Monday, June 5, 2017
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When I had to go for a new passport, it meant I had to dig out a document that I don't look at very often – my birth certificate. I had to prove to the State Department that I exist! Of course, I have to be careful with my birth certificate – one that's been around that long is about to disintegrate. It's interesting that when you have to produce the most authoritative proof of who you are, what do they ask for? Your birth certificate! And mine, like yours, clearly identifies who you are and exactly when and where you were born. I was a little nervous before I went for my passport because we had just moved and I couldn't find my birth certificate for a little while! That's very bad news!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "When You Don't Have Your Birth Certificate."
One thing that birth certificate demonstrates for sure – your life. Your relationship with your parents has a definite beginning. You know, you celebrate that day every year. Birth, of course, is a clear, definite thing – into your family...into God's family. Tragically, a lot of people can't remember a beginning to their personal relationship with God – often because there hasn't been one. And without a "birth certificate" on file in heaven, one that marks the beginning of your belonging to your Heavenly Father, you are in real danger. Eternal danger if that doesn't change.
Our word for today from the Word of God talks about how a person gets born into God's family. John 1:12 says, "To all who received Him (that's Jesus), to those who believed in His name, (God) gave the right to become the children of God." Now, God likens our beginning with Him to birth into His family. That's why Jesus would say just two chapters later, "No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again" (John 3:3).
There's a conscious, deliberate choice that begins your God-relationship. It's what our word for today calls "receiving" Jesus Christ, "believing" in Him. It's describing a moment when you consciously open up your heart for Jesus Christ to come in, when you tell Him you are putting your total trust in Him to remove that wall of sin between you and God and to give you a relationship with Him.
The reason we don't have that love relationship is because we've taken a life that God was supposed to run and we've run it ourselves. That "sin" has cut us off from a God whose sinless and perfect. And no religious ceremony can remove that sin – not baptism, not church attendance, not confirmation, not church membership, not all the good things you do. In fact, the Bible explicitly says, "It is by grace you have been saved...(Listen to this.) not by works" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
It couldn't be any clearer. Our only hope is that Jesus paid for the sin that we could only pay for with an eternity in hell. So when you put your total trust in Him and welcome Him into your life, every sin is forgiven and God records your birth into His family.
Actually, God doesn't have birth certificates – He has what the Bible calls the "book of life." And your name is entered in it the moment you come to Jesus. Revelation 20:15 says that on Judgment Day, "If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." My prayer is that if you have not begun your personal relationship with Jesus, that you'll do it today, so your name can be entered in God's Book of Life in indelible ink.
He doesn't intend for anybody; He never wanted anybody to suffer that judgment. That's why He sent His Son to take the judgment for us on the cross. This is your day to reach out and take what He died to give you. Tell Him you want what He died on the cross for – to forgive your sin, to change your life, to take you to heaven with Him.
If you don't know there's been a time when you gave yourself to Him, there probably hasn't been. It's a conscious choice. You know if you've done it. But today can be that day.
Let me encourage you as an action step to go to our website ANewStory.com. And there you're going to find the information that will help you know for sure that you belong to Jesus Christ; that you've begun your relationship with Him. Let's get this done today.
You need to know that you've been born spiritually. And you can today. God is waiting right now for you to reach out to Jesus, so He can enter your name in His Book of Life.