“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”
Sin. Sin is a horrible thing that we all commit on a daily basis. In thoughts and actions, they are both the same in the eyes of God. I love the fact that Christ died for my sins. You should be, too. Christ died so we will live eternally in heaven─if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Christ is the atoning sacrifice for us and for our sins, our sins yesterday, today and in the future. The atonement of Christ means we are reconciled to Him for our sins and that we are washed in the blood of His sacrifice.
Accepting Christ’s atonement for our sins is only the beginning. Once we are reconciled to Him, we are in the light of Christ.
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” we are no longer in darkness. The light is love and darkness is the separation from Christ” (1 John 5-7).
I used to live in darkness. If Christ is not in your heart, and not the center of you, then you probably live in darkness. Notice there is no mention of a gray or shadow area in the verses you just read. Either you are in the light or you in darkness. Before anyone came to know Christ, he or she lived in darkness, the darkness of the world away from Christ. I thought I was fine before I knew Christ. A lot of people who don’t know Christ think they are fine as well, and as long as they are good people and live mostly moral lives, then they will go to heaven. This is not true. If you are not with Christ, you are not in the light and will not spend eternity with him, simple as that.
Living in darkness, away from Christ is living in the “world,” the world, being life without Christ. Those who are of the world don’t know Christ’s love and atonement and are therefore clueless as to what they are missing by being in the light. The light is love, peace, joy, and serenity, to name a few. I can look back on my life prior to knowing Christ and can attest that being in Christ is so wonderful that words cannot describe the feeling.
Having Christ in my heart is such a peaceful and loving feeling that no matter how bad my day may be at work or the worry I have about my family and the world in general, I feel an overall unspeakable and indescribable peace. Mostly though, I feel love. The love I feel in my heart while being in the light is a different love than what a nonbeliever feels. It’s so much more than the love you have for your children, your spouse, your pets, your family, your hobbies, etc. The love I feel in my heart from the light of God is like being wrapped in a warm blanket of love that is full of caring concern for my well being while at the same time being nonjudgmental: pure love.
I never want to go back to the darkness. While in the darkness, looking back at my life before having Christ, I thought I was happy. I had everything I needed and felt I was good enough to go to heaven because I’m a good person who cares and because of the love of my friends and family; it seemed to be enough. But I admit I had a void in my heart that I could not fill with worldly things.
I tried filling this void with countless things such as hobbies, books, movies, other types of entertainment, etc., trying to find that ‘thing” that was missing. I thought that void just meant I hadn’t found the right thing yet in my life and that the world would fulfill my void. I kept searching and searching. Looking back and seeing now, that void in my heart was Jesus.
My wife introduced me to Jesus by making me go to church with her. I avoided church as much as I could. Yet my wife would overcome my objections and drag me there anyway. I used to hate going to church because I would leave feeling sad, and disappointed in myself. I would say to my wife that church was not a place of happiness for me. After about a year of this, I began to change, thanks to prayers from my pastor and friend, my wife, and others that I didn’t even know. Slowly but surely, Jesus began to move the mountain of resistance in my life and my hardened heart began to soften.
One day, I decided to pray to Jesus. I prayed for Jesus to work on me and help me to get to know Him better, to prove to me that he is real and to help me understand Him. I began to read the Bible in a hit and miss manner and actually listened in church and began to feel better. I eventually became convinced that Jesus is─who the Bible says He is. I believed He died for me, and my sins (and everyone else’s too). One day I finally asked Jesus into my heart and to forgive my sins. I asked Him into my heart, to live inside me and be part of me and to change me. He did.
The road wasn’t easy at first. In fact it was pretty bumpy, but with continual prayers from others and my own prayers, I began to change. I can attest that the change was pretty slow, which was my fault. I slipped a few times back into some old sinful ways. I began to doubt what I believed because I wasn’t studying the Bible and I was really just stubborn in my ways. I got back on the fence and wasn’t sure which side to jump to. Jesus fixed that through a cancer scare.
My doctors thought they found some carcinoid tumors in my intestines. Long story short, after a few weeks of intense testing and investigation, they determined it wasn’t cancer, but I did have Crohn’s disease. During those weeks of not knowing if I had cancer or not, was really scary. It brought to light my immortality and put my thoughts of my salvation back on track. I no longer sat on the fence, but leaped to the side of Christ. I fully renewed my relationship with Him and got baptized.
Fast forward months later, I was able to look back at my life before I truly accepted Christ and realized He was the void I had been missing in my heart. He filled that emptiness. He filled my heart with love. It’s been a couple years now since I’ve been saved and I can look back at my old life and can attest I was in darkness. Darkness means not having Jesus in my life. He is so wonderful. I’m so grateful that He sacrificed Himself for my salvation. I’m thankful for His faithfulness. He is still working on me with me, in our relationship. He is faithful and I’ll spend eternity with Him. Thank you Jesus.
Is it your time to accept Christ? Are you ready to fill that part of your heart that you feel is missing that something?
[Jesus said,] “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
If you are ready to accept Christ or are investigating Christ, remember the previous verse. If you seek the Lord, you find Him. If you ask for Christ or to know more about Christ, He will work in your heart and give you the desire for Him. Christ is waiting for you. If you knock the door to salvation will be opened to you. Christ is on the other side of the door with His arms wide open ready to embrace you and begin with you a journey to eternity with Him that you will not regret. Knock, my friends. Knock.
May God be with you always and may you always seek Him daily.