As I contemplated the contents of the articles I have written for this site, I realized that I had left out something important. It was as if the Spirit of God said to me, “You’ve shown them how to pray, but what if they don’t know me?”
Dear reader, do you know who Jesus is?
Are you prepared to leave a legacy of faith?
I am certain that my son will never forget the moment I posed the following question to him: “What are you going to do if I died tomorrow?” I will never forget the look on his face. The look was a cross between being horrified that I would ask the question and being horrified about a reality he will one day have to face. Remove the bedrock of the family and what happens to those left behind? Do they scatter? Do they stick together? Do they systematically go off in different directions as life changes occur?
I first asked my son that question over a year ago. I remind him of the question from time to time because he has yet to give me a solid answer. How would you answer a parent or a spouse if they asked you a similar question?
Another question that I have to answer is this: Have I done a more-than-adequate job of preparing my kids to live in this world without me? Or even deeper: Have I left enough of a legacy that my kids would be able to look back on my life and follow the example that I have set? As part of my legacy, faith in Jesus Christ is central. He is the center of my theology and philosophy. He is the reason I am alive. My life should reflect the Jesus that I serve so that my children will know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I loved and followed him.
I think about the men that I know. If you take a look at the men I count as my friends you will find:
- The owner of a small business specializing in Internet Technology
- A commercial loan banker
- A Human Resources headhunter specializing in personality profiles
- The son of a former NFL player, who is the Varsity and Junior Varsity football coach for a Christian school
- A minister of music and worship in a Southern Baptist church
- A minister to children in a Southern Baptist church
- A part-time Associate Pastor, who is also a full-time roofing contractor
- The Chief Executive Officer of an independent insurance company
- The pastor of a Bible church, who also works at Mathnasium
Do you know Jesus the way you know all of the closet people in your life?
They know me. These are the guys I talk to about life. I talk to them about what is happening in my daily walk and they talk to me about their lives. Our circles are intertwined, and the iron of our lives sharpens against each other in the friction of daily living. Nothing about any of us compares to what is known about Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.
What we know about Jesus
- Was born of a virgin, as prophesied in the Old Testament (Isaiah 7:14)
- Was raised in the Jewish town of Nazareth in Israel (Luke 1:26)
- Healed the sick (Mark 1:29-34)
- Made the blind to see (John 9:1-12)
- Walked on the water (John 6:19)
- Told a storm to stop and the elements obeyed (Mark 4:39)
- Cast out demons possessing a living human (Matthew 8:16)
- Brought the dead back to life (Luke 8:54-55)
- Was beaten by Roman soldiers (Mark 15:18-19)
- Received 39 lashes from a “Cat of Nine Tails” (John 19:1)
- Was nailed to a cross and died on that same cross (Mark 15:25)
- Was buried in a borrowed tomb (John 19:38-42)
- Was raised back to life by the resurrecting power of God (Mark 16:1-6)
- Was seen by over five-hundred witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:6)
- Ate with his followers after coming back from the dead (Luke 24:41)
- Promised to come back the same way he left the earth (Matthew 26:64)
- Is alive and well today (Revelation 1:18)
Do you know him?
What the Bible says about why we should know Jesus
Why should you know who Jesus is? The Bible is clear:
“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6 HCSB)
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)
“For we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” (Romans 3:28 HCSB)
This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of all of the Scriptures pointing to who Jesus is, but I feel that they are important to point out to people who may not know him.
If you have lived a life of never crossing the threshold of a church, these verses are for you. If you were forced into a religion as a child, these verses are for you. If you have been jaded against Christianity because of the people of your local church who did not resemble the Jesus who offers grace, mercy, and forgiveness for free, these verses are for you. If you made an emotionally-charged decision at youth camp, but have never done anything to have an actual relationship with Jesus Christ, these verses are for you. No matter your situation, these verses are for you.
The most important thing you can do in your life is to come to the realization that without the Author of Life, you have no life. Without the one who created Hope, you have no hope. Without a relationship with the One who forgives, you cannot begin to forgive yourself.
The most important prayer you can ever pray
The single most important, simple prayer you can ever pray is the prayer asking Jesus to be the Lord of your life, to forgive you of your sins, and to accept the free gift of grace that he offers to you right now as you read these words.
If you are reading this article and don’t know Jesus as Savior, I encourage you to pray the most important prayer of your life. Your life will never be the same.
Prayer to invite Jesus into your life so you can know him personally
Jesus, I come to you today to admit that I am a sinner. I admit that I cannot live without you and I need a savior. I turn from my sins and ask that you forgive me today, right here, right now, and create in me a clean heart. Give me your new life that is abundant and free. I accept your free gift of salvation. I accept your mercy and grace. Come and live within me, change my life, and lead me all of the rest of my days. I give my life to you. Thank you for loving me. Help me to learn to love you in return. In your name I pray, amen.
If you have prayed this prayer for the first time, congratulations on your entrance into the kingdom of Heaven! The next step is to tell someone! Contact a local Bible-believing church and tell them that you have prayed this prayer for the first time. They will be able to help you begin your relational journey with the One who made you and loves you beyond your wildest imagination.
This decision that you have made is life-changing. I promise that you will never regret praying this prayer, and God will never fail you.
Pray simple prayers. The Father loves you and listens to every word.
Other helpful articles by David Shelton
Copyright David Shelton 2019. All rights reserved.