I don't know how your battle with addiction began. You may have been going through a time of great difficulty. You may have experienced a financial, family, career, or personal crisis. You may have been hurting from the loss of a relationship, employment, or loved one. Maybe you were coping with some sort of emotional or physical ailment and the pain led you to seek relief through any means necessary. Drugs, alcohol, sex, etc. seem to offer the escape you were searching for. This escape was only temporary though. Before you realized it, addiction had taken your freedom and exchanged it for bondage, guilt and shame. Then, you found yourself back at the beginning, still searching for a way to end the pain. Perhaps your battle with addiction began as a way to fill the void in your life. You may have been living "the good life" with a nice family, career, health and wealth, but sensed that something was missing. Whatever triggered your battle with addiction, there is hope.
We all have an unexplained emptiness inside. This is a "God shaped vacuum" that can't be filled with anything other than God's love and forgiveness. This love and forgiveness cannot be earned, it is gift freely given to all who believe on Him. There is nothing you can do to make God love you less - His love is truly unconditional. He will never reject you for any reason if you will turn to Him. It is God's love and care for us that gives our lives significance. After all, if the God who created the universe loves you, your life must have meaning and purpose beyond what you know.
In fact, God loves you so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for you. Jesus died a cruel death on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins. Romans 3:23 tell us, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." and "The penalty for sin is death..." (Romans 6:23). Jesus took our place on the cross and paid the price for all our sins - past, present and future. We could do nothing to earn forgiveness, it was freely given by God through His Son's willing death. After He was buried, He rose from the dead three days later, proving He was who He said He was. He conquered death and ascended into Heaven to prepare a place for you. His sacrifice bridged the gap between your sin and Heaven. Jesus' death, burial and resurrection offers not only forgiveness of sins, but also the gift of eternal life. John 3:16 states, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life." He died so that you could live. He wants to have a personal relationship with you. He wants you to have the peace that comes with knowing Him as your Lord and Savior.
What will you do with Jesus? You can reject His free gift of salvation and face the penalty for your sins or you can believe while you have the opportunity. God promised in Romans 10:13 that "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." If you are ready to surrender your life to Christ and accept Him as Lord and your personal Savior, don't wait. All you have to do is: acknowledge, believe and confess.
- ACKNOWLEDGE you are a sinner, helpless to save yourself, and in desperate need of forgiveness.
- BELIEVE, trusting with your whole heart that Jesus died as your substitute, bearing your sins, and taking the punishment you deserved.
- CONFESS Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior by sincerely praying from your heart a prayer similar to this: "Heavenly Father, I realize I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I want to turn from my sins and put my trust in what Jesus did for me on the cross. Thank you for sending your Son to die for me and take away my sins. I now receive Him as my Lord and Savior. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."
If you prayed your prayer, believing and trusting in Christ, you now have eternal security. You know with certainty that your sins are forgiven and you will go to Heaven when you die. Begin today to develop your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ by daily reading the Bible, praying to God, and worshiping Him with fellow believers at church. As you begin your spiritual journey, always remember that Jesus loves you unconditionally and that you have finally been set free! Please feel free to contact me, Corbett Stone, at 843.661.4342 or [email protected] with any questions you might have. God bless you!