The Passion of the Christ-- What do I do next?

By Dianne D. McDonnell

 

          So you have seen the movie called The Passion of the Christ and perhaps for the first time truly realized the extent of the suffering and prolonged pain our Savior endured so that each of us could turn to him, and to God the Father and simply ask forgiveness. Long ago the penalty for sin was death and because of this mankind had no hope, no chance. After the sacrifice of this true "Passover Lamb" --Jesus-- we are now offered forgiveness and a fantastic chance to begin anew. So, the first step is to immediately come before God and to ask for His forgiveness just like a small child would do.

           

Matthew 18:1-4

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (New International Version)

 

Do not wait until you are somehow "better" to come to Him. Come now and ask for Him to clean you up and help you make a fresh start. Confess your sins to Him. Mentally put your life in His hands without  holding anything back.

            The next step is to buy a New American Standard Updated Bible. It is the most accurate and literal translation available today. The King James Version was published back in 1611, and is difficult to read and understand. Select a Bible that has as large a print as necessary to make it easy to read. Don't be afraid to underline in your new Bible when you find words that seem to be speaking especially to you. I suggest you start in the book of John written by the apostle John, a record that reflects a lot of love and caring.

            Next you need to set aside a place and time for you to draw close to God daily. Some prefer early in the morning to strengthen them for the day to come, and this is my own preference. Others select right after dinner or before they go to bed at night. Whatever time you select, stick to your set time. You may have to overcome an over dependence on watching too much television or playing too many video games, or "surfing the net" for hours. We often use these things as a form of mind anesthesia-- just to turn off the pain of everyday worries, pressures and exhaustion. Drawing close to God will make a very real difference in your life, and you will be renewed and restored. In prayer, talk to God personally about what is on your mind and in your heart--your joy or your grief, your worries and your life's situations. Your prayers to God do not have to be structured in a certain way or said in a special tone of voice. I don't know precisely how God is able to hear us when we pray to Him, but I have personally experienced so many, many instances of intervention after prayer that I know that He does hear and often does change things in direct response to a prayer!

            Recently there have been people who claim that "God" told them to do horrendous things such as kill their children or jump off a bridge! So I need to warn you that there are demonic beings--fallen angels-- that can and do make contact with people, even "good" people, and pretend to be God. The true God is loving and kind and does not promise you some great reward if you do something evil. Messages urging anyone to do evil things--such messages cannot come from a good and loving God. The true God allowed His precious son to die for you--so great was His Love for you! Then the Loving Father revived and raised His Son from death--the firstborn of those who will live eternally! Jesus warned his disciples and foretold that deception would be widespread in the "last days".

 

Matt 24:3-5

As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things happen, and what {will be} the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many."

 

These demonic forces claim to be Christ or God and mislead people into doing their will. There are many other forms of deception rampant also, exactly as Jesus warned us. For you to be able to tell what is true and what is false you must study your own Bible with God giving you insight and help. So these first steps of buying a good, reliable Bible translated accurately, and setting aside a time to spend drawing near Him in prayer and reading His Word-- these are the survival steps that will get you started in walking with Him. Jesus died so that you might escape death and have eternal life. It's not complicated; it is very simple. Yet you must "walk as he walked" and these first two steps will get you started! Next month I'll try to offer you some more help but for now, remember these verses from the book of John which offer each of us a precious and wonderful hope.

 

John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.