“The most famous maze in the world is located in the gardens of Hampton Court near London. The maze, consisting of eight-foot hedges, was planted in 1702. It covers a third of an acre and its winding paths are more than a half mile long. When entering the maze, you immediately face a choice. Which path should you take?”
 
“The goal is to reach the center of the maze, but which path will take you there? Some routes quickly lead to a dead end; others will take you deep into the maze before failing.”
 
“Some paths run parallel to each other for long periods of time, only to have one hit an end to the path while the other path continues.”
 
“The challenge is to find the one path that leads you to the final destination ― the center.”
 


People throughout the nations assert that one God [or many gods] sits enthroned in heaven at the top of a spiritual mountain, and that there are many paths up the mountain. All paths lead to one destination, they conclude.
 

Throughout the centuries, regardless of which path they choose, seekers of truth have asked their teachers, “How will I know if, at the end of my life, my good deeds will have outweighed my bad?” Their teachers reply, “You won’t. So keep striving to earn your place in Paradise.”
 
J.P. Moreland and Tim Muehlhoff suggest that the maze better describes the reality of spiritual truth.
 
Let’s use this maze example to compare the teaching of the five major religions of the world as it regards Heaven [also called Paradise] and eternity.
 
Followers of Islam consider that, at the end of their lives, their lives are weighed in a balance. If their good deeds outweigh their bad, they will go to Paradise.
 
Sura 23:102-103 advises, “Those whose balance [of good deeds] is heavy, they will attain salvation, but those whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls; in Hell will they abide.”
 
Followers of Buddhism and Hinduism agree that this life is a constant process of striving to limit wrongful actions towards others so they will not suffer for their wrong choices in future lives.

It’s impossible to reverse the impact of evil choices made in past lives by performing large numbers of good choices in this life. The Dalai Lama said, “It is a fundamental Buddhist belief that my own suffering is due to my [past] mistakes.”
 

Said another way, instead of learning from their mistakes, they suffer because of them.
 
Hindus resign themselves to an endless cycle of rebirth in which their future lives are determined by good and bad karma.
 
There are over 600 laws which overshadow the daily lives of Jewish people. Being human, they fail to meet the restrictions of these laws. While Jews offer animal sacrifices to God to receive His forgiveness for their not-unexpected inability to follow these laws, they spend their lives striving and “performing” to “earn” God’s approval and favor.
 
Sadly, the same thing can be said of Christians whose parents unintentionally taught them that good behavior would “earn” increases in parental love and bad behavior would result in decreases of parental love.

Once these same Christians learn that God names Himself Father, they conclude that by good performance they can “earn” more of God’s Love.
 
In other words, the majority of followers of the five major religions walk the same path as it regards striving and “performing” [doing good deeds in order to be noticed] to “earn” Paradise, Heaven, enlightenment, and/or a rebirth which offers less suffering.

 
Because each new day offers an additional 86,400 seconds of time which can be spent in self-effort and striving, instead of an endless cycle of rebirth, their lives become an endless cycle of hopelessness.



This website has been designed to prove that God, Who names Himself your Father, does not want you to strive. He does not want you to “perform.”

God wants to assure you that you cannot “earn” any more love from Him than He has already lavished upon you.
 

He wants to replace all your hopelessness, frustration, exhaustion, and despair with His peace and His rest.
 
Most importantly, He wants you to know that your eternity is not based as much on a place as it is based on relationship with a Person.
 



The Bible says, “We love Him, because He first loved us.”



Ephesians 3:15 says that all fathers, all fatherhood, is named after the only perfect Father, God. While human fathers are designed to represent His excellence, by their very definition as human, they fail.
 
Even excellent human fathers unwittingly communicate to their children that if the children obey and “perform” perfectly ― or at least attempt to obey perfectly ― their human fathers will “love” them. "Love" equals "reward."
 
With every day, children are encouraged to “perform” to “earn” increases in their fathers’ love.
 

These fathers unwittingly communicate that "love" is bound together with "reward."  The only way for children to earn the reward is to try hard, to struggle, to strive. Even if the children try and fail, they are acknowledged for their good effort.
 
Though human fathers never realize it, their love is stained by their humanity.



In absolute contrast, God your Father wants you to know that when He sent Jesus, He commissioned Jesus to accomplish all things necessary to restore you to the Father-child relationship with God that God Himself desires.
 
When Jesus, the only perfect Man, triumphed in His mission, when Jesus shed His Blood and willingly offered up His life for you, He ensured that you would enjoy relationship with God as your Father.
 
Relationship with God as Father is based completely on Jesus’ performance … not yours. There is nothing you can do to cause Him to love you any more than He does right now.

This moment, God your Father loves you with all His vast Heart, not holding anything back. Unlike human fathers’ love, God’s love for you is absolutely pure, unstained by any sin or impure motivation.
 
In summary, God’s love is rooted and grounded in Him and in His perfection.

 
Romans 8:32
    32He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?
 
Romans 8:35
    35Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?
 
Romans 8:38-39
    38For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,
    39Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 
How does God describe Himself? Although these Old Testament writers wrote down what Father God told them to write between the long span of years between 1400 B.C. and 430 B.C., God is consistent in what can be termed His “Self description.”
 
Exodus 34:6
    6And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord! the Lord! a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness and truth,
 
Psalm 86:5
    5For You, O Lord, are good, and ready to forgive [our trespasses, sending them away, letting them go completely and forever]; and You are abundant in mercy and loving-kindness to all those who call upon You.
 
Psalm 86:15
    15But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and loving-kindness and truth.
 
Psalm 103:8
    8The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and loving-kindness.
 
Psalm 145:8-9
    8The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and loving-kindness.
    9The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works [the entirety of all things created].

 
Alternate Text

Before we continue on, let’s see how the enemy of our souls has used human representatives of God to give us a wrong impression of His nature and character:
 
2 Corinthians 4:4
    4For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers' minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and Likeness of God.

 
Despite this:
 
2 Corinthians 4:6-7
    6For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
    7However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves.

 
As we look into the topic of “Based On Him, Not Us,” let’s start with some key verses from the Bible. As you read these verses, focus on these Truths:

First, Father God initiated our relationship with Him. The section He Initiated All Good Things proves our opening verse: “We love Him, because He first loved us.” 

Second, we don’t have to “perform” to “earn” relationship with, or love from, God. He initiated our Father-child relationship and, even more stunning, He sent Jesus to accomplish  everything necessary to restore us to the Father-child relationship with Him that was His idea before the foundations of the earth.

This Father-child relationship is His desire for you today.

Alternate Text
 
2 Peter 1:11
    11Thus there will be richly and abundantly provided for you entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
 
John 1:12-13
    12But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name--
    13Who owe their birth neither to bloods nor to the will of the flesh [that of physical impulse] nor to the will of man [that of a natural father], but to God. [They are born of God!]
 
James 1:18
    18And it was of His own [free] will that He gave us birth [as sons] by [His] Word of Truth, so that we should be a kind of first-fruits of His creatures [a sample of what He created to be consecrated to Himself].
 
1 Corinthians 1:30
    30But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, [revealed to us a knowledge of the divine plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as] our Righteousness [thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with God], and our Consecration [making us pure and holy], and our Redemption [providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin].
 
2 Timothy 1:9
    9[For it is He] Who delivered and saved us and called us with a calling in itself holy and leading to holiness [to a life of consecration, a vocation of holiness]; [He did it] not because of anything of merit that we have done, but because of and to further His own purpose and grace (unmerited favor) which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began [eternal ages ago].
 
Titus 3:4-7
    4But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior to man [as man] appeared,
    5He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity [compassion] and mercy, by [the] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
    6Which He poured out [so] richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.
    7[And He did it in order] that we might be justified by His grace (by His favor, wholly undeserved), [that we might be acknowledged and counted as conformed to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action], and that we might become heirs of eternal life according to [our] hope.
 
Acts 4:28
    28To carry out all that Your hand and Your will and purpose had predestined (predetermined) should occur.
 
2 Corinthians 3:5
    5Not that we are fit (qualified and sufficient in ability) of ourselves to form personal judgments or to claim or count anything as coming from us, but our power and ability and sufficiency are from God.
 
Philippians 2:13
    13[Not accomplishing anything in your own strength], for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.
 
Philippians 4:13
    13I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].

 
Throughout their childhoods, Jesus and His disciples were instructed by their human fathers that their relationship with God was based on how perfectly they could obey laws, rules, regulations, and commandments. Scholars seem to agree that well over 600 of these requirements overshadowed their day-to-day lives.
 

Jewish children were taught that, while their good deeds should outnumber their bad deeds, more important was that while performing good deeds they should obey all of God’s laws.

Jesus, too, was counseled by His human father that He needed to “earn” God’s love through “performance,” through obedience to all of God’s laws. Hebrews 5:8 mentions that, similarly with all sons, Jesus “learned obedience.”
 
Around 50 years after Jesus’ death, Paul wrote:

 
Galatians 2:16
    16Yet we know that a man is justified or reckoned righteous and in right standing with God not by works of the Jewish Law, but [only] through faith and [absolute] reliance on and adherence to and trust in Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). [Therefore] even we [ourselves] have believed on Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law [for we cannot be justified by any observance of the rituals of the Jewish Law given by Moses], because by keeping legal rituals and by works no human being can ever be justified (declared righteous and put in right standing with God).
 

Romans 4:13
    13For the promise to Abraham or his posterity, that he should inherit the world, did not come through [observing the commands of] the Law but through the righteousness of faith.
 
Romans 4:16-25
    16Therefore, [inheriting] the promise is the outcome of faith and depends [entirely] on faith, in order that it might be given as an act of grace (unmerited favor), to make it stable and valid and guaranteed to all his descendants--not only to the devotees and adherents of the Law, but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, who is [thus] the father of us all.
    17As it is written, I have made you the father of many nations. [He was appointed our father] in the sight of God in Whom he believed, Who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed.
    18[For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, So [numberless] shall your descendants be.
    19He did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah's [deadened] womb.
    20No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God,
    21Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised.
    22That is why his faith was credited to him as righteousness (right standing with God).
    23But [the words], It was credited to him, were written not for his sake alone,
    24But [they were written] for our sakes too. [Righteousness, standing acceptable to God] will be granted and credited to us also who believe in (trust in, adhere to, and rely on) God, Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,
    25Who was betrayed and put to death because of our misdeeds and was raised to secure our justification (our acquittal), [making our account balance and absolving us from all guilt before God].
 
Romans 5:20
    20But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God's unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and superabounded,

 
The Book of Romans further emphasizes the glorious Truth of “based on Him, not us”:
 
Romans 8:28-30
    28We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
    29For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.
    30And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being].
 
Romans 3:24
    24[All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,
 
Romans 5:6
    6While we were yet in weakness [powerless to help ourselves], at the fitting time Christ died for (in behalf of) the ungodly.
 
Romans 5:11
    11Not only so, but we also rejoice and exultingly glory in God [in His love and perfection] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received and enjoy [our] reconciliation.
 
Romans 5:15
    15But God's free gift is not at all to be compared to the trespass [His grace is out of all proportion to the fall of man]. For if many died through one man's falling away (his lapse, his offense), much more profusely did God's grace and the free gift [that comes] through the undeserved favor of the one Man Jesus Christ abound and overflow to and for [the benefit of] many.
 
Romans 5:17-18
     17For if because of one man's trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God's] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
    18Well then, as one man's trespass [one man's false step and falling away led] to condemnation for all men, so one Man's act of righteousness [leads] to acquittal and right standing with God and life for all men.
 
Romans 9:11
    11And the children were yet unborn and had so far done nothing either good or evil. Even so, in order further to carry out God's purpose of selection (election, choice), which depends not on works or what men can do, but on Him Who calls [them]
 
Romans 9:16
    16So then [God’s gift] is not a question of human will and human effort, but of God’s mercy. [It depends not on one’s own willingness nor on his strenuous exertion as in running a race, but on God’s having mercy on him.]
 
Romans 11:5-6
    5So too at the present time there is a remnant (a small believing minority), selected (chosen) by grace (by God's unmerited favor and graciousness).
    6But if it is by grace (His unmerited favor and graciousness), it is no longer conditioned on works or anything men have done. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace [it would be meaningless].
 
Romans 5:1-5
    1Therefore since we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
    2Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God's favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.
    3Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
    4And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
    5Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.
 

Romans 9:17
    17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, I have raised you up for this very purpose of displaying My power in [dealing with] you, so that My name may be proclaimed the whole world over.
 

Romans 11:29
    29For God's gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws His gifts when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]
 

Romans 11:33
    33Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable (inscrutable, unsearchable) are His judgments (His decisions)! And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are His ways (His methods, His paths)!
 
Romans 11:36
    36For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. [For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him.] To Him be glory forever! Amen (so be it).

 
Around 1,000 years before Jesus was born, David realized that God’s goodness to him was not based on his performance:
 
Psalm 23:All
    1The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.
    2He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.
    3He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him--not for my earning it, but] for His Name's sake.
    4Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.
    5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.
    6Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.
 

Ephesians 1 and 2 further emphasize that God’s love is based on Jesus’ mission, sacrifice, and triumph ― it is not based on your performance at all.
 
Ephesians 1:2-23
    2May grace (God's unmerited favor) and spiritual peace [which means peace with God and harmony, unity, and undisturbedness] be yours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    3May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm!
    4Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.
    5For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]--
    6[So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
    7In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor,
    8Which He lavished upon us in every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence),
    9Making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will (of His plan, of His purpose). [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in Him,
    10[He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth.
    11In Him we also were made [God's] heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance; for we had been foreordained (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will,
    12So that we who first hoped in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him have been destined and appointed to] live for the praise of His glory!
    13In Him you also who have heard the Word of Truth, the glad tidings (Gospel) of your salvation, and have believed in and adhered to and relied on Him, were stamped with the seal of the long-promised Holy Spirit.
    14That [Spirit] is the guarantee of our inheritance [the firstfruits, the pledge and foretaste, the down payment on our heritage], in anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring [complete] possession of it--to the praise of His glory.
    15For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints (the people of God),
    16I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.
    17[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,
    18By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones),
    19And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,
    20Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places],
    21Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.
    22And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church],
    23Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself].
 
Ephesians 2:1-10
    1And you [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins
    2In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God].
    3Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.
    4But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us,
    5Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).
    6And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
    7He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.
    8For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;
    9Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]
    10For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
 
Ephesians 2:13
    13But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were [so] far away, through (by, in) the blood of Christ have been brought near.
 

How willing is Jesus to restore you to the Father-child relationship with God that God Himself desires? Decide for yourself as we look at this passage about Jesus, Who perfectly represented the Heart of God:
 
Mark 1:40-42
    40And a leper came to Him, begging Him on his knees and saying to Him, If You are willing, You are able to make me clean.
    41And being moved with pity [compassion] and sympathy, Jesus reached out His hand and touched him, and said to him, I AM willing; be made clean!
    42And at once the leprosy [completely] left him and he was made clean [by being healed].

 
The leper only had enough faith to approach Jesus. He admitted his lack of faith when he said “if.”
 
Speaking of “if,” if you have at least as much faith as this leper that God your Father is inviting you into Father-child relationship with Him, continue reading.

 

The Apostle John must have been raised by a father who was able to impart love to his son without demanding performance in return. John’s father was able to instill a sense of security in his son that carried over to his other relationships.
 
When John writes about himself in the Book of John, he calls himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved.”

 
John 13:23
    23One of His disciples, whom Jesus loved [whom He esteemed and delighted in], was reclining [next to Him] on Jesus' bosom.
 
John 21:7
    7Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, It is the Lord! Simon Peter, hearing him say that it was the Lord, put (girded) on his upper garment (his fisherman's coat, his outer tunic)--for he was stripped [for work]--and sprang into the sea.
 
John 21:20
    20But Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved, following--the one who also had leaned back on His breast at the supper and had said, Lord, who is it that is going to betray You?


 
Would you like to be that inwardly secure in your identity?
 
How can you call yourself the “person whom Jesus loved,” “the child whom Father God loves”?

That’s easy. All you have to do is accept the Truth that Jesus shed His Blood for you.
 

Earlier, we concluded that  many religions teach that instead of learning from our mistakes, we suffer because of them. For each of us, Jesus suffered for our mistakes.
 
When Jesus willingly laid down His life, He did so for you.
 
If you were the only person on earth, He would have offered His life willingly for you.



If you don’t know about Jesus’ willingness to offer His life for you and what His choices accomplished, go now to these sections of the website: Jesus’ Mission, Jesus’ Sacrifice, Jesus’ Exchanges, and Jesus’ Triumph.
 
Jesus determined to shed His Blood for all sin committed past, present, and future, by all human beings. He offered His Blood for you and for your sins.
 
God’s eternal laws require that blood be shed in payment for sin [and sin is defined as rebellion against any of God’s laws of right and wrong].
 
Jesus’ Mission was to die, to pour out His Blood, taking upon Himself the punishment that you deserve for your sins against God’s laws.
 
Jesus offered His life as a sacrifice for two key reasons.

First, Jesus chose to shed His Blood for you, to restore you to the Father-child relationship that you can enjoy throughout eternity ― if you simply accept His sacrifice for you. He chose to shed His Blood for you, God’s beloved child.

Second, Jesus chose to shed His Blood as an act of ministry to Father God. Jesus knows the Truth that there is a place in the Heart of Father God that is reserved only for you.

Not only is there an empty void in your heart that only God can fill, but there is an empty place in God’s heart that only you can fill.

This place reserved for you in God’s heart has been reserved for you from the foundations of the earth and probably before.
 
This place reserved for you in God’s heart is yours, now, completely based on Jesus’ accomplishments, not yours.

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Does that mean that you don’t need to do anything?
 
While you don’t need to “perform” or “earn,” you do need to use your free will to make a choice.
 
During every moment of your life, God has extended His invitation into relationship with Him, and He will continue to extend His welcome to you until your final breath.
 
Many people postpone making that decision, thinking that they will enter into relationship with God just before they pass into death. They reason that they can have all the fun they want while alive and then, at the last moment, they can “get serious” about relationship with God.
 
That type thinking is flawed in many ways.
 
First, people who postpone their decision about relationship with God prove they think they need to “perform” and “be good” in order to “earn” God’s love.
 
Second, people who postpone their decision about relationship with God forget that only God knows the timing of their last breath. People who postpone this most important decision gamble with their eternities.
 
Because God knows their thoughts before they think them and their choices before they make them, God knows when they’ve determined not to enter relationship with God.
 
His desire is that, upon their death on earth, they enter into eternal life with Him. Yet, He has given each one free will and He waits for their decisions.
 
The place in God’s Heart reserved for each individual person belongs to them for eternity. If they gamble and lose, the place in God’s heart which was reserved for them is vacant forever. God their Father will grieve His loss and theirs for precisely that long.
 
Third, by definition, relationship is not a one-time choice. More, it is not a choice made in drugged state in the last moments spent on a death bed.
 
People who postpone their decision about relationship with God don’t think it through that relationship involves a multitude of choices.
 
Most importantly, relationship with God as Father offers God’s true riches both in this life and throughout eternity.

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How can you fill the empty place in God’s heart that has been reserved for you? Should you wait until you can be “good” enough for Him to accept you?
 
Romans 3:23-24 says, “All have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives."  Remember:
 

Romans 5:8-9
    8But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.
    9Therefore, since we are now justified (acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God) by Christ's blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God [against the unrepentant].
 

John 3:14-17
    14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert [on a pole], so must [so it is necessary that] the Son of Man be lifted up [on the cross],
    15 In order that everyone who believes in Him [who cleaves to Him, trusts Him, and relies on Him] may not perish, but have eternal life and [actually] live forever!
    16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
    17 For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.


We are made “good” because of Jesus’ mission, sacrifice, and triumph.
 
1 Corinthians 2:9
    9 But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed].


Jesus is the only Way to relationship with Father God:
 
John 14:6
    6Jesus said to him, I AM the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.

 
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Isaiah 30:18
    18 And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!


 
Prayer That Restores Your Relationship With God As Your Father:
God Has Waited Your Whole Life For This Moment
 
Isaiah 30:18 says that God longs to be gracious to you; He waits to have compassion on you.
 
Did your heart hear the active, present-tense words “longs” and “waits”?
 
This verse does not say that He waited a long time and then gave up on you. No, this Bible verse uses words which are active, present-tense, continuous, and ongoing.
 
Remember that God’s Name is I AM, I Was, And I Will Be.
 
This is matching, eternal Truth — His love for you is, was, and forever will be.
 
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God, Who names Himself your Father, has waited your entire life for this moment.
 
Haven’t you always had a longing, an emptiness in your heart, that you weren’t sure how to fill?
 
Perhaps you’ve pursued relationships, hoping to fill the emptiness, but they didn’t satisfy.
 
Perhaps you’ve worked hard to earn position, possessions, or power, and even if you achieved them in part, when you are being honest with yourself, they didn’t fill up the undefined longing in your heart.
 
First John 4:19 tells us that we love Him because He first loved us. It is eternal Truth that He has been singing to your heart from the foundations of the world.
 
What has God been singing to you? God has sung His invitation into the Father-child relationship with you for which He has longed from eternity past until this moment right now.
 
Isaiah 30:18 starts with the truth that God longs to be gracious to you; He waits to have compassion on you. It ends with the definition of what your heart has longed for all your life.
 
The English-language Amplified Bible finishes Isaiah 30:18 with these words: “Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!”
 
Alternate Text
 
James 1:18 says that it was through His own free will that He gave you birth and called you into the esteemed position of child ― His beloved child.
 
You were created to enjoy relationship with God as your Father, but He is not the only One with free will. He has given you free will.
 
You must choose relationship with Him for yourself, and you must make this choice while you still have breath.
 
All you need is the desire to respond to His love by moving toward Him. He’ll do all the rest.
 
Why delay?
 

 

 
Prayer That Restores Your Relationship With God As Your Father:
Believing That God Exists
 
When you pray the prayer that follows, asking God for the gift of restored relationship with Him as your Father, you're exercising your free will in indicating you are willing to move closer to Him in relationship.
 
Your willingness pleases God, because you have freely chosen to know Him and to return to the relationship with Him which He established before you were born.

 

 
Prayer That Restores Your Relationship With God As Your Father:
Believing That Jesus Came To Bring Vibrant, Abundant LIFE
 
God gave Mankind rules for living so that we could prosper in all ways ― physically, mentally, financially, emotionally, and relationally. God says:
 
Isaiah 55:8-9
    8For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
    9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.

 
Because of our definition as human [which, as you will see in other places on this website, focuses more on our inabilities than our abilities], in our own abilities it is impossible to perfectly obey the commandments of God.
 
When we follow our own ways we are, in fact, pridefully thinking that in our own strength we can achieve His righteousness. Isaiah 64:6 says our righteousness is like filthy rags.
 
Isaiah 59:2 says that our sins have created a barrier between us and Him and, by our own works there is no way we can break through ― or go over, under, or around ― that barrier.
 
Romans 3:10 says there is no one righteous in his own abilities — not one.
 
Some of us think that we can “trick” God into loving us despite who we really are.
 
As humans, most of us reason incorrectly that if we strive to be “good” [whatever that means] that we can impress God enough to “earn” an increase in His love toward us.
 
The truth is that we cannot earn any more love from God than He has already, freely, given us. He has already given us all His love, holding none back.
 
Striving and earning to achieve our own righteousness are works based in “self,” and it is impossible for “self” to achieve righteousness. Self-motivation, self-striving, self-effort, and self-discipline are all grounded in human abilities. Self-justification simply proves that we are striving in our own efforts.
 
All these works of “self” have, at their foundation, pride. Pride is sin.
 
Actually, pride is the sin that established satan as God’s enemy.
 
What is sin?
 
1 John 2:15-16
    15Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.
    16For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh [craving for things that please our five senses] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one's own resources or in the stability of earthly things]--these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself].
 
1 John 3:4
    4Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God's law by transgression or neglect--being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will).
 
James 1:14-15
    14But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions).
    15Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death.
 

Genesis 3 describes how satan deceived Adam and Eve to rebel and to make choices against God and against His commands. Since that time, sin has been passed down through all the generations of mankind and we, Adam’s descendants, have all inherited sin from him.
 
Romans 5:12
    12Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man, and death as the result of sin, so death spread to all men, [no one being able to stop it or to escape its power] because all men sinned.
 
Romans 6:23
    23For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.

 
Another of our inheritances from Adam is our inability to love purely. Even as we tell others that we love them, we try to manipulate them to do things our way, to give us things they have that we want.
 
Sin is certainly not limited to the type of crimes that societies punish through imprisonment or death sentences. Almost all actions motivated by the concept of “self” — selfishness, self-justification, self-promotion [among others] — are sins in God’s eyes.
 
As our wise Father, He has put guidelines in place that ensure our relational health [how we relate to others and they relate to us]. When we are motivated by self, we sin, and we bring about relational death. Relational death is not only limited to our fellow humans, but to our relationship with God.
 
The only just penalty for sin is death — not just physical death but eternal death.
 
Revelation 20:11-15
    11Then I saw a great white throne and the One [God] Who was seated upon it, from Whose presence and from the sight of Whose face earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.
    12I [also] saw the dead, great and small; they stood before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is [the Book] of Life. And the dead were judged (sentenced) by what they had done [their whole way of feeling and acting, their motives] in accordance with what was recorded in the books.
    13And the sea delivered up the dead who were in it, death and Hades (the state of death) surrendered the dead in them, and all were tried and their cases determined by what they had done [according to their motives, aims, and works].
    14Then death and Hades (the state of death) were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
    15And if anyone's [name] was not found recorded in the Book of Life, he was hurled into the lake of fire.

 
You must realize that the “many paths to God” theory is satan’s deception and is not truth.
 
John 12:40
    40He [satan] has blinded their eyes and hardened and numbed their [callous, unfeeling] hearts [He has made their minds dull], to keep them from seeing with their eyes and understanding with their hearts and minds and repenting and turning to Me to heal them.
 

As Jesus spoke to the Pharisees, men who had been blinded by satan to think that by their own righteousness they could achieve forgiveness of sins, He used harsh language to shock them into the truth:
 
John 8:44
    44You are of your father, the devil, and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false.

 
He explained to them, and is still speaking to us today:
 
John 14:6
    6Jesus said to him, I AM the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.
 
Revelation 1:18
    18And the Ever-living One [I am living in the eternity of the eternities]. I died, but see, I am alive forevermore; and I possess the keys of death and Hades (the realm of the dead).
 

While satan’s passion is your individual destruction, Jesus’ passion is your individual, vibrant LIFE.
 
John 10:10
    10The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

 
How can you be saved from the death and eternal destruction that sin ensures?
 
First, you must be willing to believe the truth that is detailed in the sections Jesus’ Mission, Jesus’ Sacrifice, and Jesus’ Exchanges — Jesus came to earth as a man in order to live the sinless life that you cannot live; He died in your place, so that you would not have to pay the penalty you deserve for the sins you’ve committed.
 
It’s important to note that as God sent Jesus, He gifted Jesus with the same free will that you enjoy. In other words, although Jesus was sent to die, death was Jesus’ choice. When He moved forward toward the agonizing death of the cross, He did so willingly.
 
Alternate Text

With Jesus as your standard of perfection, you're now acknowledging that when Jesus shed His Blood, He accomplished everything necessary to restore you to the Father-child relationship with God you were created to enjoy.
 
You must confess your past wrong choices, and repent. Repent means to turn, and to turn away from. Once you have accepted Jesus into your heart, His Holy Spirit will help you to overcome sin.
 
2 Peter 3:9
    9The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.
 
Acts 3:19
    19So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord;
 
1 John 1:9
    9If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

 
The Name of Jesus carries all power:
 
Philippians 2:9-11
    9Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the Name that is above every Name,
    10That in (at) the Name of Jesus every knee should [must] bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    11And every tongue [frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
 
Acts 2:21
    21And it shall be that whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
 

Acts 10:43
    43 To Him all the prophets testify (bear witness) that everyone who believes in Him [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him, giving himself up to Him] receives forgiveness of sins through His Name.
 

Acts 13:38-39
    38So let it be clearly known and understood by you, brethren, that through this Man [Jesus] forgiveness and removal of sins is now proclaimed to you;
    39And that through Him everyone who believes [who acknowledges Jesus as his Savior and devotes himself to Him] is absolved (cleared and freed)
from every charge from which he could not be justified and freed by the Law of Moses and given right standing with God.
 
Next, you admit you are ready to accept Jesus’ sacrifice ― that His choice to die on the cross and shed His Blood for you has enabled your choice to live in relationship with God as your Father.
 
Colossians 1:13-14
    13[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
    14In Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins.
 
Colossians 1:19-22
    19For it has pleased [the Father] that all the divine fullness (the sum total of the divine perfection, powers, and attributes) should dwell in Him [Jesus] permanently.
    20And God purposed that through (by the service, the intervention of) Him [the Son] all things should be completely reconciled back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him, [the Father] made peace by means of the blood of His cross.
    21And although you at one time were estranged and alienated from Him and were of hostile attitude of mind in your wicked activities,
    22Yet now has [Christ, the Messiah] reconciled [you to God] in the body of His flesh through death, in order to present you holy and faultless and irreproachable in His [the Father's] presence.
 
1 John 4:9
    9In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him.
 

The Bible gives us rich encouragement starting with the words “But God”:
 
Ephesians 2:4-10
    4But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us,
    5Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).
    6And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
    7He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.
    8For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;
    9Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]
    10For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

 

 
Prayer That Restores Your Relationship With God As Your Father:
Pray It Now
 
"Father, I know that I have not obeyed Your laws. I’ve pursued my own ways instead of Yours.
 
I’ve made decisions which were contrary to your will for me. My wrong actions and choices, my sins, have separated me from You.
 
I confess that I have tried to “earn” Your love. I’ve tried to be “good,” and now I admit that no amount of striving on my part has achieved Your righteousness.
 
I realize now that it’s only because of Jesus’ triumph that I can be righteous.
 
Please forgive me for all wrong thinking about Your nature and character. Please forgive me for all wrong choices, decisions, and actions. Please forgive me for all works of “self” and all pride.
 
Please help me to turn from sin, and all tendency toward sin.
 
I believe that Jesus died and shed His Blood for my sins. I believe that Jesus accomplished all that was necessary to restore me to the relationship with You that You desire, the relationship with You for which I was born.
 
I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to reign in my heart from this day forward.
 
Please send your Holy Spirit to help me know You, and begin teaching me how deep, how wide, how high, and how broad is my Father God’s love for me.
 
In Your Name, Jesus, I pray. Amen."
 
Romans 8:37-39
    37Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.
    38For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,
    39Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 
1 John 4:16
    16And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.
 
Galatians 4:4-7
    4But when the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born subject to [the regulations of] the Law,
    5To purchase the freedom of (to ransom, to redeem, to atone for) those who were subject to the Law, that we might be adopted and have sonship conferred upon us [and be recognized as God's sons].
    6And because you [really] are [His] sons, God has sent the [Holy] Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba (Father)! Father!
    7Therefore, you are no longer a slave (to sin) but a son; and if a son, then [it follows that you are] an heir by the aid of God, through Christ.
 
Romans 8:15
    15For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father!
 
Jude 1:24-25
    24Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]--
    25To the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory (splendor), majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever (unto all the ages of eternity). Amen (so be it).

 
Alternate Text
 
One translation of the Bible verse Zephaniah 3:17 says that God, your Father, rejoices over you with singing. Another translation says that He rejoices over you with shouts of joy.
 
Earlier, you learned that He has been singing His song of Fatherly love over you from the foundations of the world.
 
As you prayed the prayer just now, somewhere in the world He has caused all His angels, and the dawn, and the sunset to join with Him in shouting for joy!
 
It is Truth that He has waited your entire life for this moment.
 
Now, please go to the section of the website named His Father’s Heart Expressed. Why?
 
God, your Father, wants to minister to your heart right now by showing you how much He loves you.