Jesus is THE difference.
There are so many different religions today, as well as philosophies, spiritual thought processes and beliefs, that how are we to know or choose which one is right, IF there is one that has all of the answers?
In today’s world, people are earnestly searching for something to hold on to, to believe in, and there are thousands of options available to anyone that that feels they can connect or relate with any one or more of them.
Let’s compare this to shopping for a pair of sunglasses or the right dress or the best pair of tennis shoes. After trying the item on, we ask ourselves, “does it feel good, does is fit properly, is it in my budget?” If those mod sunglasses or totally rad pair of shoes check most of the boxes, then we buy that item. We invest in it. We take it home. We wear it proudly. We may even brag about it.
In my opinion, the number one reason that Christianity is set apart from the numerous other belief systems out there, is Jesus. Not one of the others believes that he is the Son of God, nor the Lamb of God who came into this world ultimately to become the perfect sacrifice on our behalf.
Other religions or spiritual thought processes say that Jesus was good, was a great teacher, was a prophet sent by God, and maybe even had God’s spirit in him, but they discount any part of his death as redemptive or his resurrection back to life.
Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
Jesus is the difference. He came from heaven. He was born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit of God. He was sinless. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. God the Father called him his beloved Son. He spoke of things of Heaven because he came from there. He spoke of God the Father because he knows him intimately. He is the Word, the Light, and Life. He was the final blood sacrifice that God used to fulfill the Old Testament Law. He returned to Heaven to be with God his Father. He sent his Holy Spirit to be our encourager.
In so doing, Jesus made the way for all of mankind to be reconciled of their sin and be made children of God! For this to happen, we must accept this free gift by confessing that Jesus is our Lord and believing that He is God’s Son. It is that simple.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
How can we know that Jesus is the truth, the way and the life? For me, it is because I know Him personally. I have spoken to Him, and He speaks to me. He is my Lord, my Savior, my best friend, and my God. He has spared me, forgiven me, adopted me, and loved me. He even has a purpose for me!
My name is Kari. I am also a child of God, a follower and believer in Jesus, so I am called a Christian; one who strives to be Christ-like. Am I perfect? No. Do I still sin? Yes. Has Jesus forgiven me? Yes. But as a Christian, I have a responsibility; to run my race with endurance (as Jesus did), to run it well (as Jesus did), and to share the good news of Jesus. My ‘works’ don’t earn me a spot in heaven, but show that Jesus is my Lord.
I will serve Him all the days of my life as a slave would willingly serve his master after he was set free – with gratitude for his redemption. I have invested in Jesus because He has invested in me. I have taken him into my home because He will one day take me to his heavenly home. I wear my name proudly. I will even brag about Jesus!
So if you want to get to know this Jesus, if you’re ready to accept the free gift of eternal life with God, you don’t have to buy into it. You don’t have to try it on or see if it fits. If you choose to accept Jesus’ shed blood as your redemptive offering in your stead, then you will be clothed in God’s robe of righteousness! Trust me, it will fit perfectly and forever! You will want to tell others of the amazing deal that God gave you, and thank Him for the rest of your life.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved (from eternal death which is separation from God).”
Food for thought: Do you sometimes question if Christianity is the right one or has all the answers? I think it is good to ask questions. It is better to study the Scriptures and pray in faith, allowing God’s Holy Spirit to guide you and speak to you. This I know: only God has all the answers, and we don’t as long as we are here on earth. He has kept his full identity and knowledge a mystery for a reason – we just cannot totally grasp it yet!! Why? Because we are finite, limited in our thinking, and not ready for the bigger picture.
Fun facts: Currently there are about 4,200 different religions. They are broken down by: East Asian religions (Taoism, Confucianism, Shenism and Shintoism), Indic/Indian religions (Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism), Middle Eastern religions (Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), Indigenous/ethnic/folk religions, New religions movements, and Historical religions (ancient mythologies).
Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Sunglasses in Versace store