When I was younger and brought a new friend home, my parents would always ask me if they were a christian. If I had said no, they would suggest that I bring them to church, resulting in an argument from me, not wanting me to impose my values, beliefs or at that time ‘religion’ onto my new found friends. I grew up thinking that my parents thought that it was better to go to church, that it was ‘better’ to have christian friends, a ‘holier than thou’, better than you perspective if you will.
Only now as an adult, as I ask friends and co-workers to come to church with me – do I realize that it is a product of love, and a matter of life and death. I wish I had the boldness and fearlessness of a young child, unafraid and willing to share opinions, reasons, and truth. Now in my adult years, my fear is plagued by the opinions of others – what will people think of me, will I be able to share the gospel effectively, will the result of differences result in a broken friendship? These questions, while prominent and extremely relevant in my life demonstrate and signify how my fear of man is larger than my fear of God – and how often I simply underestimate the power and saving grace of the Holy Spirit.
I am constantly afraid to offend, afraid that I will no longer be ‘liked’. I am afraid to point out truth, and instead, allow for the gospel, and God’s word to be portrayed as a difference of beliefs. I cower at the thoughts and judgements of men, rather than stand in reverent awe of the Lord, the gospel and His miraculous ways. Throughout these past weeks, God has consistently pointed out my inabilities, only to find that my only abilities and strength is through Him and found in Him. I need to fear only Him, and my identity is found IN Him, not in the thoughts of others. I walk away from lunch dates thinking “I should have said this” or “I should have done that”. But it’s not me who saves, but the incredible power and work of a Sovereign God.
For those of you who have ventured this far and have not stopped reading because you realized this was a post about God, please continue reading, because whatever I am writing is a product of love, both the love I have for you, and the love that Christ has given us. I love you & more importantly God loves you. I may not have the strength or the ability to share the gospel with you effectively in person, or even effectively now as I try to write it here. My intention is not to point out differences of opinion, but to share the TRUTH.
God is the creator of the earth and the universe. He is perfect, and he has created us in His image – so that we can bring him glory and be in relationship with Him. But because we are born sinners, our sin (disobedience to God) has separated us from Him, the penalty for our sin condemns us to eternal death in hell. BUT Jesus, God’s son, was perfect, sinless and the ultimate sacrifice. His death paid the price for all of our sins (past, present, and future) of those who believe in Him. He resurrected from the dead, and sits at the right hand of God, His sacrifice accepted as payment for our sins, and we are forgiven. As a result, we need to believe in Christ, acknowledge, confess and repent of our sins (turn away from sin and turn to God in faith). Being in relationship with Him – set free from sin and looking to Christ as our reward and Saviour. This isn’t a matter of opinion or a difference of beliefs, but of truth and a matter of life and death. I love you and would love to talk to you about any of this.
“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you as an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. when he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2: 21-24