“Christ died for everyone. He died so that those who live should not live for themselves anymore. They should live for Christ. He died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15 (NIrV)
Salvation is a free gift offered to you by God and it is given to everyone who truly repents and is trusting in Jesus. But this free gift will cost you your whole life! What does that mean? It means that when we accept God’s gift of salvation, we are choosing to follow Jesus. We are putting our complete trust in Him. We are admitting that we need Him, we love Him, and we will obey Him every day. It means you must do things Jesus’ way instead of your own way. It means every day you must trust and follow Jesus for the rest of your life.
Living life Jesus’ Way
“Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
Jesus tells us in the Bible what following Him looks like. People who want to follow Jesus need to say no to themselves and say yes to Jesus. This means a change in how we think. Instead of doing things our way and only caring about what we want to do, we need do things Jesus’ way and care about what Jesus wants us to do.
When Jesus says we must pick up our cross, He is talking about being willing to give up our lives for Him. The cross was a way they killed people back when Jesus lived. When he said the word, “cross,” the people listening understood exactly what He meant. We don’t use crosses anymore, so we don’t really understand. But we can understand that Jesus wants us to make Him more important than our lives! We need to say that Jesus is the most important thing in our lives – everyday! Every day, we need to think, “Jesus, You are more important than my PS2. Jesus, You are more important than my cool, new bike. Jesus, You are more important than my Mom and Dad, even.”
When we repent and believe in Jesus, we are putting Jesus in charge of our lives. Now, we do what Jesus wants us to do. The things that are important to Jesus should be the things that are important to us. In order to find out what is important to Jesus, we have to get to know him better.
Illustration: “Imagine a castle; inside the castle is the throne room where the King sits. Picture the throne. The one who sits on the throne is the King – the one in charge. Now, imagine one of the servants in the castle sitting on the throne instead of the King. Is that right? Is the servant in charge? No, the King is. That is a little like what happens when we decide to be in charge of our lives instead of letting Jesus be in charge. Jesus is the King; Jesus should be sitting on that throne.”
We need to let Jesus take charge and we need to listen and do what Jesus says to do. We don’t want to be that servant who sits on the throne. The servant is not in charge – just like we are not in charge. We need to let Jesus be in charge and we need to live our lives the way Jesus wants us to.
Spending time with Jesus/Becoming More Like Jesus
“Everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Jesus.” Philippians 3:8
So, we have decided to follow Jesus and put our trust completely in Jesus. Now, we want to live our lives obeying Jesus. As we live like that, we become more and more like Him!
Illustration: Show a gold coin. Say, “This is a gold coin. It’s pure gold – it’s worth a lot!” Then show a big diamond. “This is a big, beautiful, pure diamond. A big diamond is worth more than a gold coin. When you look at them together, the gold coin almost seems worthless compared to the big, beautiful diamond.” Throw the gold coin in the garbage. “When you realize what something is worth, it changes how you act toward it and how you treat it. That’s a little like how our relationship with Jesus is. The big diamond was priceless. Once you understand the real value of Jesus, other things just don’t compare to Him.”
The more we get to know Jesus, the more we will want to spend time with Him. More and more He will become the most important person in our lives. Knowing Jesus is priceless. Everything else in our lives seems worthless when compared to Jesus.
Knowing Jesus is the best – better than your friends, better than having money, better than having lots of toys, better than anything. The man who wrote this verse understood how valuable Jesus is and when He compared Jesus to everything else he had in his life, he realized that it was not worth hanging on to; he was willing to get rid of all it (like getting rid of garbage) if He could have Jesus.
How can we learn from Jesus, the Master and be more like Him? Well, to learn from Jesus and become more like Him, we have to know Him.
The best way to get to know Him is to spend time with Him.
We can get to know Jesus better by:
1. Reading the bible
- Your Bible is where you will discover Jesus! You will find out what He was like, what He did, what He said, and how He wants you to live your life. It’s so important.
- The books in the Bible that tell us about Jesus are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Those are the 1st books in the New Testament part of the Bible. Start there – but then keep reading! Read the whole Bible – discover God and His plan for His people.
- So, spend time every day reading the Bible. That is one way we can spend time with Jesus.
2. Talking to him (that’s called prayer)
- It’s a little different than talking to other people, because we can’t see Jesus. But we can know that He hears us.
- Talk to Jesus; tell Him everything. Tell Him about school and your family and your friends. Tell Him how you are feeling. Remember, He understands what it’s like. Tell Him that you love Him and want to be more like Him.
- Praying is talking to God. Following Jesus means having a relationship with Him – getting to know Him better. That means talking to Him. So, talk to Jesus everyday – about everything!
Live every day with Jesus!
Part 2 will be about telling kids about the Holy Spirit who is our special friend and telling others about Jesus.
Check out the other blogposts in this series!