We have fallen short of that love.

Sadly, the “bad news” is that we often settle for things that are finite. What’s worse is we may subconsciously treat them as if they were infinite (e.g.: expecting a finite human relationship to offer eternal bliss). Whenever we prioritize ourselves or the people or things in our lives above God, we offend him. We call this sin. This misplaced worship escalates quickly, and so it’s not hard to see the effects of sin in our world today: war, starvation, racism, poverty, rape, the spread of STDs etc.
That being said, many of us do not feel that we have committed sin, or that our sins are really not that big of a deal (especially in comparison to other “bad” people). If we could chart our morality on a bell curve, the Mother Teresas of the world would be at one end of the curve and the serial killers would be at the other end. Most of us would see ourselves as being somewhere in the middle (not perfect, but not all that bad either). By analogy, if you had a terminal illness and were living in a hospital, you might say, “Well I’m certainly not as sick as some of the other people here.” The reality is that whether we realize it or not, we have all been infected by the sin-virus! And all sin carries with it a consequence: death! “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) In other words, our paycheck at the end of the day for our sinful work is that we will die; not just physically, but eternally. Sorry if this sounds morbid, but none of us can escape death.
Though we were hard-wired with a longing for the infinite, we have altered our destiny and have condemned ourselves to spend eternity with what is finite. It has been said, “God is so loving that when you die He will give you whatever you want forever! Unfortunately, if what you want is anything less than God, it will feel like hell.” Ponder that for a moment. The point here is not to scare you into belief, but to acknowledge that sin and death are real…and humans are incapable of fixing either.

BY HIS RESURRECTION WE ARE SAVED

Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly!” (John 10:10) However, he knew that for his followers to experience the fullness of this “new life” he would have to leave so that the Holy Spirit could come (by the way, the Holy Spirit is not like “The Force,” he is the third divine person in the Trinity who wants to be in relationship with you). Right before his departure, Jesus instructed his followers to wait for the promise of the Father. In a few days (Pentecost) they would be “baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:5) The term baptism refers to an immersion of a person in water as a means of being filled with the Holy Spirit. That’s right, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit actually wants to dwell inside of you! Not only did God create you in love, and die for your sins, but he wants to make of you a sacred space, so that your body would literally become his temple (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:16).
When a person is immersed in the Holy Spirit, everything changes for him or her. Imagine being near-sighted and wearing glasses for the first time. It’s not that you were blind before, but things were out of focus. Suddenly, the whole world appears clear and crisp. You might exclaim, “I thought everyone saw the world a little fuzzy… but this is the way I was always meant to see!” Receiving an out-pouring or a renewal of the Holy Spirit often leads to a newfound joy, a deep peace, and a clarity about life. A person might also experience a desire for prayer, strength in combatting old habits of sin, a yearning to read Scripture and to learn about the ways of God.
The following is a short prayer that provides words for us to make a heartfelt response to God. Read it over first and take the time to decide if this is truly how you desire to respond. It also helps if you have a friend, who is already living as a disciple, who can pray for you and with you as you make this response to God:

Prayer of Consecration

Pray with us: “God my Father, I believe that you have created me for no other reason than love. In a thousand ways I have shunned your love. I repent for each and every one of my sins. Please forgive me.
Thank you for sending your Son to die for me, to save me from eternal death. I choose this day to renew my covenant with you and to place Jesus at the center of my heart. I surrender to him as Lord over everything.
I ask you now to baptize me in your Holy Spirit as you grant me the gift of new life. Give me the grace and courage to live as a missionary disciple for the rest of my days. Amen.”