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Looking for Jesus?

There is a difference between religion and Christianity; religion is spelled "D-O". It consists of trying to do enough good things to somehow please God, earn His forgiveness, and gain entrance into Heaven. This self-effort plan can take on many forms, from trying to be a good, moral person, to becoming an active participant in an organized religion--Christian or otherwise.

The problem is, we can never know when we have done enough. Even worse, the Bible makes it clear that we can never do enough. It says in Romans3:23: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Simply put, the "D-O" plan cannot bring us peace with God, or even peace with ourselves.

Christianity, however, is spelled "D-O-N-E". In other words, that which we could never do for ourselves, Christ has already done for us. He lived the perfect life we could never live, and He died on the cross to pay for each of our wrongdoings. And now He freely offers us His gift of forgiveness and leadership for our lives. But it's not enough just to know this. We have to humbly receive what He has done for us. And we do that by asking for His forgiveness and leadership in our lives.

It's not enough to intellectually agree with Jesus' claims. If you read the Bible and recognize Jesus as the true Son of God, a man who walked the earth, lived a perfect life, died, and rose again from the dead, you must choose to cross the line of faith and receive Him. This is a once-for-all decision. A "process" follows, but you have to start by inviting Him into your life and accepting that He paid the debt you owe for your sin but could never pay yourself.

Salvation from Jesus is a totally free gift, and receiving it is as easy as saying, "Jesus, I acknowledge my sin and Your payment for it on the cross. I now ask You to be my forgiver and my God."

But you must respond personally and deliberately, or the gift will remain unopened and unenjoyed.

Keeping in mind the above questions, here are some practical ideas to guide you in your spiritual search:

Read the Bible--start with the New Testament books of John, Acts, and Romans

Talk to people who display a genuine relationship with God--those who obviously love Him and who live by a different set of principles.

Ask God-followers why they believe what they believe and how they know their beliefs are true.