How do you know me?
Is it that we grew up together?
Did you meet me when I was a “party girl” and used to stay out ‘til the wee hours of the night? If that’s how you know me, you must have realized by now that eight years ago my life changed drastically when I became a “Jesus Girl”.
Maybe you go to church with me, or you have in the past. Did we go to high school together in Okinawa, Japan or did we attend college together in Shepherdstown, WV perhaps?
Maybe you heard me speak at a church or event at some point. Perhaps you saw me on Survivor China in 2007 and you cheered when I walked out of the temple and talked about my faith in Jesus. Then, of course, there are those who know me because they didn’t like what I did at all – they think it was wrong and inconsiderate.
However you know me, I’m glad you’re here. It’s not a fluke that you are reading this. For some reason, our paths have crossed. And because of that, I know there is something important that I must share with you. It’s about the Jesus I spoke about on Survivor, the Jesus I left my old life to follow; the Jesus that changed me. He’s also the Jesus who loves you and wants you to know Him. Maybe this is why you know me...because I know Him. And He's calling you.
Who is Jesus?
You've heard His name, no doubt. But maybe you really don't understand who this Jesus Christ is and why you need to know Him. I will try to give you the broken-down, easy to understand low-down on who He is. All the information is available to you in the Bible, which I believe is the Word of God, given to us so we can know the truth about why we are here, how we can have eternal life and who Jesus is.
According to the Bible, Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life – and no one comes to the Father except through Him. That means, in order to get to heaven after we die, there is no other way. None. Not good works, not a good life, not even good intentions.
Jesus is God in man-form. As I tell my kids, He’s “God with skin on”! God knew we needed a Savior, so He rolled up His sleeves, so to speak, and came to be a Servant-Leader in the body of a man. He showed us how to live, how to love, how to serve and how to die for something important. Jesus Christ is part of the Trinity - God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Over 2000 years ago, Jesus came to live as a man, perfect in every way and without sin. Because of this, He was acceptable to God as a sacrifice for the sins of all men and women, and even though it was the most difficult thing to do, God allowed Jesus to be a sacrifice for us.
Jesus gave His life so you and I can have a relationship with God through Him. He was crucified, though He had done nothing wrong. Then He rose again – came back to life – in order to show that death had been defeated! He conquered death, setting us free and taking punishment for our sin on Himself. He asks nothing in return except that you believe (which in the original Greek definition of the term "believe" means firm conviction, full surrender and a lifestyle that reflects that surrender).
When you believe in Jesus, His Holy Spirit comes to reside in you and changes you from the inside out. Your passions change, your heart changes, your life changes. This is what happened to me. I'm no longer the old Leslie - I've been re-made.
(scripture references:John 1:1, John 1:29, John 3:16, John 14:6, Romans 3:10, Colossians 2:9, Galatians 2:20)
Why would Jesus do such a thing for me?
Because He loves you so very much! It was never His desire to be separated from us – He created us to be in relationship with Him, but because God is Holy, He cannot have a relationship with sinful man. Unfortunately, man chose to sin even though God told him that it would destroy their relationship and ultimately, cause him death. God judges sin because He is just, but because of His great love, He also offers salvation.
In the Old Testament, God was very clear that in order to approach Him, man was to offer sacrifices for his sinful behavior in order to be acceptable to God. So that's what happened for years and years. You can read about the different sacrifices in the books of Leviticus and Numbers, in the Old Testament.
However, the Old Testament also showed that someday, God would provide the Ultimate Sacrifice for our sin – and all of the prophecies found in the Old Testament line up with who Jesus is.
He came as a servant, not an earthly king, but a true servant leader who wanted to teach men how to live according to God's ways and then give His life so that man could, again, enjoy a relationship with God and eternal life (God's original design).
(scripture references:Isaiah chapter 53, John 14:1-6,Romans 5:6-11)
What do I do to develop a relationship with Jesus?
The Bible says we are to confess our sins and He will be faithful and just and forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness! (1 John 1:9) He says that if we seek Him, we will find Him! (John 7:34) It requires humility, something we have a difficult time with! You must realize that you are a sinner (aren't we all?) and then confess that God.
That means you confess you are a sinner and in need of a Savior. Tell Him you want Him in your life – in your heart – and you need Him! Tell Him you are willing to give up the sinful life you are leading and turn to Him – and mean it. Then repent of your sin (turn away from it) and turn to Jesus Christ. Repenting is not just saying, "I'm sorry", but saying, "I'm through"! You need to know this – this is so important – you do not need to be sinless or perfect before you come to Christ! He will help you overcome your sin! You will never, never, never be in a position to be "good enough" to come to Jesus – He accepts you just as you are!
Here is an example of the prayer your can pray to Him:
Dear Heavenly Father, I confess that I am a sinner. I'm so sorry for all of the wrong, sinful things I've done in my life. Please forgive me. Thank you for giving your life as a sacrifice for me. Please come into my heart and be the Lord of my life. I accept your sacrifice for my sins and I give my life to you. Please live your life through me! Help me to make better decisions, to learn more about you each day and send people into my life to help me grow as a Christian. Thank you so much for loving me and providing for me! In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Once you have said a prayer from your heart, you need to study and read the Bible (The Word of God). Now that His Spirit lives in you, the Bible will make sense! (1 Corinthians 1:18) God talks to His children every single day – but in order to hear what He is saying, we must be in the Word daily because this is how He talks to us. Also, please make sure you are in a Bible based church where you can grow and learn and surround yourself with other believers.
If you have questions or want more information about Jesus, you can visit www.needhim.com. There are people there 24 hours a day to answer your questions. This could be the most important decision you will ever make.
However you know me, I'm so glad you are a part of my life. And I hope you will see for yourself the importance of knowing Jesus Christ - the One and Only.