Have you ever been lied to? I’m sure you have at some point. Lies are misleading and very hurtful. What makes being lied to even worse is when we believe the lie we’ve been told. The result? Mistakes, heartache, wasted time, and unnecessary suffering. In my own life, I have believed a few lies that left me with the feeling that I was going backwards.
The first lie I was told is that being “religious” will get you closer to God; in other words, life is about being a good person, and if you are one, you get to go to Heaven. So I completed each sacrament, respected my elders, was polite, and did well enough in school that I was accepted into the college of my choice.
I thought I would’ve been rewarded for my “goodness.” Instead, I found myself attending three funerals. One friend was murdered, another was killed by a drunk driver, and my mentor—my favorite teacher and life coach, the man I wanted to pattern my entire life after—had committed suicide. It was a difficult year to say the least.
I found myself asking a few questions: Why was this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? Where do I go from here?
As a result, I stopped believing one lie and turned to another. I began listening to people who told me that life was about following your heart and making your own way. I began making choices that reflected that change of direction and made me happy. I started “enjoying” the college life and quickly found out that, at the age of 22, I was going to be a father.
I searched for the secret to having a great life and found a hard road. I was taking 21 credit hours of classes each semester, commuting three hours a day to get to school, and working 15 to 20 hours over the weekend to support my child. If I had time between parenting, class, studying, and traveling, I might find a few hours of sleep. I had dreamed of being a parent and sharing the news with my family and friends. This was not the story that I thought would play out.
A few years passed and I was still searching for answers. A friend invited me to a church service, and I gave it a chance, thinking Why not? It’s not like going to church could make things harder. So I went, expecting very little. What I received was far greater than I ever could have imagined.
The pastor delivered a message about surrendering your life to God. The Bible verses that really hit home with me were Matthew 11:28–30. In them Jesus says, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
It immediately hit me! First I had tried living life my way, and then I had tried being religious; but during all that time I never went to Jesus himself. I was laboring and heavy laden for sure, and I realized that the rest that Jesus said He had for my soul was what I needed. But the questions I had were these: How do I receive it? How do I get Jesus Christ, the rest to my soul, and the light burden I desire?
The answers to those questions are found in verse 29 of Matthew 11. The phrase “learn of me” implies that there are a few things we must consider:
First, the Bible explains that every person is less than perfect and commits sins against God. Romans 3:10 and 3:23 say, As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
Second, the beginning of Romans 6:23 adds that …the wages of sin is death. Because I was living a life where sin was present, I wasn’t, by default, living the life God wanted me to live. Death represents a separation between God and humans as a consequence of this sinful life of ours.
Third, Romans 5:8 says, But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Jesus loves us, so He died for you and me—not because we’re perfect, but because we aren’t!
And finally, the end of Romans 6:23 says that …the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So, if we believe that Jesus Christ lived the perfect sinless life, died for us because of our sin, and was raised from the dead by God the Father (making Jesus our victorious Savior), each of us can start a new life as a follower of Jesus and know that Heaven is our eternal home. God is calling out to us to …believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved (see Acts 16:31). It’s very simple: ask Jesus for forgiveness and accept His free gift of salvation.
Now, as a Christian, I’m blessed to serve the God that died for me and rose again. I’m privileged to share the good news of Jesus Christ with people who find that this life has more problems than answers.
I’m so excited to see what God has for me each day. Every day is a wonderful opportunity to connect with God and people. I have a beautiful wife, three wonderful children, and friends who want to help me along the way. Above all, I have my best friend, Jesus.
Has it been perfect? a bed of roses? Have all my dreams come true? No. Actually, my Christian life has brought me a lot of challenges. The difference between this new life in Christ and what I had before I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior is that now I know God loves and accepts me as I am. Jesus Christ has added an eternal purpose to my life, and one day I will meet Him face to face!
I invite you to come to Jesus, as I did in 2010. Make Him your personal Savior today! Won’t you come? I’ve lived a life without God and now with Him. Living a life for Jesus Christ is beyond better, and that is no lie!