communicate with God. God wants to be your friend. He wants to be your best friend.
Jesus said: “I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.”
Yes. Jesus said it and you can believe it because Jesus does not lie. He wants you to become his brother or sister and friend. God wants to be your best friend. He wants to help you in times of trouble; He wants to be with you in times of great blessing; He wants to be with you in times of sickness and in times of joy. God is great and greatly to be praised! God is great and greatly to be praised!
There is hope
“Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him?”
So if you are wondering how you can ever become a child of God, or how God can become your friend – your best friend, then you now have the answer.
God loves you and cares for you; God wants to bless you with His presence and His peace; He wants to give you eternal life and forgiveness of sins. He is waiting for you to draw near to Him; God is waiting for you to talk to Him and call out to Him; God is waiting for you to come home; God is waiting for you to cry out to Him and pour our your heart to Him.
May the Lord God Almighty hear your prayers and answer all your needs and concerns today.
Amen. Let’s pray.