Lessons for Life

A descendent of Cherokee grandparents, Carlos lived in Miami, Arizona, for a period of time as a young boy, not far from the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. Carlos faced some difficult challenges. With an often–absent alcoholic father and a mother working hard to pay the bills and put food on the table, Carlos learned that life can be tough. The care of his younger brother in the late hours of the night often fell to him. Schoolwork did not come easy, and to make things worse a bully in the school began to torment him.

His first response was to run, but Carlos eventually came to the realization that you cannot run from problems. They must be faced. Only when he stopped running and faced the bully was the problem resolved, and eventually the two became friends. Facing and overcoming challenges became a pattern in Carlos’ life and he went on to become a six–time world martial arts champion.

Today, Carlos is known worldwide as Chuck Norris, an accomplished athlete, martial artist, actor, and an advocate of helping youth through martial arts through his Kick Start Foundation. As a Christian, he is not ashamed of his relationship with Jesus Christ and is quick to give God the credit for his accomplishments. Chuck Norris shares his heart’s desire on the “Christian Resource Page” of his website (chucknorris.com):

“Chuck’s greatest desire is for people to come to know God personally. The simple truth is that there is a God Who created you and loves you very much. He gave us life and deserves our gratitude and love (Philippians 3:10).

We, however, have chosen to disobey Him and sin against Him; all of us have done wrong and failed to do what is right (Romans 3:23). We may not be more sinful than our neighbor, or we may be far worse than anyone we know, it does not matter. Either way, we are guilty before God (1 John 1:8).

God is perfect, completely good, always right and fair. He cannot tolerate sin. He cannot simply overlook the fact that we have chosen to disobey Him. The Bible says “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This means that the fair payment for our rebellion against God is death. It is the punishment that we deserve.

Jesus, the one and only Son of God, came to earth and lived a perfect, sinless life. He was crucified even though He was completely innocent. He received the punishment that we deserved. He was the perfect sacrifice; He was put into our place and took on Himself the sentence of death that should have been ours (Romans 5:8).

Jesus did not, however, remain dead. After three days, He rose from the grave and later ascended into heaven. He will return for all those who are trusting in Him as their Savior.

Jesus died for you. You can be saved by asking Him for forgiveness from your sins. If you are willing to repent of your sin, He is waiting to forgive you. It doesn’t matter what you have done in the past, if you cry out to Jesus for forgiveness, He will not reject you. The word “repent” literally means “to turn away from.” You need to look at your life, admit that you are a sinner, genuinely desire to turn your back on that sin, and ask Him to forgive you. If you do this, He promises to forgive you.

True Christianity is not about attending a particular church, or how your parents raised you, or what country you were born in. Being a Christian means that you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, that He is your Savior. It’s not good enough that your priest, pastor, mother, or aunt knows Jesus; you must know Him for yourself. They cannot believe in Him for you; you must believe for yourself. They cannot repent for you; you must repent for yourself.

Jesus is everywhere all the time. He can hear you now if you ask Him for forgiveness. Please turn your life over to Him NOW. Time slips by so quickly, don’t miss this opportunity. If you want to pray and ask Jesus to be your Savior, you can say a prayer something like this (make it personal):

‘Jesus, I know that I have sinned against you. I know the truth is that I have sinned by my own choice, and I am the one responsible for it. I know that I have earned punishment from You, and that the fair punishment would be death. Jesus, I believe that You died in my place. Forgive me for my sin. I cannot cover or take my sin away, I am relying totally and only on You. You are the only one who can save me. I reject my sin, I turn away from it, I repent. Come into my life, take away my sin, and show me how to live my life in a way that is right and pleasing to You.’ If you have prayed this, YOU ARE SAVED! You are now completely forgiven, a new creation, innocent in the eyes of God. Welcome to the family of God!

It is important for you to start to grow in your relationship with Jesus. Just like any relationship, you need to spend time with someone if you want to know them well. The way to know God is through the Bible. We have a few different Bible studies here that will help you get going. It’s also important to find a church you can attend where they teach the Bible. This will allow you to talk with a pastor who will help explain questions you might have, and it will give you a chance to spend time with other Christians who can encourage you.”

Chuck Norris has sincerely communicated his greatest desire for you—that you know God personally! He has shared with you the way to know God as revealed in the Bible. It is not by chance that you are reading this. God has desired and planned for a personal relationship with you before the earth was even created! Ephesians 1:4 says “He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world.” Our prayer is that God has spoken to your heart by what you have read and that you have chosen to respond in prayer accepting Christ as your personal Savior!

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” II Corinthians 5:17

A new life in Christ is a new beginning! A truly successful life is knowing and fulfilling the purpose for which you were created. The purpose of all creation is to glorify God! Colossians 1:16–18 says, “All things were created by Him, and for Him…that in all things He might have the preeminence.” God alone is worthy of your worship in every area of life. I Corinthians 10:31 tells us, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

God has provided everything you need to be a success. Colossians 2:10 says, “And you are complete in Him.” In His presence you can “abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). You have His power to “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (II Timothy 2:3). Jesus encourages with the words of John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” God is faithful to enable us to handle any testing we face (I Corinthians 10:13).

When you fail, ask God to forgive you. I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Continual prayer is important (I Thessalonians 5:17) along with Bible reading. Psalm 119:105 explains that God’s Word “is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” II Peter 1:3 promises, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” through a saving relationship   with Christ.

As you grow in Christ you can share His message of hope with others in your family and community. I Peter 3:15 commands, “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” Our communities desperately need role models who will point people to Jesus Christ and then, by example, practically apply biblical values in everyday life.

As tribal members and partners in the Native American community, we want to help you grow in God’s unique plan for your life. Our stories of hope and healing, as well as resources in our Native languages, are available on our website at www.todaysnative. org. If you have come to Christ through reading this, please write to us, and share your testimony of salvation. We look forward to hearing from you!

Twelve Points for Life

By Chuck Norris

(1) I will develop myself to the maximum of my potential in all ways.

(2) I will forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements.

(3) I will always be in a positive frame of mind and convey this feeling to every person that I meet.

(4) I will continually work at developing love, happiness and loyalty in my family and acknowledge that no other success can compensate for failure in the home.

(5) I will look for the good in all people and make them feel worthwhile.

(6) If I have nothing good to say about a person, I will say nothing.

(7) I will give so much time to the improvement of myself that I will have no time to criticize others.

(8) I will always be as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.

(9) I will maintain an attitude of open-mindedness toward another person’s viewpoint while still holding fast to that which I know to be true and honest.

(10) I will maintain respect for those in authority and demonstrate this respect at all times.

(11) I will always remain loyal to God, my country, family, and my friends.

(12) I will remain highly goal-oriented throughout my life because that positive attitude helps my family, my country, and myself.