“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.” (Micah 7:18).
There’s an innate knowledge within persons of all cultures that a holy God has to be appeased with good works, fasting, praying, doing penance, and religious activities of all kinds. But how much is enough?
During my stay in Senegal, West Africa, my daughter and I visited a dear friend. Fatima had just returned from a holy pilgrimage to Mecca. She could hardly wait to tell us about it. Her eyes glowed as she said, “I was in the procession of millions of believers; I performed all the ceremonies; I circled the Ka’aba (the cube-shaped stone building); I said all the prayers.” Then her eyes clouded as she lowered her voice, “Still, if Allah should call me tonight, I don’t know if he would receive me into his heaven,” she said, “That’s really his choice, isn’t it?” Despite her deep sincerity and all that she had done, her heart questioned, “Have I done enough?”
“Fatima, we can know for sure,” my daughter replied. “Should God call me tonight, I know I will go to heaven, not because of the good things I have done, but because of what Jesus has done for me.” She took Fatima’s hand and said softly, “Jesus died for your sins also.”
There is only one way to be made right with God and that is through Jesus Christ. “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:21 New Living Translation).
The death of Christ on the cross paid for our sin-debt in full. He satisfied the demands of justice by taking our judgment upon Himself. He is our connection to God. That’s why Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
We cannot earn God’s forgiveness and favor. But there is something we must do before God can help us. We must repent of our stubborn independence and surrender ourselves to Jesus.
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God” (John 1:12,13 NLT)
When we invite Jesus Christ to come into our lives, He removes the sin barrier between us and God. The personal relationship with Triune God, which Adam and Eve enjoyed, is restored. A new birth has taken place leading to a new life with a totally different orientation.
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and take control of my life.
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