This year has been my twenty sixth year living as a Christian. I was born in a Christian family, inherited my parents’ religion. Yet, to be honest, I did not want to blindly follow my parents’ belief as I grew up. In my youth life, I often struggled with a lot of questions about God, which many of them are still mysterious to me now. Many times I tried to understand the Creator with this tiny brain. I eagerly wanted to know who God truly is, to whom I worship. I used to think that when people asked me about my belief and what my life foundation is, I should be able to give the reasons and to explain my conviction. I have the responsibility toward my faith. Sometimes I thought that I deserved to know God and I felt smart enough to formulate the truth about God, until I realized that what I eventually got was only a frustration.
Well, I believe that everybody has his own spiritual experience as well as the right to share it widely. For me, Christianity is not about religion. I am a little bit allergic toward ‘religion’ things, as many people might also feel, because the historical evidences have shown that ‘religion’ has been provoking division and war everywhere instead of creating peace and harmony in this world. I believe that Christianity is about a lifestyle, that imitates Jesus as the real and relevant model, and an intimate personal relationship with Him – it is a journey to become like Jesus, to have the characters of Christ.
Thanks to Jesus Almighty God for giving me His grace in my busy working days so that I can write down a little of my life experiences here. Dear friends, here is my testimony about “Seven Reasons to Believe In Jesus”.
1. He is the only One who came to the earth and took an initiative to make a relationship with people.
Human can’t reach God by his own strength or understanding regardless of how hard their efforts are. It is God who first took an initiative to lovingly reach the people. Jesus is the manifestation of God, in the form of man, who was miraculously born in the world He created, to make a connection between earth and heaven, to build a bridge between people and God. Because Jesus so loves people, he came to us that we may have an intimate relationship with God.
Initiative is the first important step in building a relationship. If you are really interested (or falling in love) with someone, you can’t wait to start the conversation. You can’t keep yourself from giving a sincere help for their needs. Your initiative will show your care and love, inside out. Many people are afraid to show their love because they are afraid of rejection. However, when you take the first step to offer a kind and sincere deed, you are overcoming your fear, because perfect love casts out the fear.
2. He is the only One who died, rose again, and ascended to heaven.
The human history has proved these facts. Do you realize that every year the world celebrates Good Friday and Easter (on March), as well as Ascension Day (on May)? For me, this has explicitly shown the world’s recognition of Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. Moreover, his death and resurrection have pointed out his ultimate authority over death and life, while his ascension has indicated his sovereignty on earth and heaven above.
Death is the ultimate fear of every human. It is the end of every living creatures’ existence on earth. Nobody feels good about ‘extinction’. But, as believers we don’t need to be afraid of death because Jesus has conquered the grave! He has won the victory over the death. Even more, he has provided eternal home for us in the glorious heaven. It is our final destination where we can be with God forever in the happy-ever-after life. In Jesus, who has been ordained as the authority of this universe, we have an assurance in the eternity.
3. He is the only One who emptied himself, to be a servant of all.
Jesus is the incarnation of God, being in the very nature of God, yet he did not consider equality with God something to be used for his own advantage. He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. He came to this world not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for us.
In our recent days, we can find so many tribulations everywhere, mostly caused by the corrupted leadership. There are so many world leaders who failed their people such that we could see rebellions as the consequences. The broken leaderships have failed to meet the people’s needs as they just seek their own interests. However, Jesus’ life has been a great inspiration for successful modern leadership. The key of Jesus’ leadership is to empty himself, not to seek His own benefits, and becoming a servant of all. People can put their trust, hope, and confidence in this kind of leadership.
4. He is the only One who dedicated all his life to live for God.
Jesus had a clear mission during his life on earth: live for God. He lived to do God’s will and to accomplish His work. He dedicated his life and totally surrendered his will to God. Seeking God’s pleasure is his purpose in life. His earthly life, though quite short (33-36 years), has been a tremendous impact to people all over the world, more than anyone in the history who had lived longer.
God is not just an object to study. More than that, God is ‘something’ to experience. We can make a lot of theories about God, but it would be vain unless we experienced Him personally. To experience God, we need to wholeheartedly surrender our lives under His control. We need to confess His authority in our lives while denying ourselves every day. Sometimes we don’t need to hear what other people say because we are not living to seek human’s approval. God, as the Creator, knows about us more than any people do, and even more than we ourselves do. Dedicating life to God is the best way to have a significant life. Living for God is an honor. It gives us confidence that life is not purposeless; there is a reason to appreciate life and to live it meaningfully.
5. He is the only One who sent us to be the witness, to tell the world about His story.
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he commanded his disciples to go to all nations, spreading good news about the truth and salvation of God. He wants the whole world know his name, because God’s will is for all people to be saved.
If one of our friends or family is suffering from sick while at that moment we find a good medicine that would bring a healing, are we going to let them know about it? or would we just hide it and let them suffer even more? If we know that Jesus is all that this ‘dying’ world need, we can’t keep him for our self-salvation. We should share the truth to the world so that people may find a healing. This is why I believe that evangelism is relevant and the gospel sharing, either verbally or non-verbally, always makes sense. Witnessing the story of Jesus means loving people actively. It is a privilege to be God’s partner in this world, to testify His good news.
6. He is the only One who claimed God as a Father.
In “The Lord’s Prayer”, a prayer that Jesus taught to his disciples, he called God as Father. It is said, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.” There is no other religions or belief systems in this world that describes the relationship between God and human as such father-son relationship.
It is only in Jesus that we could imagine God in the most-intimate level. God, is not something that is merely so far away, unreachable, or transcendent. In fact, God is so close to us, even He wants to dwell in our hearts. Having known this truth, we don’t need to worry when we have something to ask Him. We can freely let Him know about our requests, happiness, sadness, strength, weakness, success, failure, and so on. Our lives are widely opened before Him. Nothing is secret to Him. As a real father sincerely loves his son, Jesus has loved us completely and he has also accepted us the way we are. On the other hand, as a real father rebukes and chastens his son when he did wrong, Jesus has also showed his discipline to the one he loves.
7. He is the only One who has brought the messages about unchanging faith, hope, and love.
It is clear and undeniable that Jesus’ life message is essentially about faith, hope, and love. During his lifetime, wherever he was, he always delivered this message. As many Christians have already known, the core of Christianity is loving God and people. In love, there is a hope. Love also believes all things: if you really love someone, you will believe the good things about them, even when they are seemingly not good enough. Faith, hope, and love in Christ are not the same as those of this worldly concepts/values (which often keep changing based on circumstances), because Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
In our world today, genuine love and faithful hope are difficult to find. People can easily lose their love, hope, and faithfulness, especially in the situation where things are not going well according to our wishes. We see a lot of things changed rapidly. We see broken promises everywhere. People changed, economic changed, friendship changed. There is nothing we can really rely on. Even friends can turn into enemies. It seems hard to believe in people. It seems difficult to make a firm commitment. But, Jesus Christ is different. He is the only One who remains unchanged. His love and faithfulness stays forever. This is why in Him we can faithfully put our trust, hope, and love.