Believe and live
"God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth shall not perish, but have eternal life." It's perhaps the best known verse in the Bible, John 3:16. If you want to have the life that is really life, you have to believe.
First of all, you have to believe. It is tempting to be the cynic, to accept nothing that you cannot prove, to always be the skeptic. If you are gullible and believe everything, you will suffer for it, of course. But if you are jaded and believe nothing, you will suffer as well. First, you have to believe.
Second, there is the object of your belief. It matters what you believe in. Specifically, you have to believe in Jesus, as the Bible says he is. John 3:16 summarizes a lot of what the Bible says about Jesus: He was sent to this world by God, out of God's love for the world, so that all could have eternal life. Don't construct your understanding of Jesus to please others or to fit your ideology or to avoid challenging those parts of your life that need to change. Believe in Jesus, as the Bible says he is.
Lastly, believe as if your life depends on it. Believing in Jesus is more than acknowledging that he existed as a historical figure. Believing in Jesus is even more than accepting that he rose from the dead. Believing in Jesus is trusting in Jesus, betting your life upon him, having an ongoing relationship with him, making your commitment to him. Believing in Jesus is like believing in the tightrope when you are suspended over the Grand Canyon.
This Sunday we will be talking about how you can make a decision right now, this day, to believe in Jesus, and thus to have the life that is really life.