By Pastor Donald Parker
For many people who love to play sports, one favorite past-time is playing basketball. You can drive past our city parks in town, and almost always find someone playing basketball. It’s a popular sport in our school, played by both boys and girls. Now, everybody knows that in a basketball game you have to dribble the ball up and down the court; and for that to happen the ball must have air in it. When you drop the basketball, (when you dribble the ball), it bounces back into your hands; it returns back to you. A flat basketball it’s absolutely useless if it doesn’t bounce back into the hands of the player.
The basketball got me thinking about the Christian life. Let me explain; some people never give their life to Jesus Christ because the devil puts the false idea in their head that they have too much sin in their life or their sins are too bad for God to ever forgive; and that is nothing but a lie. For others, when we give our life to Christ, the devil starts trying to set us back, (to deflate us) by sucking the air right out of us. He tries every scheme he can come up with to keep us down; to keep us flat.
Jesus wants you to bounce back up. Jesus doesn’t want you feeling deflated and defeated because of your past sins, and the poor choices and bad decisions you’ve made. So, the question becomes, how can you bounce back? How can you overcome the setbacks of your past?
First, understand that God wants to have a personal relationship with you. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that we are all sinners, and because we are all sinners, our relationship between God and ourselves is broken. The only way to bounce back into a relationship with God is to confess and repent of our sins to God, and put our trust and faith in Jesus Christ. You need to understand that without confession and repentance of sin there can be no forgiveness, and without forgiveness there can be no relationship.
Consider the basketball again for a moment, it does one of two things; it will either roll away from you, or it will bounce back into your hands. The question you need to ask yourself is, “What will I do with Jesus?” “Roll away” or “Bounce back” into His arms and ask Him to forgive me of my sins, and take control of my life?
So how do you bounce back into a relationship with Jesus? Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” When you do that my friend, you’ve just bounced into a personal relationship with God for all eternity. Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus says he’s the way; not one of many ways, but the only way, and nobody gets into heaven without a personal relationship with Him; nobody!
When you repent of your sins and give your life to Jesus, your sins are forgiven and your relationship with God has been restored. When Jesus saves you, when He redeems you; He makes you better. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
The devil however, constantly brings up our past to keep us down; to deflate us. He knows if he can do that, then we won’t be doing anything for God. We will be like a flat basketball left sitting on the rack and not being used. What you need to realize is that you are no longer the person you used to be, because Jesus has redeemed you and you have bounced back into a relationship with Him.
Listen, you matter to God! He loves you so much and desires to have a personal relationship with you for all eternity. He’s just waiting on you to invite him into your life. Put your trust in Jesus today! If you want to know more about the love of Jesus, we invite you to join us Sunday mornings at 11am at FBC Van Horn.