Four little words that can do what, now? Oh, yeah. Change your life.
“God wants you back.”
Words for the prodigal, the runaway, the rebellious.
Words for the unsure, the doubting, the fearful.
Words for those who don’t know Christ … and for those who do.
How can that one sentence hold any power? Well, that depends … on several things, but primarily on your response to it.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Second Corinthians 5:17
So what’s the primary difference between living life with God and teleportation? (There’s a sentence you won’t find on most other blogs!)
“God wants you back.”
God wants you to be a garden person; He wants you to walk with Him, to live in relationship with Him. He wants you to know His love for you.
He wants your life to be the daily outworking of bringing the life of the heavenly realm into the earthly realm: “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). And what is His will? The expression of His life and love on the earth.
This kind of God-life brings life, and joy, and healing.
It brings reconciliation with God.
Another way of saying this is that it brings salvation.
How do we enter this kind of life?
It’s fairly simple, really.
The Book of Genesis begins with the story of creation. Told as a poem rather than an historical account, the first chapters of the book are a symphony of movement and sudden experience as God calls things into existence:
“Let there be light!”
“Let there be sky!”
“Let there be oceans and dry land!”
“Let there be plants and animals and fish and birds!”
What a joyful, joy-filled span of creativity.
Many people in our society are willing to entertain the idea of a Higher Power, a Greater Being, a God … sometimes even a Creator.
But that’s where things seem to break down. If we can admit a Creator, then we get bogged down by the how, and the flame wars begin. How did God create the world? How was man formed? Could God possibly have used evolution? Is the world just a few thousand years old?
If God created everything, how did He do it?
But “How?” is, for the moment, just a distraction.
The important question, the life-shifting query, is “Why?”
Why did – why would – a God create man? What could He possibly have imagined? What was He thinking?!
Back when I taught at a Christian school, I faced a room full of middle school students and asked them a seemingly simple question: What is the gospel?
Now, if you’ve been in a church for any length of time, you probably have some idea of what it is that we call the gospel. You might know it as the Romans Road, or the Good News, or the Four Spiritual Laws.
You might know that Jesus Christ—God in the flesh—came to earth as a Baby. He lived among the people created by Him and through Him, as though He were one of us—but was more than that. He grew up and He went from town to town, teaching the people, healing the people, caring for the people. And He was eventually killed on a cross for daring to admit that He was the Son of God.
But that wasn’t the end of His story; after three days, He was resurrected—He was alive again, on the earth, back among the people He loved. His death was a sacrifice of love, given for us, so that we could be forgiven of our sin and come to Father God.
When we think of the gospel, that’s what we usually think of, and those are the kinds of answers my students gave me. But I hadn’t been asking simply to start a discussion; I was genuinely curious to see what they would say. Why? Because of verses like this:
It’s an intriguing idea, isn’t it? Are there four words that hold the power to change lives? Can any words really contain that kind of power, that kind of hope, that kind of transformation?
Can only four words do that?
Obviously, I think the answer to that is Yes.
But please note the verb: Can. Not will. Why the distinction? Because words alone are merely words. In themselves they don’t hold the ability to do anything. They simply are. It’s what we choose to do with them that matters. The choices are really yours.
Accept … or reject.
Act … or ignore.
Hope … or do.
Four little words. They can be transforming … or not.
It’s up to you.