Sharing Christ Within the Community

    Hope is something that is promised to us in many shapes and forms. Perhaps, we were grasping for some sort of hope in our career, family, marriage, relationships etc., but for some reason, hope seems to find a way to fade away in the midst of life’s struggles. Maybe you clicked on this tab because you have lost all hope; maybe you were betrayed, mistreated, or blindsided by a person or circumstance. In the midst of these struggles, it often feels like we have nowhere to turn, but the truth is you can always turn to God. Yet, God seems to be the last person we turn to, and in many cases, God can feel so distant or disconnected from our lives. In fact, you may feel like something is separating you from God. The truth is something has separated you from God, and it is called sin.

    Now, as soon as you hear the word “sin,” you probably feel as if some religious person is pointing their finger at you with some sort of “holier than thou” look on their face. However, the Bible takes care of any chance for someone to say they are better than you, or that you are a terrible person and they are not. The Bible says, in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (ESV). In other words, we are all “sinners,” which means we have all done, said, or thought about things that God has told us are wrong, and if we are being honest, we could list off tons of things we have done that we know deep down inside ourselves are wrong. Wow, that’s pretty depressing. By now, you are probably saying, “I thought this tab was going to give me hope,” but there is more bad news before we get to the Good News.

    In Romans 6:23, the Bible says “for the wages of sin is death, …”. (ESV) The word “death” here means eternal separation from God, and the word “wage” is used like a wage you would earn at a job for services rendered. In short, what each of us has earned, or what we deserve, for our sin is to be eternally separated from God in a very real place called hell. We deserve to have to pay for our sins, and it is a debt that we could never repay. We can try to do all the good things that we want, but they can never erase the bad things we have done. We are far from perfect, which means we could never spend eternity in a perfect place like heaven. Talk about no hope!

    Now time for the Good News, for hope, but not just any hope – Eternal Hope! You see I only shared with you the first half of Romans 3:23. The second half says “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (ESV). God sent a gift in the form of his Son – Jesus Christ, and Jesus came to offer a gift – Eternal Life. However, this gift came at a very steep price. You see, the penalty for sin still needed to be paid, and because we could never repay God, He decided to pay that price on your behalf. The only way that this price could be paid was if an innocent and perfect person died on your behalf, so Jesus, the Son of God (who was God himself), was nailed to a cross, shed his blood, and died in order to destroy the separation your sin created between you and God. Yet, not only did Jesus die, but also three days later he rose from the grave and ascended to heaven, which proved that God had accepted Christ’s payment on your behalf. Talk about hope!

    However, just like any other gift, God’s gift of forgiveness needs to be received. Romans 10:9 explains how “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (ESV). All God asks of us is that we admit that we are sinners, believe that Jesus did what the Bible says he did, and confess to him that we need forgiveness. This is something that we can do through prayer. If God has been moving in your heart, and you believe everything that has been shared, then you know that this is something you can do right now.

    If you have decided to ask God to forgive you, it means that because of Christ’s sacrifice and the faith you have placed in him you are now a child of God. Talk about having a purpose and hope for your future. God has provided a way for you to spend eternity with Him and you have accepted that free gift. However, as exciting as this is, it does not mean that life is going to be easy, or that you will have no more problems, but it does mean that you don’t have to go through those problems on your own or through your own strength. God will be with you to lead you and guide you through life’s storms. If you have any questions, or want some guidance on how to start living a life following His leading, or if you just have questions about all of this, please contact us. We would love to walk along side you. God bless.