…that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
You receive a registered letter stating that you have been given your dream job in Maui. It comes with a free condo, car, living expenses, and a maid. The only requirement is that you must move right away to take possession. You make some calls and learn that it is legit! You call all your friends to tell them your good news, and keep the letter with you at all times, showing it to other people. Six months later, a friend calls to ask how you like Maui. “Oh, I bet it’s great!” you answer. “I haven’t gone yet. But it’s mine. I believe it. I’ve still got the letter.” Your friend is shocked. “You haven’t gone? Why?” You look around at your shabby living room and shrug. “I’dunno. I love the idea of Maui, but I’d have to leave Claremore. I carry the letter with me everywhere and think about it all the time, but I don’t want to leave where I am.”
When Jesus says we must believe, He means that we must be willing leave where we are. We cannot accept His offer of new life if we won’t let go of the old one. Many people assume that to “believe” means we mentally agree with truth, but that can’t be correct because even the devil knows it is true. The kind of belief that saves us is the kind that changes us. To believe in Jesus is to place our whole lives in His hands. He becomes our undisputed Boss. We believe that He is God, that He has the right to tell us what to do, and that only He can provide what we need in this life and in the next.