In the heart of God is a place you can experience as home. God loves you, and wants to spend time with you personally, one on one, as two close friends.
Because you and God are friends, you will spend time together as friends do. Each morning you'll share a hello and a hug and discuss how you can face the day's events together. Throughout the day you'll talk with Him about how you feel. You'll laugh with Him at funny things and ache with Him over sadness and hurts. Its pleasant being God's friend, able to snuggle comfortably into the safety of your relationship. You can always trust Him to treat you well, because He loves you.
The seventh day (Saturday) is an extra-special part of the relationship. The Bible, from Genesis through Revelation, describes the seventh day as the one day God has set aside for focused fellowship with His people. God has named that day "Sabbath" and asked us to spend it with Him. "Remember the Sabbath day," He says, "to keep it holy.” The Sabbath is a whole day to deepen our friendship with the Creator of the universe! A day when we're together, Jesus with us and us with Jesus.
There's another great truth about friendship with God. It doesn't end in a cemetery; for God is planning a homecoming better than anything we can dream. A homecoming filled with angels, trumpets, Jesus, and resurrections! He's promised to His followers (those who have accepted the offer of His life-changing love) from this earth to His home, a place He calls heaven. A place where our friendship can go on growing forever, endlessly, joyfully!
- God keeps a family album---and your picture is in it. God loves you and has a plan for your life.
God's love is about you. Personally.
God made you and has a very special plan for your life. It's a plan that will fill you with hope, love, peace, and activity. In fact, when Christ paid the penalty for sin on the cross, it gave Him the right to claim you as His own. As a result, you can experience His love and priceless salvation freely and fully without limit.
By the way, pictures of everyone fill that album: people of every nation, culture, background, gender, hair color, and foot size. In God's eyes all are equally "children of the King"!
Salvation? God cleans away all our sins and replaces them with His goodness. We don't have to be "good" for Him to accept us. Nevertheless, we must accept His promise and allow Him to clean out everything the enemy has left in us. Then we begin to experience the transforming power of His love. It's like a giant war: one side pulling us toward empty pleasure and destruction, and God urging us to accept His offer of peace and purpose.
Remember, Jesus has already won the war. He is victorious! We celebrate His victory in our lives when we participate in the Lord's Supper. This meal includes three symbols:
- Foot washing (which symbolizes our commitment to love others selflessly, as Jesus loves us),
- Communion bread ("This bread is my flesh," Jesus said, "which I will give for the life of the world," John 6:51, NIV), and
- Communion wine or grape juice ("Whoever ‘eats my flesh and drinks my blood’ has eternal life.” John 6:54, NIV)
To help us understand how God can transform us into His children, Jesus modeled the process of baptism for us. Baptism symbolized dying to self and coming alive in Jesus. Seventh-day Adventists practice full immersion baptism because by being fully buried beneath the water we symbolize that God's grace fully fills us with His new life for the future. Through baptism we are truly born again in Jesus.
Eternal life, peace, purpose, forgiveness, transforming grace, hope: Everything He promises is ours, because He's offering it and He's shown we can trust Him to do exactly as He promises. Accept His gifts, and you immediately become an active part of His family, and He joyfully becomes part of yours.