How To Say 'Yes' to God
Opening Question: Have you ever received a surprise gift? What was it?
Romans 3:21-25, 28
21 God's goodness to us is now clear, even without his Law. The Bible points this fact out. 22 God is truly good to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter what kind of person you are. 23 Everyone has sinned and doesn't match the glory of God. 24 But God's goodness is a freely-given gift to everyone because of what Jesus did to save people. 25 Jesus offered his blood to God. When people believe this, they receive God's forgiveness. God shows his goodness when he ignores past sins.
28 So, we firmly believe that God shows his goodness to people, apart from his Law.
Mandy went to the mail box. When she opened its front metal panel, she saw a large package stuffed into the box. 'What's this?' she muttered. She pulled the package out of the box and turned it over. 'Why is this addressed to me?' Mandy took the rest of the letters from the box in one hand and tucked the package under her arm. She leaned a little to balance the weight of the package.
'Hey, Mom, come see this.'
'What is it, Mandy? Uh...wow, who sent you that?'
'Let's see, Mom, Aunt Alice. Can I open it?'
Mandy handed the letters to her mother, then tore into the brown wrapping paper that covered the package. She found a cardboard box with a envelop attached. Mandy opened the envelop.
The card inside read, ' Mandy, I love you no matter what you do. Aunt Alice.'
Mandy handed the card to her mother. 'Does that make any sense?'
Her mother laughed. 'Mandy, that's real love.' Her mother handed the card back to Mandy. 'Open the box. Let's see what Alice sent you.'
Real love. Real loves means love without conditions. It means, 'I love you no matter what you do.' That's how God loves you. He knows we're not perfect, we make mistakes, we hurt others because we're selfish once in a while. When we trust Jesus, we will know that God really loves us because he will ignore our past sins. He will forgive us.
When God says he loves us, he really means it.
Bridging Question: God's love is a gift to you. What can you say back to God for his gift? How can you use his gift of love?
Jesus told his followers:
21 Not everyone who shouts 'Lord, Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of heaven. The only people who will enter are those who do the will of my Father, the One who lives in heaven. 22 On the day of judgment, many people will tell me, 'Lord, Lord! Didn't we say things in your name? Didn't we throw devils out of people using the power of your name? Didn't we do miracles using the power of your name?' 23 I will tell them 'No, I don't recognize you. Get away from me, you evil people!'
24 Everyone who listens to my teachings and does something about them is like a wise person who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell and the rivers flooded. The winds blew and shook the house. But the house didn't move, because it was built on rock. 26 Everyone who listens to my teachings and ignores them is like the fool who built his house on the sand of a dried river bed. 27 The rain fell and the rivers flooded. The wind blew and slammed against the house. The house collapsed with a great 'swoosh!'
'Promise me you'll clean the garage right after this show, Henry.'
'Okay, Dad.' Henry sat up on the couch. He looked at the clock on the wall. 9:45 AM. Fifteen more minutes before he had to turn off the television.
'Back to our show...' the television blared.
Henry watched the rest of his show, but briefly remembered his father's last talk with him about his chores.
'Henry, you know when you do your chores on time you'll get privileges. Doing them on time means I don't tell you to do them twice.'
'But, Dad, I mowed the back yard, didn't I'
'That's not the point, Henry. How many times did I have to remind you?'
That hot, sticky day came to mind. Henry couldn't go to the movies because he wasted fifteen minutes watching television. He watched his father walk away in silence, while he stood there wet from sweat. He wouldn't make that mistake again.
'That's the end of the show.'
Henry clicked the off button on the television remote. He slide off the couch and made his way to the garage.
Henry had to learn his lesson the hard way. He did what his father wanted, but not in the way his father wanted him to do it. So, he had to pay the consequence. But, when he learned from his mistake, he didn't repeat it.
'Lord, Lord, let us into your Kingdom. Didn't we do great things in your name?' Yeah, many people do things for Jesus, but not in the way Jesus wants them to do these things. People will do great things for Jesus just to show off in front of others. 'See what I can do everyone! Jesus really loves me.' These people are like little kids who tell their parents, 'I love you' just to get their way. When their parents get mad at these little kids for their selfishness, the kids complain, 'But I told you I love you.' In the same way, some people who claim they follow Jesus will not get into heaven, simply because they're too selfish. These people will complain, but it won't matter.
Instead, these people should learn from their mistakes, just like Henry did. Henry got wise. He heard what his father said and put it into action. Selfish people should learn from their mistakes. They should listen to Jesus AND put his words into action. Then their lives will be as solid as wise people who build their houses on rock. Nothing will move them because Jesus will be with them.
Closing Question: How can you listen to Jesus? How can you learn the lessons he is teaching you?