How can I give my life to God?

Many people seek to find a cause to devote their lives to, something that will bring them a sense of meaning and purpose. Some seek a life purpose within relationships, accomplishing career goals, or having a family. Others devote themselves to academic study, philosophy, or social causes. None of these things are bad, but they come up short on delivering a complete sense of meaning. The truth is anything besides a life devoted to Christ will come up short (Isaiah 45:5; John 10:10). Because we were created by God in His image, we can only find our most meaningful lives by surrendering them to Him (Genesis 1:27; Colossians 1:16). Jesus brings us a sense of purpose and instills meaning into every component of our lives.

Before we even had a chance to give our lives to God, He gave His life for us when Jesus died on the cross for our salvation and redemption from the penalty of sins: "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us" (1 John 3:16; see also Galatians 1:3–5). However, it is at the moment when we make the choice to give our lives to God that we get to fully experience the life He has provided for us. He gives us rest from the weariness of our souls and makes us new, forgiving us of our sins: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17; see also Matthew 11:28).

So, how can we give our lives to God? We must first admit that we are sinners in need of a Savior (Psalm 32:5; Romans 3:23). We must choose to believe in Jesus as the only way to salvation (Acts 16:31; 2 Corinthians 5:21) and fully surrender our lives and wills to God (Romans 12:1).

Confess your faith and commit your life to God with a prayer such as this: "Dear God, I come to you today acknowledging that I am a sinner in need of salvation. I thank you that you love me even in my sinful state. I believe that Jesus Christ is your Son and that He died for me and was raised from the dead so that my sins could be forgiven. Please forgive me and cleanse me. I want to be your child. I want to be filled with your Spirit. I choose to live for you in every area of my life from this day forward."

When we give our lives to God, He sends the Holy Spirit to live within our spirits so that we may truly live for God and have a personal relationship with Him (1 John 4:13; Acts 5:32; Romans 8:16). By putting our faith in Jesus, we belong to God and our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). This life we now live is for Christ, and God permeates our actions and decisions: "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). By having the Holy Spirit, we are truly transformed. Our desires and tendencies lean toward God and away from the former things of the world we knew before. We look to God's Word (the Bible) to get to know Him better and to see how He would have us live. We spend time with God regularly in prayer. We fellowship with others who have also given their lives to God, mutually encouraging and exhorting one another. In our lives we aim to love God and love others, and we look to Him to give us wisdom in how to do so and to equip us to do so. Living for Christ is counter-cultural, but the Holy Spirit gives us the power we need to do so (Titus 2:11–14; Luke 9:23; Matthew 7:13).

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