What do you receive from your faith in Jesus? Have you ever been asked that question (or asked yourself)? Maybe the first thing that comes to mind is the promise of an eternity in heaven (as opposed to hell). That's certainly an important benefit! But how much does that future impact your everyday life in the meantime?
Maybe forgiveness of your sins appears high on your list. How about the experience of a brand new life? And there's the presence of Jesus to comfort, empower, and guide you each day.
For me, all of these boil down to one word: HOPE. Because of Jesus, I have the real, "count-on-it" hope of forgiveness, new life, purpose, transformation, salvation, and much more. And when I consider life without a relationship with God, it seems pretty hopeless. Oh sure, I know friends who are living full lives, but they have no confidence in being forgiven, that they will be able to face the difficulties that life will bring, or that they can truly become the "better self" that they long for. And there's only wishful thinking when they consider eternity.
So here's my big question: do you care about your friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers enough to want them to have real HOPE in Jesus? That may seem like a harsh question to pose, but it's an important one to consider. Because, if you do, it should demonstrate itself in what you do. The trick is to find a way to share Jesus in a way that is respectful and gracious so that others will be drawn to Him.
This Sunday, August 25th, We'll conclude our series through the book of Colossians by considering how our ROOTEDNESS IN JESUS can lead to our REACHING OUT TO OTHERS with the HOPE of Jesus. Starting on Sunday, September 8th, we'll be spending a few weeks talking about how to share our HOPE in Jesus with others in a natural and effective way. I'll also be teaching an Adult Sunday School class on this topic beginning on September 15th - look for more info.
(Pastor Jeff and Tami will be attending the Labor Day Family Camp at Cascades Camp next weekend. In their absence, Steve Ludeman will be preaching.)
EXPLORING CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
Pastor Jeff will be holding an "Exploring Church Membership" class in September. Attending the class does not mean you will have to join, but it is a prerequisite for membership. Let him know of your interest and availability so that he can set a date for the next class.