Has religion failed you? Are you disappointed with life? Have your friends and loved ones, whom you trusted and loved so much disappointed and betrayed you? Have your loved ones forsaken or deserted you when you needed them most? Are you weary, frustrated, confused, depressed, downcast, and heavy-laden with the load and guilt of sins and failures? Are you desperate for a meaningful life? Are you searching for peace? Are you tired of good works that you thought would make God to accept you, but yet feel so far from God? Are you struggling with an addiction? Are you worried about life after death?
I have good news for you. Do you know that there is someone who loves you so much despite all your sins and failures in life? He desires a relationship with you; He wants more than religion, because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, even despite religion. He is saying to you now,
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” Matthew 11:28-30 (MSV).
Jesus is saying to you now,
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.”
There is a vacuum in every human heart that friendship cannot fill it. Marriage cannot fill it. Sex cannot fill it. If you doubt it, find out from King Solomon, who married 700 wives and 300 concubines only to say at the end, “Vanity upon vanity, all is vanity”. Money and wealth cannot fill it. If you doubt it, find out from Alexander the Great, whose last three ultimate wishes on his deathbed was:
- The best doctors should carry his coffin;
- The wealth he has accumulated (money, gold, precious stones) should be scattered along the procession to the cemetery, and
- His hands should be let loose, hanging outside the coffin for all to see.
This is what Alexander the Great wanted us to learn from his three ultimate wishes:
- He wants the best doctors to carry his coffin to demonstrate that, in the face of death, even the best doctors in the world have no power to heal.
- He wants the road to be covered with his treasure so that everybody sees that material wealth acquired on earth, stays on earth.
- He wants his hands to swing in the wind, so that people understand that we come to this world empty handed and we leave this world empty handed after the most precious treasure of all is exhausted, and that is Time.
Nothing on this earth can fill that vacuum in the heart. Fame and high positions cannot fill it. Drugs and alcohol cannot fill it. Even religion cannot fill it. Even your greatest ‘idol’ cannot fill that vacuum that exists in the heart. An idol, according to Timothy Keller in his book Counterfeit Gods, is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, “if I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.” No matter what is the idol in your heart that you are seeking to get in order to fill that vacuum, it can never fill it. It is only God that can fill that vacuum in our hearts. This is because we are made in the image of God. Just as C.S. Lewis rightly said, “A car is made to run on gasoline, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirit were designed to feed on. There is no other.” Without God, that vacuum will remain empty. Nothing in this world can ever fill it apart from God. Just as George MacDonald said, “In whatever a man does without God, he must fail miserably—or succeed more miserably… Getting only what we want is succeeding miserably. True success is found in ‘losing’ our lives for Jesus’ sake and finding them again full and free in His will.” It is only Jesus Christ that can fill that vacuum in our hearts. No man or woman can ever love you the way Jesus does. No person can truly love you unconditionally. Not even your parents, wife, husband, or best friend can ever love you unconditionally: but Jesus did, and He’s still doing. It is written in Romans 3:23-24,
“Since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God, and are being justified [declared free of the guilt of sin, made acceptable to God, and granted eternal life] as a gift by His [precious, undeserved] grace, through the redemption [the payment for our sin] which is [provided] in Christ Jesus.”
We have all sinned. Nobody is without sin. In that, we’ve lost God’s glory, His life, in us. But there is good news in John 3:16: “For God loved and dearly prized the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” In fact, God’s love for us, even though we are sinners, shows the value He places on us. We are valuable to Him that He gave His only begotten son to die for our sake. What an unconditional love even when we don’t deserve it! He went further to say in Isaiah 1:18,“‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ Says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be like wool.’”
The One who can wash away our sins and guilt says, “come and believe in me.” The One who loves you more than any human being in the history of this world says, “come unto me and you will have rest.” Jesus is THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.”
You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free. Whomever Jesus sets free is free indeed. Friends, I came to Him and my life has not remained the same. He has changed my life for good. Why not give Him a chance? Just come as you are and believe in His saving power.
Solomon Chukwuemeka Ugbaja (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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