Just like being born as baby, accepting Jesus – often called “being born again” – is one of the easiest and hardest things you’ll ever do.
Let’s face it: while traumatic, once a baby gets in the right position, the momma does all the work.
It’s the same with accepting Jesus.
We need to get our hearts, minds, and souls in the right position – that means giving up control to God – and then let Jesus do the work.
The Bible says in John chapter 3, verses 16-17, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
It says in Romans 10, verse 9, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
That sounds easy and it is – for us – because Jesus did all the hard work. He came, lived, taught, suffered, died, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and pleads for our salvation continually so all we have to do is accept it.
The only hard part – for us – is to quit trying to doing it on our own and trust him to do his part.
There’s nothing magic about the words, but many Christians have found that praying a prayer like what follows helps them focus their thoughts and faith so they can confess with their lips that Jesus is Lord and express their heart’s belief that God raised him from the dead.
I encourage you to pray it now, return to it often, and repeat it on a regular basis:
Dear Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I do lots of things I don’t want to do to hurt myself and others;and the things I want to do I find hard, and sometimes impossible to do. I believe with all my heart that you died and rose from the dead to save me and all who accept you from our sins because you want us to have more abundant life here on earth and to live with you forever in heaven.
I want it too.
Please forgive all the sins I have committed against you. Please forgive all the sins I have committed against others. Please forgive all the sins I have committed against myself. Please forgive all the things I should have done but left undone.
I open my heart to you now and ask you to come into it as my personal Lord and Savior, helping me to grown more into your image each day. In your precious I pray. Amen.
That’s the first step.
Step two is finding a mature Christian you trust and telling them what you’ve done so they can mentor you in your faith.
Step three is finding a Christian family of faith to grow in. We call these “churches” or “worshipping congregations.”
Have you ever noticed that babies are born into families, or they don’t live very long?
That’s because a newborn baby is pretty defenseless.
They need a family to love and feed and nurture and care for them, to teach and train them, until they can care for themselves and, eventually, care for others.
That’s one of the most important jobs any church ever has to do.
Whether it’s the First United Methodist Church of Harrisburg or another worshipping Christian congregation, once you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you’ll need a family of faith to love you and feed you and nurture you and care for you, to teach and train you, until you can care for yourself and, eventually, care for others.
Please find that family of faith!