FINDING HOPE | FINDING LIFE
Your story matters.
Your story matters not just because it is important to you, or because you are important to those around you, but because God made you with a purpose. We do not always feel “important,” and at times can feel less important than others, but this could not be further from the truth. Your story matters because it matters to God. Your story is His story!
Because we live in a broken and fallen world, we tend to look at life more like a survival story. As if our sole purpose is just to make it through the bad moments, hoping at some point there will be good moments. Almost daily we think, ask or wonder: “Surely, there must be more to life than simply surviving… right?”
Even in and through the struggles, hurts, anxiety, questions, loneliness, and “surviving” there is hope and there is life:*
#1 God’s Purpose: God wants us to experience a full and peaceful life.
God created us to be with Him. To know Him, relate with Him, and enjoy Him. We are at our best when we are closest to Him who made us, knows us and loves us unconditionally.
The Bible says:
“I came that they may have life and have it [more fully].” (John 10:10)
“We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)
#2 The Problem: We are separated from God.
God created us in His image and as the only part of creation that can truly know God and have a relationship with Him. Because He is a loving God He did not create us as robots unable to love or choose our loyalties. Instead He gave us a will and freedom of choice:
- We can choose to love God or reject Him.
- We can choose to obey Him or disobey Him.
- We can choose to follow after Him or run away from Him.
- I can choose to listen to God or ignore Him and His plan for me.
The Bible says:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
#3 Our Attempts: Our attempts fall short.
Since Adam and Eve, people have tried many ways to bridge the gap between them and God:
- Service, charity and other good deeds.
- Religion and spirituality.
- Logic, philosophy, and scientific pursuits.
In the end, however, each only provides temporary comfort for the deepest need of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls: community with our Creator, God Himself.
The Bible says…
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
“But your [sins] have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that he does not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)
#4 My Hope: God provides the answer and solution.
Separation from God came as a result of our sinfulness and sinful choices. Despite our best efforts we are still, and always will be separated from God and the fullness of life He offers. As a God of Justice who cares about right winning and wrong losing, He cannot simply ignore sin. Instead of casually overlooking or ignoring our sin (which would make Him an unfair and untrustworthy God) He switched places with us and took our penalty for us. In other words, He sent His Son to die in our place so that we could live!
The Bible says…
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the Righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God…” (1 Peter 3:18)
“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
#5 My Response.
Religion says “stop sinning to get clean.” Jesus says “I’ve made you clean so stop sinning.”
While Jesus willingly went to the Cross to die in our place, we cannot enjoy the benefits of such a great act of love without first being willing to receive it. Just like a gift at Christmas, the benefits of the present cannot be enjoyed without first receiving it and using it for what it was intended. This is same of salvation: we cannot enjoy the gift of salvation without first receiving it. New Life through Jesus is the springboard for a full and joy-filled life. It frees us from all the “have-to’s” of life. We no longer “have to”: do good things/avoid bad things, go to church, read the Bible, pray, have appropriate relationships, etc. We do not have to do anything, but now we can because Jesus did all the work for us and paid for our debt with His death. With it He took our shame, guilt, fear and sin – and bought us LIFE and PURPOSE. There is no other hope.
The Bible says…
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
“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. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
This is the fork in the road; the moment of decision. Do you believe in and trust Jesus, receive His free gift of eternal life and want to follow Him?
“NO.” If you are not ready, we encourage you to keep asking questions. We would be happy to meet with you and talk, should you like. Click here to contact someone from our church to set up a time to talk.
“YES!” If you said “yes” – we are so excited for you and rejoice with you! There are no magic words to say or papers to sign. It just starts here with you having an honest moment with God. Use the following prayer to help guide you as you confess your sinfulness, your need for Jesus to save you and your desire to love and follow Him alone:
“Dear God, I know that my sins have broken my relationship with you and that nothing I could do could ever change that. But right now, I believe that Jesus died in my place and rose again from the dead. I trust in Him to forgive me for my sins. Through faith in Him, I am entering an eternal relationship with you. Thank you for this free gift! Amen.”
If you just prayed that prayer, we’d like to know about it! If you would be willing, take a quick moment to let us know so we can pray for you!
Stories of New Life
(Major League Baseball Player)
AMANDA JANE COOPER
(Actress: Broadway, TV, Movies)
(Former Military; Film actor)
(Former Gang Member)