God

There is only one God and He is the creator of everything. We’re made in His image, which means we’re like him in many ways. He’s loving and just and desires a relationship with us. As individuals with free will, we have the freedom to respond to the relationship God’s initiated with us, or not. It’s our call.

Sin

We’re free to choose to live outside the realm of the life God has for us as it’s explained in the Bible. Put another way, many choices we make either move us closer to God or further away from him. Making even seemingly small decisions that separate us from God is called sin. We all do it, and we’ll continue to do so. And, even then, God will love us and passionately pursue us.

Jesus

God loves us so much, in fact, that he sent his only son, Jesus, to die so the rest of us could live. Man was separated from God, spiritually dead, until Jesus came and his death paid everyone’s debt. That’s serious love. Because of that serious, perfect love, this gift from God is waiting for anyone who wants to receive it. This is called grace. We don’t deserve it and didn’t earn it. God gives grace freely and abundantly. So often we miss the rest of the story.  Jesus also came to heal our broken hearts and set our captive hearts free (Isaiah 61:1-3)(Luke 4:18-21).   Life and freedom are available for all of us not just someday but today.

Battle

We are all born into a world a war.  We are up against an enemy who has declared war on us and is trying his best to convince us that we cannot trust God (Revelation 12:17).  He is determined to steal from us, kill us, and destroy us. (John 10:10) He is very active in our stories and in our daily lives, and is determined to stop at nothing to keep us from the life to the fullest that Jesus came to bring us. Fortunately we are not powerless. Jesus calls us to fight back in this battle and has equipped us to stand firm against the enemy.

Decision

As for us, we need only to decide whether or not to believe and receive this stuff. If we decide to believe it, a new full life can start now and never stop. And it’s OK to have a lot of questions along the way. Although God reveals things to us (including what he’s revealed about himself in the Bible), he remains mysterious and wonderful… and that’s a great thing!

Baptism

Baptism is the way we demonstrate that decision. It’s an important step in your spiritual journey of faith in Jesus. We do it because Jesus did (Mark 1:9), because He asked us to (Matthew 28:19), and to demonstrate our faith in Him (Acts 18:8).

Growth

Jesus himself boiled the most important commandment of all down to this love God, love people.  We are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and love others as much as we love ourselves (Luke 10:27).   We grow as we connect, invite, serve, and give.  We find the life we are looking for together in small circles not in long rows.   We find it as we leverage our time, talent, and money for the benefit of others.

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