This has been a difficult week. A beloved uncle went to be with Jesus. We will miss him greatly. But we are so very grateful to know without a doubt that we will see him again when we are in Heaven with Jesus, too.

As with the death of any loved one, this week has brought a lot of reflection. Uncle Ron grew up in the church. Attended most of his adult life, maybe not faithfully, but he attended regularly. It wasn’t until 6 short years ago that he gave his life to Christ. I heard more than one person in the past couple of days wonder at how he spent all those years in the church, and yet waited so long to commit. It is a question we may never have the answer to. I think that to those of us who have grown up in the church, Jesus is the obvious answer. He stares us plain in the face. How can we miss seeing Him? And yet, there are a great many who do.

Uncle Ron had the luxury of waiting to accept Christ as his savior, and making Him the Lord of his life. I say that only from hind-sight. While he was living, no one had any idea when his life would end. It could have ended 7 years ago. Uncle Ron had no way of knowing that he had most of his life, and a little extra, to make that decision. He made it in time. He made it with some time to spare. My grandmother asked Jesus to be the Lord of her life just 7 days before she went to be with Him. That is cutting it mighty close.

Jesus tells us in John 14:6 – “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me.” JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY. You can’t get to Heaven by being good enough…that would make you the way. You can’t get their by simply attending church or mass…that would make the church the way. You can’t get their by being baptized…that would make baptism the way. There is no other god, no saint, no act of kindness or anything else that will get you through the gates of Heaven and into the presence of God Almighty…except JESUS.

What does it mean that Jesus is the way? It means this. Believing by faith (without seeing) that Jesus is the Son of God. His Father is God…holy…spiritual…perfect…powerful…love…truth…creator of the universe…immortal…all-knowing…all-present…God. Jesus’ mother was Mary…human…as-human-and-fallible-as-you-and-I-human…sinful…imperfect…mortal. At the same time that Jesus is God’s Son, He is also God. John 1:1 tells us that Jesus is the very Word of God. “In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So Jesus, the Word of God, took on human flesh, with all of it’s shortcomings in this sinful world, left Heaven to come to earth as a baby. Yes, a baby who needed to be completely cared for by Mary, and his earthly adoptive father, Joseph. The Son of God needed to be fed, and dressed, and had His diaper changed. He needed to grow and learn, as every child does. The difference? He had the power of God in Him so that He was able to go through His entire life on earth without sinning…not even once. Because He was perfect, and had the power of God in Him, He was then able to become our sacrifice. The penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23 – “When people sin, they earn what sin pays–death.”). Not just physical death, but spiritual death separated from God for eternity…that means separated from any and all things good. Jesus was able to, and did, pay that penalty for us. All of us. He bore the weight of the guilt of all of our sins when He was crucified on the cross. God the Father could not look at Him because of the sin. He turned His back on Jesus. Jesus died. But because Jesus is the Word of God, and because He is God’s Son, He was raised to life again after 3 days in the tomb. The penalty had been paid. Now He offers the reward from that paid penalty to you, and me. The reward is life in Heaven with God for eternity. But the thing about a gift is that it is only yours if you accept it.

You have no way of knowing if you have 6 years left of your life, like Uncle Ron did. Or if you have 7 days, like my grandmother. Or if you have just a few hours. The gift Jesus offers can only be accepted on this side of life. Once you are gone, it is too late. Do you really have the luxury of waiting? That is a question you don’t have the answer to. Are you willing to take the chance?

How? How do you give your life to Jesus? Start by talking to Him in prayer. Acknowledge that you have sinned and ask for His forgiveness. The Bible tells us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful, and just, and will forgive our sins (1 John 1:9). Then tell Jesus that you believe that He is God’s Son, and that He died to pay your penalty. Tell Him that you believe that He came back to life and lives today in Heaven. Accept His gift of eternal life, and thank Him. Ask Him to be the Lord of your life.

If you do this, make Jesus your Lord, find a Bible. There are many available on line and as apps for all the various tablets. Obviously they are still available in print as well. Get to know God by reading the Bible. Pray and ask Him to help you understand it.
Pray…spend time just talking to God. He is there, listening, and speaking to your heart, although it may take time to hear Him and understand Him. Be patient. He will teach you because He loves you.
Find a church where they teach from the Bible. The people there will also help you as you begin this new life with Jesus by your side.

I realize that many of my regular readers are already Christians, and have been for many years. This post isn’t intended for you. But it is intended for someone. Maybe someone you know. Please take the time to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, even Pinterest…wherever. Send the link in emails to family, friends, acquaintances. The time is short. Jesus will return soon.

God’s blessings to you all!!!!