So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Philemon 1:6

FRONT PAGE - here you will find the last 20 postings about recent conversations. Please pray for these people!

Lord



7/23/17             Meghan and Chris       early 20's

While reaching out with the Gospel, I met a young couple with a simple faith that I found refreshing.  I had met Meghan and Chris on the sidewalk, asking about their views on what happens after we die.  Both said they believe that some people go to heaven, while others go to hell, so I asked what it is that determines who goes where.  Instead of the typical assumption that “good people” go to heaven, they both simply said “The people who go to heaven are those who believe in Jesus”.  No doubts, no apologies for being too exclusive, just a simple straightforward belief in Jesus as Savior.

But, like many, their simple faith lacked a few things.  They had little to no biblical knowledge, little understanding of the Gospel beyond “Jesus saves’, little to no church involvement.  And, judging from their demeanor, their bodily adornments, and the circumstance of when and where I met them, they were very much caught up in the ways of the world swirling around them.

The impression I got was that, although they related to Jesus as Savior, they really didn’t know how to relate to Him as their Lord.  Yet He is both, and to relate to one aspect of Jesus without the other is to relate to an imaginary Jesus.

So must Jesus be Lord of our lives as soon as He is Savior?  Didn’t He teach that we will be able to identify who the true believers are by their fruits?  Yes and no, I believe.  If we take His analogy a little further, we know that fruit doesn’t appear and mature overnight. 

Near the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus made an interesting statement to his disciples.  “If you love me, keep my commands”.  The disciples had the advantage of 3 years of training and close fellowship with Jesus.  They should know this simple, logical truth, yet they needed to be taught and reminded that the only appropriate response to Jesus as Savior is to obey Him as Lord.

Meghan and Chris were at a place I once was in my simple faith.  They understood Jesus as savior, but were never really challenged to obey Him in response.  They had grown up in a formal and very traditional church that had not emphasized the benefits of Bible study, church fellowship, and personally relating to Jesus and to God as our Heavenly Father.

There is so much more to Christianity than eternal security.  The Kingdom of Heaven happens when we are in a right relationship with God our Father through Jesus our Savior.  That right relationship with God can and should begin here, now.  It begins with Jesus as our Savior, and grows as we relate to Him as our Lord.

Reconcilation



7/11/17      Nolan       about 35

“You talk like you are in a real relationship with God” – was the observation a man named Nolan made today in a coffeeshop conversation.  I had to remind myself that what seems so natural to us as Christians is a foreign concept to those who haven’t experienced it. 

Earlier in our conversation I had explained how man’s intimate relationship with God was cut off when Adam and Eve disobeyed, resulting in their feeling naked and exposed, running and hiding from God rather than walking with Him in a harmonious and peaceful relationship.  Our own disobedience does the same thing, driving us further from God and causing us to look for cheap substitutes as a result.

Nolan, in fact, had abandoned his Christian upbringing and was building his own beliefs from a variety of religious traditions.  It was good for me to review with him what he knew of the Gospel, but what really caught his attention and what he seemed to have missed in the first go-round growing up was that he could know and walk with God personally.

“Do you know what it means to settle out of court?”  I asked in explanation to his questions.  “It basically means that you meet informally with the judge before the official trial date to come to some sort of agreement before the full force of the law takes effect.  We all have a court date coming up, Judgment Day, and we need to make our peace with God and seek His mercy before we experience the full weight of His perfect justice.

Because of Jesus, we can “settle out of court” and make peace with God, trusting that His sacrifice on the cross can bring us forgiveness and allow us to walk in peace and intimacy with God once again, restoring what was lost in that garden so many years ago. 

“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”  Without Jesus, we are actually God’s enemies!  Have you experienced the peace and relationship that reconciliation with God brings?

Glory



6/19/17                        Steve                  about 20

There was no one behind me in line, so I asked Steve, the check-out attendant in the booth at the lumber yard, my question about what happens to us in eternity.  He welcomed my question, saying "Actually, I'm fascinated with death."  I wondered what he meant by that, so he explained.  "I'm training to become a homicide detective.  I will have to deal with dead bodies all the time, and I will wonder how they got that way." 
 
As far as I could tell, it wasn't a morbid preoccupation with death or a spiritual interest in eternity, but just the challenge of solving mysteries that interested him.  I went on to ask if he had any sort of spiritual beliefs.  "Not really, I don't believe in God or anything like that.  But if I could choose, I think it would be cool to be reincarnated.  I really love this earth and I like the thought of another life to enjoy the beauty and wonder of it all."

So do we preach the Gospel to people like Steve, regardless of their refusal to acknowledge God's existence?  Or do we try to reason with them, to at least "put a rock in their shoe", challenging them to reconsider their secular beliefs?

I chose the latter, knowing we could be interupted by another customer at any time.  "I totally agree, this earth is incredible and I never get tired of learning about its wonders, not to mention the vast and awesome universe that surrounds it.  As a Christian I would call it all God's creation, and as marvelous as it all is, how much more interesting is the Creator than the creation?  I don't believe heaven could ever be boring because we will get to know the Creator of this awesome universe and enjoy being in his presence forever."

By this time another customer did drive up, so I gave Steve a Gospel tract that explains the connection between science and Chrisitianity - how science is only possible in an ordered universe.  Psalm 19 says "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge."   

We can observe the beauty and learn from the order of God's vast creation, but how much greater to get to know the glory of the Creator himself!