Life often feels like a journey
down a winding path.

Sometimes we find long stretches of easy going and the way is full of wonderful experiences. During these times we have little concern for what lies ahead. At other times it seems as if the path is just too steep to navigate and we have little hope for what the next step may bring. Life is always changing but much of the time we are somewhere in-between.

In all the highs and the lows of life, one thing is certain: The choices we make along the way greatly affect the outcome. And the most important choice we will ever make is about our relationship with God.
The path is designed to allow us to make the journey of life with a friend. We are all designed to live our lives in relationship with God. The bad news is that we all begin our journey separated from God. The cause of this separation is our sin.

God says it this way:
"For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard" (Romans 3:23).
When He says, "all have sinned; all fall short," He means that, in our thoughts, words, and actions, none of us have lived up to God's standard of perfection. And our sin not only causes us to be separated from God, but it also earns us a penalty of death.

God says it this way:
"For the wages of sin is death . . ." (Romans 6:23).
. . . I [God] do not leave sins unpunished (Exodus 34:7).

To make matters worse, we cannot, by our own efforts, escape God's judgment or pay the penalty for our sin. No amount of personal effort, good works, or religious deeds can earn us a right relabtionship with God.

The bad news is that our sin separates us from God.
The good news is that God doesn't want us to remain separated from Him.

And since there is no way we can be perfect or pay the penalty for our sin, God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to take the punishment for us. The good news is that Christ gave His life to pay the penalty for our sin.

The Bible says:
"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners" (Romans 5:8).
"We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD [God] laid on Him [Jesus] the guilt and sins of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).

Through Christ, we have the opportunity to enjoy an intimate, personal relationship with God. But we must respond to the offer God has made to us. We respond by deciding to trust in Christ alone to restore our relationship with God.

The Bible says:
"God saved you by His special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
"Jesus said . . . 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me'" (John 14:6).

If you have chosen to trust in Christ, you have started a relationship with God that will continue forever. If you have not, you can choose to begin your relationship with God right now.

Ask God to forgive you for your sin. Tell God that you accept Christ's death on your behalf as the only way to a relationship with God. Thank Him for sending His Son Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for your sin. And make a total life commitment right now to follow God’s plan for your life.

It's not your words that save you. It is Christ's payment of your penalty, a payment you receive by trusting in Him alone as your bridge to God. If this is truly the attitude of your heart, you now have a relationship with God through Christ and can enjoy getting to know and love Him. You can have confidence in this fact because of God's promises . . .
"Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13).
Jesus said, "He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life" (John 5:24).

Every relationship requires attention and interaction in order for it to grow. It's no different in your relationship with God. There are 3 things you can do to help ensure you stay on the path and grow in your relationship with Him.
1) Spend time listening. For a relationship to grow, you need to spend time getting to know the other person. God has given you the Bible (His word) to help you know who He is, what He values, and how He wants your relationship to go. If you want to know Him, you must spend time learning what He says about Himself through the Bible.
2) Spend time talking. You need to share with God what is on your heart. You can do this by talking to Him. This is called prayer. Prayer is sharing your thoughts and feelings with God just as you do any other friend. Of course, God already knows everything about you, but He still wants you to communicate with Him about your desires and needs.
3) Spend time with others who also trust Christ. When you place your faith in Christ, you join a community of other people who have placed their faith in Christ. This community is called the church. Local churches provide a great resource for you to deepen your understanding of God's character. Others who know Christ can also help you learn how to mirror His character in your life – to become more like Him.

Once you have made the decision to follow Christ, you will want to tell others about your journey.

If you have made the decision to follow Christ, we would love to hear about it and become a resource for you. Please give us a call at 931.455.5461, or contact us online at MyJourney[at]fbctullahoma.org.

If you are seeking a local church to attend, you are welcome to visit First Tullahoma. And, if your journey is rough right now and you need help, we can offer assistance. We would love to come alongside you and help lighten the load.