Grab the Lifebelt

If we’re really honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that we don’t meet the standards that we or others set. Sometimes we can be selfish. Some of us may shrug our shoulders and say, “So what! I’m okay with that. It’s not a problem.” Yet it’s much more important than people are often willing to admit. Our selfish behaviour and attitudes can hurt others. But have we ever thought about how selfishness affects our relationship with God and how it affects our future?

God made everything we see around us, and He made us “in His own image” (Gen. 1:27). We were made to be close to God, to recognise Him for who He is and to serve Him as best we can. He wants us to know Him personally, but the problem is that our selfishness (which the Bible calls sin) gets in the way. The Bible tells us that God is perfect, and He cannot allow us to be close to Him because of the sin we have in our lives. And yet He longs for us to be close. So how can we get over this problem?

Even if by our own standards we live a good life, our thoughts, actions and attitudes will still not make it right. We will fail in our efforts to be good enough. By ourselves we cannot get over the problem. We need God to solve it. We need God to rebuild our relationship with Him.

The Bible tells us in John 3:16 that “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son [Jesus], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (NIV). God knew that the only way we could be close to Him was through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. We deserve death because we sin by breaking God’s laws and failing to meet His standards. But Jesus was innocent and perfect. Yet He chose to make that sacrifice in our place so that by His death and resurrection (which we celebrate each Easter) we would have the opportunity of being close to God.

God has made it possible. So how can we take the opportunity that He’s given us to be right with Him? If you were drowning, you would need to be rescued. If someone threw you a lifebelt, would you just watch it float by, or would you grab it? That lifebelt is the one thing that can save your life.

Our life is like that. If we do things our own way, ignoring God and His law (in other words, sin), we are drifting and need to be rescued. We have a choice to make.

We can do one of two things:

  • Grab hold of the one thing that will save us—the Lord Jesus Christ, or
  • Choose to perish without Him. Jesus told us, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3).

Being “born again” sounds strange, but it just means to have a new start. Every one of us is born physically, but being “born again” describes us becoming a Christian and having God forgive our sins. It isn’t a difficult thing. Anyone can do it, but it has to be genuine. We have to be serious about it, because it’s about getting our relationship with God right.