Hope for Change

Paul was a young guy I met in Maine a few years ago. He told me that he was really into drugs and drinking, and needed help. But, Paul said his biggest problem was that he didnt have any hope. “My family just keeps telling me Ill never amount to anything,” he said. Unfortunately, Paul believed them.

I asked Paul if he had heard of the Lord Jesus, the forgiveness of sins through the cross of Christ, and the new beginning He offers all of us. Paul said hed never opened a Bible, and didnt know much about the Lord. I was so glad to have the opportunity to share the Good News with him!

I quoted 2nd Corinthians 5:17: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come!” I told Paul, “When you give your life to Christ, you become a totally new person. Jesus forgives every sin youve ever committed. He helps you start over.” To my delight, Paul decided to surrender his life to Jesus! I knew God would change him dramatically!

There are people all around us, like Paul, with empty hearts — wondering if there is hope, and a way to start over. Its our privilege, and calling, to tell them about the hope and forgiveness thats only found in Jesus Christ.

Forgiveness through Jesus

LuAnn was a 20-year-old student at a local college. She told my wife and me her story. “I was recently in a relationship,” LuAnn said, “but that ended because I got pregnant. Now Im three months along, and Im considering an abortion.”

LuAnns situation broke our hearts. Obviously, the worst option for her would be to have an abortion. But, I knew that before LuAnn could make any decision about her baby, she needed to make a decision about Jesus Christ.

“LuAnn,” I said, “God, the Father, loves you with an everlasting love. God will not ever leave you, He will never forsake you, as Hebrews 13:5 says. He forgives and forgets, wipes clean, and then does new things in our lives.” After talking a bit more, LuAnn was ready to commit her life to Jesus. She also decided to keep her baby!

You know, the ability to start fresh, knowing that Jesus has forgiven all your sins, is so freeing! And, like LuAnn, there are many people today who are desperate for this kind of clean start. Yet often, they dont know where to look. Thats why God is calling you and me to be his Good News messenger.

Are you willing to share the hope that Jesus offers with a friend – perhaps this week?

Jesus Took Your Bullet

When the United States appointed General Peter Pace as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he accepted his position on national television and told a story. He said, “I wouldnt be here today if it wasnt for a fellow marine during the Vietnam War.”

Peter Pace continued: “I remember one day when we were in a foxhole. One of my men walked in front of me. At that moment, a bullet hit him and he died right in front of me.”

Pace added, “That bullet was coming straight here,” and he pointed at his head. Even though Peter Pace is a tough military man, he had tears in his eyes as he said, “He died in my place.”

You dont have to have fought in the military to know that feeling. If you confess Jesus as your Savior, you know what it is to have someone die in your place – because thats exactly what Jesus did on the cross 2000 years ago! Isaiah in the Bible says, “He was pierced for our transgressions.” Jesus took the bullet that we deserved. Through His death, He gave us forgiveness and eternal life!

Share this Good News with someone today. Make it easy for them to understand. Tell someone simply: “Jesus took YOUR bullet so that you can enjoy life forever with Him beginning today and then lead them to the feet of Jesus!”

Share Your Faith this Christmas

Did you know that when Christ says “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life” hes actually talking about today? Yes, it was true 2,000 years ago. Jesus was walking on earth in a human body. But Jesus Christ is just as alive today, friends. We must never forget that! Yes, he died on the cross to forgive us all our sins. But, He rose from the dead. Death couldnt hold him.

This Christmas, talk about a Christmas of light. Tell your family and friends about Jesus. A Christmas of light is a Christmas lived in the presence of Jesus Christ, who said “I am the light of the world.”

As you go through your holiday routine, tell people about what Jesus has done in your life. When youre shopping for Christmas presents, let the cashier know that Jesus loves them. When youre making Christmas dinner, tell your family what Jesus has done in your life.

Read Luke 2 with your children. Teach them the meaning of Christmas. Dont let this Christmas come and go without focusing on Jesus Christ. During the Christmas season people may be more open to learn about Jesus. Right now is a great opportunity to tell other people what Jesus means to you.

A Christmas of Light

Light symbolizes Christmas. We hang Christmas stars and we have trees that are lit up. Its a good symbol because there was light when the angels came and said, “I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Light speaks of life. Light speaks of God. Light speaks of freedom. Light speaks of a clear conscience. And light speaks of forgiveness of sins. The Bible says that “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.”

God is light. If you know Him today, then you never need to be in darkness. If you do not know Him, will you surrender to Him today? He wants to come into your life. He wants to forgive you. He wants to call you His child. This Christmas will you give your heart to Jesus Christ? Will you do it today? Right now?

Pray with me, “Lord Jesus Christ. I surrender my life to you. I believe in my heart you are the son of God. I know you died on the cross to get rid of all my sins. I believe youre alive. So I open my heart to you. With your power, I will serve you and follow you. I am yours forever because Christ lives in me. Amen.”