Suppose one day you ate a meal at a certain restaurant and you were very disappointed because the service was terrible, the table was dirty, the waitress was dirty, the food was lousy, and you told yourself you would never go there again. But then one day several months later you… See driving past the restaurant and you see a sign in the window that says Under New Management and so you try the restaurant again. And what do you know? – it’s the same old building but the place is clean, the table is clean, the waitress is clean, the food is good and you ask yourself what happened to change this place? What happened is very simple; the restaurant has a new manager and he has set everything in proper order. If you want change in your life then you need to give up control and get a new manager. You need to turn control of your life over to Jesus Christ.
Everywhere we look today we see the results of self-managed lives. They are broken, shattered lives. Lives that have traveled every side road and every back road, every dead end alley, looked behind every door and under every rock, tried every pill, every drink, every drug – they’ve tried every worldly pleasure imaginable hoping to find some semblance of peace and satisfaction and yet their lives remain completely broken and shattered and they ask themselves Why – why haven’t I been able to find an answer, a remedy, for this relentless, gnawing restlessness and emptiness that has over-taken and enveloped my life? The reason is simple – it’s because the same old person remains in control of their life – themselves.
You see human nature delights in sin. Without Jesus Christ living in our heart, without the conviction of the Holy Spirit we simply can not overcome that human nature. One afternoon I was talking with someone who was a member of one of the worlds most famous rock bands, and while I was talking with this person about Jesus Christ they said to
me Mark, it’s not easy to be good – it’s easy to be bad. And thats the way it is with most of our world today. Man always wants to take the easy way with no thought of the consequences. And many of our pulpits today have taken the Gospel of Jesus Christ, watering it down and diluting it to such an extent that there are very few things in our society that we even classify as sin anymore. And so as we allow
this huge menagerie of sin into our life, and as the consequences begin to overwhelm us we eventually begin
looking for answers – something that will validate our lifestyle and the path that we have chosen. We think to ourselves maybe a psychologist can analyze my situation and pinpoint the source of this terrible void in my life. Or, Maybe some deep transcendental meditation will take me into the realm of my own psyche and I can fix whatever it is that is throwing my aura off balance. But you see our need is not a need for gurus, no self-help book has the power to solve the real problem – the problem of Sin!
Our greatest need in life is the need of salvation, the need to face up to and accept the fact that we are lost in sin and that no amount of psychology or self-help classes, or the preaching of a re-configured, weakened, more comfortable
re-designed gospel will ever in any way change, lessen, remove or fix the problem of sin. Why? Simply because there is only ONE answer, the only cure is to REPENT of our sin, to ask Jesus to forgive us of our sin, to invite Him into our heart as our personal Lord and Master giving Him complete and total control, and then remaining true and faithful to Him all the days of our life. No other way exists for us to find true peace and happiness in life.
There are two voices that call to each and every one of us – the voice of the world, and the voice of God. Just look around and you will see that most have chosen to listen to the voice of the world because it suits their sinful desires. And all the while we try to keep just enough religion to ease the guilt and feel good about ourselves which is nothing but pretense and self-delusion. If a persons relationship with Jesus Christ is not one that has COMPLETELY transformed their life then that person does not have a true relationship with Christ. When Jesus Christ comes into a persons heart their WHOLE LIFE changes.
The world will no longer hold any attraction for you if your heart truly holds Jesus Christ. The world offers nothing of lasting value – it makes no sacrifices for you. The world can not mend a broken heart, it can not fix loneliness. But Christ can do all those things – and more. When we come to Him in true faith and repentance Jesus gives us everything – He gives us joy, He gives us hope, He gives us peace, and He gives us eternal life.
When Jesus came into the world the Bible tells us that wise men came to seek Him and to worship Him. The same is true today. It is the wise who seek after Jesus. But a person can have a head filled with all sorts of Biblical knowledge and still not have Jesus Christ in their heart if they have never responded in a real and personal way to the truth of the Bible, repenting of their sin, and asking Christ to come in and fill their heart. God calls every person in the world to repentance and new life through His Son Jesus Christ. Many people have asked what does it mean to repent?
To repent means to change, to change your mind, to change your way of thinking, to change direction in your life. To repent means to change your desire from earthly things to Heavenly things. It means that you feel sorry for the things you have done and for those things you have neglected to do. Repentance is NOT just turning away from sin for only a little while it’s TOTALLY turning away from sin. Repentance is NOT simply trying to conceal your sin. Trying to conceal your sin is like spilling seed on the ground and then trying to hide it by covering it up with dirt – the seed eventually comes up and is exposed. You can not hide your sin from God. The only thing worse than sin, is unrepented sin. And no person can refuse to repent of their sin without having to pay the consequences for that decision.
The importance of establishing and maintaining a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ is light years ahead of anything else you will ever do in life. Every day that goes by in which a person lives their life without Jesus Christ is suicide on the installment plan. The life of any person anywhere in the world can be everything that it should be, and everything that God wants it to be, if we will go to the Cross in true repentance, confess that we are a sinner and ask His forgiveness, give Him complete and singular residence in our heart, and give Him unconditional control in every area of our life. Once we do that, there is a sign on our heart written in Jesusí own blood that says This heart now belongs to God – – this heart is now Under New Management.
By Mark Shutts