Of all the Top 10 Life Skills, faith & our relationship with God is the only topic that has benefits not only on Earth, but also for the eternity that begins when each of us takes our last breath. If you’ve ever wondered about God’s power and scale, think about this…
In looking at our planet… its tilt, rotation, and atmosphere, as well as our moon and its distance from the earth…we see that each of these, including our exact distance from the sun and our orbit around it, …has to be exactly right, and not just close, to enable life to exist and thrive. A little closer to the sun and we’d burn up…a little farther away and we’d freeze…if water didn’t act in amazing ways to insulate and wash our planet…no life could exist…
- In fact, if water didn’t behave absolutely counter to what science would predict, we would all be frozen. Air & water expand when heated and contract when cooled. This drives our earth’s wind and water currents. Here’s the amazing part: water contracts as it cools, just as science would predict, until the point of freezing at which time it behaves exactly opposite of what science would expect – it expands! This is what brings icebergs to the surface of our oceans and enables them to be heated & melted as opposed to filling up the ocean from the bottom with ice that would freeze our planet!
The perfectly designed complexity of our universe is all around us. When we observe the living things on the earth and in the sea…and most of all the human mind, body, & all of our incredibly complicated & integrated systems functioning seamlessly together within our body…we see:
- A mind that is capable of amazing thinking, reasoning, and relational capabilities…
- A human body without comparison to any animal or machine known to mankind…
- The complexity, structure, & processes that exist in our human body at the DNA and cellular levels that baffle the mind & are something all of science & mankind can’t even come close to replicating or fully understanding.
These are all examples within our universe and the human body of an intelligent design by an intelligent designer….a designer who created it for mankind, whom he loves and gave our own free will, to choose or not to choose to believe in him and follow his path for our lives.
- The perfectly designed complexity of the human body, the universe and everything in it is so far beyond random chance, cosmic accident, or evolution, that there is no explanation for it other than it is part of a grand design, by a grand designer… God, and we see his design all around us.
- The Bible says: For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
Just like the creator of an invention is the best person to describe how to get the most out of an invention, God, our creator, is the best person to help us get the most out of life. He has given us an instruction manual for how to do it and it’s called the Bible – every key principle that we need to know for life is in this amazing book. When we don’t follow these instructions, things become much more difficult due to the consequences of our choices, because God’s Plan is the best plan for our life.
- When we have a relationship with God & have chosen to follow his path for our life, he also gives us a peace that comes from knowing that he loves us & has a great plan for us. Part of that plan came about 2,000 years ago & is what our entire calendar dating system is based on- God came to Earth as a man named Jesus Christ to let us know he is real & to demonstrate that he truly is God — by living a perfect life, performing hundreds of miracles in front of thousands of people, and then dying a horrible death on a cross. Most importantly, doing what he and the Old Testament Bible scriptures said he would do, raising himself back to life after his death.
- In fact, as promised, three days after his death, Jesus began appearing to his followers and to hundreds of others – this is what transformed their lives from people who loved & followed Jesus, but only until they feared for their safety…into people who spent the rest of their lives telling others what they had witnessed with their own eyes!
- These people lived & walked with Jesus, then saw him killed, & then saw him alive! They (along with hundreds of others) spoke with him, touched him, & walked with him after his death… this is what convinced them beyond a shadow of a doubt that this man was truly God!
- From that point on, their faltering faith turned rock solid, to the point that they spent the rest of their lives telling others what had happened, even when governments and rulers commanded them to stop or face death. No one will die for something they know is a lie, but as a result of what they saw & experienced, most of them willingly died martyrs’ deaths rather than deny their faith or stop sharing it with others. This is how Christianity spread exponentially throughout the world in the years & centuries following Jesus’ death and resurrection — eyewitness accounts.
- The good news that comes from a relationship with God has continued to spread quickly for 2,000 years since Jesus’ death because it continues to transform people’s lives today as it did then. God is still the same God who wants a relationship with us now, just like he wanted a relationship with people then- and this relationship changes our hearts, attitudes, and our life. It produces a peace that no matter what happens, and even when things are challenging, we know that God loves us & has a great plan for us.
God created us to have a relationship with him. And like all of our choices, this one has consequences too. Our choice to have a relationship with God on Earth determines whether we will have a relationship with him for all of eternity – which begins when each of us takes our last breath.
- The only thing each of us will take with us to the grave is our soul, which lives on for eternity. Jesus said while he was on Earth: Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. This means that our choice to follow him here determines where we will spend eternity– either in a relationship with him in Heaven or separated from him for eternity (this separation is a place called ‘hell’ in the Bible & is still used today to describe a horrific condition or place).
So you may ask, what does it look like to start a relationship with a God who is perfect when I am far from it? Well, you are just like the rest of us! The Bible describes our choices that go against God’s best plan for our life as sin, and while it can be fun for a short time, it comes back to hurt us & it hurts others. That’s how sin works… there are consequences for us and others. In addition to consequences in the near future, Christians believe there are also eternal consequences to sin. We believe that at the end of our life on Earth, each of us will meet with God and be accountable for the sin in our life.
But the good news is that God came to earth as a man, Jesus Christ, and he willingly died on a cross to take the punishment for each of our sins. When he did this, he took each & every one of our sins and endured the punishment that we deserve. And for those of us who believe in him and choose to follow him, he forgives us for our sins and gives us the promise of a relationship with him, not only on Earth for the 70, 80, or 90 years we may have, but more importantly, for the eternity that begins when each of us takes our last breath. The Bible describes it this way: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
This is so cool that the God of the universe wants to have a relationship with us and he’s given us a way to have one- we simply have to trust that his plan is the best plan for our life and choose to follow it.
If you’ve never made the choice to have a relationship with God, but would like to, simply pray this prayer now:
Lord Jesus, I know that I’ve been on my own path and have broken your rules for life. I am sorry & want to have a fresh start & relationship with you as my guide for life. I want to build my life with you as my foundation & follow your path. Thank you for forgiving my sins & giving me the promise of spending eternity in Heaven with you. Help me to become the person you want me to be. Amen.
This is the most important choice you’ll make in life & it will give you a peace, joy, & the only foundation that will last!
So once you’ve made the choice to have a relationship with God & follow his path for your life, what are some other ways that we can try and live out God’s direction for us?
- In the Life’s Top 10 workbook, near the end of the section on Faith, we’ve provided helpful & practical things that can impact your life immediately. If you aren’t in a Life’s Top 10 program now, you can go to www.LT10.com to register — you can do the program on your own or as part of a group.
- There you’ll find a page of Key Principles you can follow to strengthen your relationship with God- these aren’t just a list of things that “good church people do”…these are things that people who want to follow God’s path do because they believe & have experienced that God’s plan is the best plan for their life. These are ways to successfully live out that plan, & trust us, life works much better when we do!
- Also, as part of your subscription to LT10, periodically we send out emails with Best Practices from successful leaders who have shared their insights regarding PRACTICAL WAYS to approach these topics in our daily lives. We look forward to having you participate in Life’s Top 10 – it will change your life forever!
We hope you found this article helpful – it is part of the Life’s Top 10 set of resources to help fathers & sons successfully navigate life. Life’s Top 10 offers online life-skills sessions that fathers & their middle & high school sons do together! There are 10 life-changing sessions that cover the 10 most important topics in life! All sessions are available 24/7 online (via web & or smartphone) & are designed for dads & sons to go through together, either on your own as father & son, or as part of a small or large group (each monthly session lasts 1-1.5 hours). Regardless of which option you choose, no prep work is required! Participating with a small group of fathers with similar-aged sons adds an additional benefit of sharing this life-changing experience with friends. The user-friendly website makes everything easy (even hosting a small or large group is simple), with powerful videos, workbook, & life-skills activities that make it fun & easy to go through the program.
We hope that you will join us for the adventure of a lifetime!
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