Growing up in a home where I felt loved and cared for was a great blessing to me. Although my parents often didn’t know it, I was a rebellious kid during my teenage years.
I praise God for parents who instilled in me a strong sense of morality, even though I didn’t always live according to this standard. Among other things, I was taught to respect others, consider the consequences of my actions and to work hard. When I look back now I know this moral upbringing came from a religious foundation because I also had a fear of God.
Like many teenagers, I lived thinking and caring mostly for my own needs and desires, while at the same time giving the appearance of “toeing-the-line”. Although I fooled most people, I knew God saw every detail of the life I was living.
With a deep sense of shame and guilt, ultimately because of my attitude towards God, I lived in the constant tension of feeling like I had to “be good” in order to please God. When I did something that I knew offended God, I feared the future. I remember asking some Christian men once, “Do you fear meeting God face to face?” Their response had a profound impact on me. They explained that if it wasn’t for Jesus taking the punishment for our sin on the cross we should all fear a Holy God. That was the beginning of a life-changing conversation.
These men went on to explain that the Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and that “the reward for our sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). In other words, we all deserve Gods punishment for all the things we have done that offend him. But they went on to explain that the good news is because “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in him shall have eternal life” (John 3:16). They further explained that although our reward for sin is death “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23b). Jesus died for our sin but was raised to life so that we can know God.
These men helped me understand that there is nothing we can humanly do to mend our relationship with God, but God has done everything so that we can have a real relationship with him.
Today God wants you to realise that he doesn’t need anything from you, he simply wants you to trust him and place your faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible says “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8).
Remember, Christianity isn’t about living a good and moral life in order to please God, No! Christianity is receiving God’s gift of forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ and choosing to respond to Gods love to you by living a life pleasing to him. This truth is such a subtle but significant difference between Christianity and other religions.
When you are trying to help people consider Christianity, one of the biggest reasons they should do so is summed up in one word: grace. It’s not like every other religion, requiring them to somehow perform up to God’s standards. In fact, it’s not at all about what they can do for God. Rather, the Christian message is all about their response to what God has already done for them!
Why should a person consider Christianity? Because of God’s grace! Christianity is a real relationship where God loves people and people respond in love to him!