Making The Decision To Follow Jesus

J.R. Heimbigner

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Do you think most people or good, bad, or somewhere in between?

Where do you think you fall all this spectrum? Good, bad, somewhere in between? Over the years, I have asked these questions to a lot of people. Most people answer that they are somewhere in between. Typically like this:

“Well, I’m a pretty good person overall, I don’t (name something that breaks one of the ten commandments).”

To be completely honest with you, when someone asked me these questions in February of 2004, I answered the same way. I wouldn’t say that I was a bad person, but I didn’t think I was all that good either. I figured I was somewhere in between because I didn’t steal (which I had at some point in my life), or kill anyone (which I had not done).

It's a very good question to ask as we try to understand where we relate to God.

People tend to cringe when they hear the word ‘sin.’ I know I do. I hate writing it or even saying it to people as I talk about God or my faith. Yet, there is something to it that makes us cringe. It’s the fear that we have sinned and how that impacts our lives.

I am convinced this is a deep-down concern in everyone’s heart. They fear that they have sinned and that God disapproves of that sin. And I think it comes from a few verses in the Bible, yet, one verse I share a lot of the time is Romans 6:23:

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” — Romans 6:23, NLT

You see, I shudder at the beginning of that verse. ‘The wages of sin is death,’ no wonder people get uncomfortable with the word sin and trying to understand if they are good, bad, or somewhere in-between person.

Yet, we must confront that word and understand where we land in order to understand how we relate to God.

For the Wages of Sin is Death

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” — Romans 3:23

Well, that puts the initial questions into perspective. The author of the book of Romans tells us that ALL have fallen short of God’s standard, we have all sinned. For some, this creates a knee-jerk reaction.

Yet, I think it levels the playing field a little bit.

Whether you are a good person or not does matter as much as we thought. It turns out, we have all sinned. Chances are, even if you are a Christian, you have continued to sin. Yet, the sin without Jesus leads to death, spiritual separation from God.

I believe we are spiritual beings that desire to be in the presence of God. We want to experience everything that God has to offer and everything about God. So, being separated from him is like death.

So, what do we do?

The Free Gift of God is Eternal Life through Christ Jesus

“For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life…” — Romans 3:25, NLT

We can’t do anything to make ourselves right before God. Well, not before God did something for us. You see, the free gift of God isn’t something we do to make ourselves right or a good person. It is what God did by Jesus dying on the cross and being raised to life afterward. This is the free gift of God.

All we do is to accept the free gift. When we believe in Jesus, everything else is thrown into the gift.

We receive the Kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit, eternal life, and ultimately the presence of God. We live inside this reality when we believe in Jesus. This reality also helps us to no longer need to try at being good. We are good. And we can start to live this way too.

Christ Jesus our Lord

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans 10:9–10, ESV

We must choose whether or not we will believe in Jesus and we do have to declare our choice over our lives. It isn’t enough to simply agree intellectually that Jesus died and rose again, we must believe and choose to believe.

It is at this point where things begin to change for us.

When we decide and declare our commitment to Jesus, we unlock heaven in our lives. We begin to experience the Kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit, and what it really means to have a relationship with Jesus.

But we do have to choose. We have to choose to believe and then follow Jesus for the rest of our lives.

From my experience…

While things changed drastically in my life, my experience believing Jesus at first wasn’t anything remarkable. It was a decision. Yet, with that decision, I started making other decisions that focused on what I was learning about Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Slowly, over time, I started to see some amazing changes in my life.

Since that time, nearly 20 years ago now, God has taken me down a path that was far from what I had projected for myself before Jesus stepped into my life. It is full, and it hasn’t always been easy. But it has been much better than anything I could have imagined.

Believing in Jesus has changed my life, opened me up to seeking more than what the world has to offer, and helped me to see past the worries of our world. Even today.

Do you want to follow Jesus?

I would be remiss if I didn’t invite you to follow Jesus. If you want to place your faith in Jesus, pray a simple prayer right now. You can pray one yourself or follow this one:

Jesus, I repent for being master of my own life and living separately from God. I confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that God raised you from the dead. I receive you, Jesus, as my Lord and my Savior. I welcome you, Holy Spirit, into my life to rescue and empower me and to restore me to a relationship with God. Amen

If you decided to believe in Jesus today, I am so excited for you. This is the beginning of seeing amazing things happen in your life!

Also, if you have more questions about what to do next, follow up with this article, at the bottom it shares some of the next steps on what you can do next with your faith.

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My goal with my writing is to help people get everything done they want in their very busy lives. I believe we can we all can achieve our dreams and I know it starts with having the right mindset, systems, and taking action every single day. My writing shares how to do this through self-improvement, inspiration, and productivity.

Spokane, WA
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