Or do you feel that everything you do is a waste of time? Do you feel trapped by the daily grind? Do you sometimes despair that all your efforts will be lost, when you die if not before?
God designed men and women to live lives of purpose and fulfilment. His intention has always been for us to live as his friends and to look after the earth he made and put us on.
However, we human beings turned away from God and started to run our lives as we saw fit, ignoring his instructions and warnings. Not surprisingly, lots of things went wrong. Just look at the state of the world today to see the effects of this. Nothing we do seems to work out as we hope. One result is that men and women die, missing out on God’s intention for them of living forever with him.
But God loves each one of us, the people he made, too much to leave things in this mess. He wants to bring each of us back to the fulfilled life that he always intended.
So, long ago God set out to restore humankind, and the whole created world, according to his original purpose. To head up this project he sent his only Son to the earth as a human child, Jesus who was also called the Messiah or Christ. He, alone among all people, lived a perfect life according to God’s standards, and he was filled with God’s power to do great things. But his contemporaries rejected him and put him to death.
That wasn’t the end of the project. God had started to intervene in a new way to bring about his purposes on earth, and his love is more powerful than death. His next great act was to raise Jesus back to life. He then set about creating a new community, new followers of Jesus under him as their master, tasked with bringing the world back to God. Starting from a small group of Jesus’ original followers, the community grew rapidly as it was filled with the same power that Jesus had used.
This new Jesus community has now been around for 2000 years and has spread around the world. It has been described by names like “Church” and “Christian”, but these labels have also sometimes obscured its significance. It is still growing rapidly, and God is always looking for new people to join it.
So the invitation is open to you: follow Jesus as your master, and join his community! But first you need to get right with God. You, like me, have messed things up by not doing them God’s way. There is nothing you can do to make up for this. Instead you have to admit that you have done wrong and ask God to put it right – and he will do so. Then you can accept Jesus as your master, receive his power, start to follow him, and take your place in his community.
Following Jesus is not about going to heaven when you die. It is about making a start in this world on a new life. In this new life we have a purpose, bringing this world back to God; we are part of a community sharing this purpose; and we have God’s power to live as we should and to do great things for him. This life, even if interrupted temporarily by death, will last for ever. And you can make this new start today! If you are ready to do this, please continue by reading How can I become a follower of Jesus?
However, if your background is in a religion other than Christianity, please read first Do I need to change my religion to follow Jesus? (in preparation)If you have any questions, please ask in the comment box below, but see the special comment policy for this series.