Peter Meadows answers your questions about God.
True, it is a big step to launch out on a new relationship with Jesus. It makes sense to seriously ask yourself, "Am I going to make it?"
But there is a huge difference between deciding to follow Jesus and a New Year resolution to run a marathon or swim the Channel. That's because, unlike such physical challenges, living as a Christian is not a feat of endurance that can only be achieved by the sweat of your brow.
Instead, it is a wonderful journey of adventure – with a guide to help you and an endless supply of forgiveness when you get it wrong.
All Jesus asks is for you to turn from your past and a life centred on you, and to start walking in His direction with a life centred on Him.
What if you severely mess up? Well, it's not a case of 'if' but 'when'!
Like a child learning to walk, there are times when you will graze your spiritual knees as you take your first tottering steps in following Jesus. That's how it is for all of us who put our hand in His. And the reason is simple – those who follow Jesus are not perfect but forgiven.
God is on your side. He will help you make it, and forgive you when you don't. God's a loving father, not a manic personal trainer.
In fact, it is your understanding of what following Jesus truly means that matters most.
Imagine you arrive at the gates of heaven and there you are asked, "Why should God let you in?"
Your answer will show if you have really understood Christ's message. If it's along the lines of "I've tried my best, been nice, and never done anything really bad", or "I've gone to church a lot, read your book and prayed a bit" then you've missed the whole point.
Following Jesus is not about what we try to do but what He has already done for us. Entering heaven is not for those who have 'tried hard', 'been sincere', 'done my best' or even 'been religious'.
Heaven is not something we can earn by our own effort. It's filled with those who do not deserve it, but Jesus paid the price to let them in.
That's why, as you set out on this great adventure, all Jesus asks of you is to put your hand in His and trust Him to help you live life His way.•
Peter Meadows is co-author of The Book of Y, the basics for the Y Course that explores life's biggest questions.
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