If you have seen our Captain America, or “Frozen” or Hunger Games or Guardians of the Galaxy pamphlets, here are some things you might want to think about.

God is real.    Not only is He real, but He loves you and He wants a close, joyful, loving relationship with you both now and forever.

Then why does God seem far away?  Why is there so much suffering and pain and unfairness?   Because starting with the very first man and woman, each of us has declared our independence from God–just like America declared its independence from England.   We try to be good in our own way (not God’s way), we do religion (or decide to be an atheist) and we live our life as if God were irrelevant.  God sees all this, but He is very polite.  He will never force us to do things His way.  So he lets us have our independence–and the result is we create a world with suffering, pain, unfairness and death.

Why doesn’t God DO something to fix this?  He has done something!  Right at the very beginning of our turning away from Him, God spoke out in love and promised to send a Savior who would straighten out our selfish mess.  And because He loves us, that Savior was not just anybody–He was God Himself, Who become a man–Jesus.  He went through everything we go through, and then did the most awesome thing in all of eternity: He took all your selfishness, pain and suffering on Himself and died in your place on the cross.  And it was not nails that held Him on that cross.  It was His love for you.  YOU are the reason He went through such horror.  He loves you.  It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done.  He loves you.  Then He didn’t stay dead–He came alive again–and He loves you.

How can I be close to God?  How can I know for sure that He loves me?  There are two important choices you need to make.

1)  Total TRUST in what Jesus did for you.   Humbly admit that you’ve been wrong in how you’ve been living your life.  Tell God you are sorry.  Give up trying to live your way and put your trust in what Jesus did for you on the cross.  Trust that He alone is your Savior, that He loves you and will forgive you.

2)  Total SURRENDER to Jesus as the King of your life.   Invite Jesus to come into your life, and be willing for Him to change anything He wants to change, in your thoughts, your feelings, your decisions, your plans and your actions.  Tell Him you want to be like Him in everything you do and be part of His plan to fix the mess we’ve made of the world He created.

Tell God what you have decided about each of those, by talking to Him just as if He were right there next to you.  And it is OK even to ask God to show you (in a way that you will understand) if He is real and really does love you.  He WILL answer you!

If you are not sure how to tell God about this,  here’s a suggestion:

“Dear Jesus,  I know I have done selfish, bad things.  I am very sorry.  I believe You love me and You died for me, and now You are alive again.  I know that only You can fix me on the inside.  I can’t fix myself.  Please come live in me and change me any way you want.  I want to be like You.  I want you to be my King.  Help me to obey You and follow You and live for You forever.”

Then what comes next?    Once you trust in what Jesus did for you and surrender your life to Him, from that time on talk to Him about everything you do, and do it with Him .   Start learning everything you possibly can about what He says and what He does.  You can do this by reading the Bible , especially the New Testament, and by going to places where there are people who love and follow Him.   And any time Jesus shows you something in your life that He wants to fix and change,  be quick to cooperate with what He is doing, and trust Him, because you know He loves you.

If you want to talk to someone or want to know more about God’s love for you:   Contact us:  bill_chipman@yahoo.com or come to St. John’s Anglican Church.  Our address is 532 South McDowell Blvd. in Petaluma, and we have services on Sundays at 8:00 and 10:00 am.  We have an Awana Club for kids ages 3-18 every Wednesday from 3:30-5:15 (Sept.- April). Or you can go to any church near you where the people really truly believe the Bible and love and follow Jesus.

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