Christian · Faith

Eternal life is the Greatest Reward

In our life, it’s easy to see, that humans are more naturally motivated to do something when a reward or incentive is involved. In teaching, for example, some people motivate students by giving them rewards for completing work (this could be anything from stickers to money… yes I had a teacher give money for completing an assignment…) However, there are some teachers who are not happy with that model because it promotes learning for the wrong reasons – to receive a reward. It can send the wrong message. We tend as adults to be motivated by this same reward based system as well. Think about it, after a long day of work or completing a difficult task what’s the next thing we do?

We seek something pleasurable to help us relax and unwind from the day… These activities range from person to person, whether it’s binge watching Netflix, or going out to eat with friends, we all strive to fill our lives with things that make us happy. This is good self-care, however at the same time, I think we have to be careful that the reward and security we seek is not becoming an addiction, bad habit, false idol or controlling us because eternal life is the greatest reward. As a Christian we must do everything through the power of the Holy Spirit to protect and nurture this sacred gift.

The gift of “eternal life” is a confusing concept to most. It’s an enduring relationship with a holy God by acknowledging the truth of the Gospel presented in the Bible. The Bible presents the loving and true testimony of God sending his holy and perfect son Jesus to earth to live with us. However, God gave Jesus a special mission and that was to die a torturous death on a cross for a specific purpose: so that human sin is forever forgiven and we can get access through Jesus to an “eternal life” relationship with God in heaven. Christ’s blood atoned for human sin. Accepting Jesus is the key part to this relationship because it is only through accepting how Jesus laid down his life and took on the deep burden of sin, as well as believing in his witnessed resurrection after death, that we can have a redeemed relationship with God Almighty and promise that God will take us to heaven one day.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 4:16 NIV

I have to admit, as a new Christian I thought that eternal life started after we die, however, I have learned, according to Scripture, that once we accept Jesus we are adopted into God’s family here on earth and we can experience the greatest reward which is a relationship with Him, this is eternal life.

It is important to know about God’s character and why you would want a relationship with Him. God is a God who cherishes relationships because He initiated a relationship with us through Jesus, but He also reveals himself in different ways to different people throughout history.
The Bible relays some of God’s relationships with people. He created and planned our birth one-by-one and He encourages us to respect one another as all humans are made in the likeness of God.

..”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Luke 10:27 NIV

Eternal life may not be as instantly gratifying as some of the things we tend to reach for in terms of reward in society – but as you get to know the true nature of God and Jesus in a personal relationship, through Scripture and other believers you will see that it is the only thing worth living for.

Knowing God and surrendering to his will is the greatest gift you can ever receive because He is the creator and maker of everything and He knows what happens today, tomorrow, and the next day. He can generously share his ways and wisdom with you during your lifetime and beyond. Yes, you heard me correctly, through accepting Jesus’ saving work on the cross and investing in your Bible, prayer, church and a personal faith life, you can have lifetime access to God!

Ready to accept Jesus? A website I recommend is http://peacewithgod.net/ to help you get started!

 

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Christian · Faith

Suicide, Depression and the Hope of Jesus

Godly hope in the midst of celebrity suicide

I was scrolling through a Facebook feed when I noticed that Linkin Park was trending. Next I saw an article about a tribute to Chester Bennington –a tribute? This isn’t good… come to find out the singer of the rock band Linkin Park had taken his own life – suicide.

I cried. I could scarcely believe someone who I had connected to so well during my lifetime through his music had just taken his own life. It’s shocking and terribly sad.

I received the Meteora CD for my 14th birthday. I listened to it in my CD player over and over again. It was easily my favorite album.

Even when I went camping I still brought Linkin Park with me – letting the older generation have a listen because I wanted them to experience it too.

At times, as an adolescent, it felt like Chester was going through some of the same things I was experiencing — pain, disappointment, skepticism, bitterness and anger.

From the foreword introduction with the sound of breaking glass that segways perfectly into the first loud rock song to Chester’s singing and growling and Mike Shinoda’s rap rhymes the whole album is so raw and palpable. I found this kind of emotional honesty breathtakingly refreshing. Chester was able to express his emotions  in a way I wish I could at the time. I admired him speaking so openly about the not-so-niceties of the human condition. Chester references in one of his songs looking for “somewhere I belong”; maybe you too are looking for somewhere you belong.

If so, keep reading!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I want to let you know about a place with an open invitation where we belong. This place is not a location you would find on a map but it’s a faith journey instead into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord.

What do I mean by this?

I’m inviting you into (if you don’t already have) a real relationship with Jesus, the living and loving Son of God.

His testimony is given to us in the Bible.

Jesus -who is God’s son and part of the divine trinity- was born of a virgin woman on Earth and lived a holy life preaching of His Father in heaven and how God wants us to live: loving God , Jesus and one another.

Jesus then went to die on the cross as a blood sacrifice for all people in order to reconcile our broken relationship with God (our relationship was tainted by our destructive desires aka sin that keep us away from God). But Christ did not only experience death, He rose from the grave to show us His power over death after his crucifiction. 

Only by Jesus’ death and resurrection as holy and blameless God coming to earth in the form of a man dying innocently on the cross for our repeated offenses can we receive the gift of eternal life and forgiveness for sin. There are profoundly serious consequences spiritually and eternally for the ways in which we act. Jesus chose to pay that penalty for us and offer us escape from sin and death in exchange for an eternal relationship with Him.

….Maybe you’ve cheated your way in business, lied in a relationship or struggle with an addiction…

Jesus can forgive and heal us but we must choose to call and believe in Him. God says that we must adhere to Jesus and stay connected and rooted in Him to be productive in any area of our lives.

““I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.

“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:1-4‬ ‭MSG‬‬

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