Experience of Faith
Outline: Life is empty because people don't have God in their life.
|Theme:||Salvation; Saviour of Sinful Men; Faith, trust, believe in Jesus|
|Audience:||Buddhist; Orthodox; General|
Scripts are basic guidelines for translation and recording into other languages. They should be adapted as necessary to make them understandable and relevant for each different culture and language. Some terms and concepts used may need more explanation or even be replaced or omitted completely.
Have you ever thought about the fact that the sky seems to go on forever? We can look and look with the most powerful telescope and not come to the end of it. There's a mystery about the sky. Where does it come from? Where does it end? And you know there's a mystery about men too. You look within, and you ask yourself,
"Where did I come from? Where am I going? Why am I here? What is it in me that thinks and feels and dreams? Why do I feel joy when I see the beauty of creation, or hear the heartbeat of life? Why do I feel sad because it's going to fade and die? What is it in me that wants to love-to reach out-to communicate-that tells me there's a difference between right and wrong?
"Why do I search for meaning in life? And - why do I fear death?" You and I are part of this physical universe, and yet we hunger for something more. There's a longing in us for something real and sure and eternal - for God Himself. With our five senses we can explore this natural universe, and yet we come to the end of what our senses can discover when we come to the end of the physical creation. If we want to make contact with spiritual reality, then we must make an experiment in another realm-an experiment of faith.
Now in science, man takes the initiative, but in spiritual matters it's God Who takes the first step. And, in fact, He is already reaching out to you right now. And you can come to know Him by taking four profound, yet simple, steps.
Step One is to realize that God loves you. He has a plan for you. The Creator said, "Let us make man in our image." And that means that God has made you find fulfillment only in a personal relationship with Himself. He's a God of love-and yet His love isn't soft or sentimental. It's strong and holy and just. God is perfect Purity. He is Light, the Bible says-brighter than a thousand suns-no darkness is in Him. And this God has made man to live in peace, with love, and with a real sense of purpose. "Well", you ask, "If that's so, why the agony, the violence, the despair in the world? And why this emptiness, and searching, in me?"
Step Two gives us the answer to that question. It tells us that man has sinned, and because of his sin he is separated from God. Spiritual rebellion is the most basic cause of our human problems. The Bible puts it like this: It tells us that we have turned everyone to his own way. That all have sinned-and sin is more than just bad habits. Sin is false pride. It's egotism. It means that we deny the true God, or we ignore Him and we try to play God ourselves. And the result of sin is spiritual death. The wages of sin is death, says the Bible. You see, you may be alive mentally and socially and physically and yet be dead spiritually. You're like a flower that's been cut off from its root. You're not really living; you're just existing. Your contact with your Maker has been broken; and that's why you were born restless or lonely, or guilty, or afraid, - or all of these. And the end result is an eternal banishment from the presence of a just and holy God. So we take another step-
The Third One - realize that God keeps on loving us in spite of our rebellion; and in Jesus Christ He has made a provision for our sins. The Bible tells us that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. Two thousand years ago God gave us a personal demonstration of what He is like. And He did this in the life of a man, Jesus Christ, who was God in human form. Jesus said, "If you've seen me, you have seen the Father." Now Jesus came to bring us back to God, even at the cost of His own life. He said, "I came to give my life a ransom for many." He committed no sin, yet He carried our sins in His own person to the cross. And because of this Jesus Christ is the bridge by which we can come back into a personal contact with God. As He said, "I am the Way. No one comes to the Father but by Me." You see, to restore that broken contact -to come to know true liberty, and have that personal relationship with God-we've got to receive Him, personally. Just as it's not enough for me to know and believe that a bridge exists, but I have to commit myself to it and stand on it and walk on it, to exercise faith in it-so it's not enough for you to know what Christ offers. You've got to do something about it.
Now, Step Four tells you that you must receive Jesus Christ, as Saviour and Lord, into your life by a personal invitation if you want to experience the abundant life which He brings. Today, God's offer of forgiveness and a new life still stands. But tomorrow that opportunity may be gone, for you. Tomorrow may be too late. And that's why the Bible continually challenges and warns, "NOW - NOW is the accepted time." So by asking the living Christ into your life right now, you can take that final step. You do it by prayer. Prayer is talking to God. In simple words-as you are-speak to Him. Ask Him to come into your life-to bring you forgiveness, and His power and a new sense of direction. Let me lead you in a simple prayer, and as I say these words, make them your own personal invitation to Jesus Christ. Say to Him, "Lord Jesus Christ, I know my life has been going the wrong way. I know I have sinned and I am sorry. Please forgive me. I believe You died for me and rose again to be my Lord and Saviour. So I receive You. Come into my life now. Take control, and use my life to share Your life with others."