Billy's Blog
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January 28, 2015, 11:00 AM

New Life

When you're struggling with having no hope it's a terrible place. I was visiting with someone the other day who has struggled with depression. I asked them what it was like. He said it was a feeling of hopelessness...like things can't or won't get better. This is why many who struggle with depression continue to go deeper and deeper into it. There's no hope...so why even try?

I was speaking to another friend about someone who was looking for a job. In my mind I was thinking that they should have no problem finding a job. Just north of us in the state of Iowa they announced that the unemployment rate was around four percent. This means that pretty much everyone who wants a job has a job. Then the next day I heard about a job fair they were having to almost beg people to take these jobs. How can anyone be struggling to find a good job? Partly it's because people have given up hope in themselves. They don't see themselves as being someone any good company would want to hire. There's no hope so why even try to get a good job?

One of the core messages of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is new life...HOPE! One of the greatest things the Gospel does to people is breathe new life into them. Romans 6:1-4 talks about being set free from sin and gives us this statement in verse four..."through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."

What a great message! No matter what you've gone through. No matter how bad you feel about yourself. No matter how much hopelessness you feel right this moment...you can have new life. New life can be breathed into you. 

The only source of this new life is God. Positive thinking is great, but the only source of positive thinking is God. Feeling good about yourself is great, but the only source of anything good is God. Making positive changes in your life is a great step, but real change only comes from God. 

This week in my sermon at Lancaster Christian Church, I'm going to be talking about how we get this new life. If you can be there this Sunday for that, don't miss it! If you can't be at church for this message you can listen online at our website. 

I want people to know that no matter where they are right now, even in the darkest of your days, there is hope. There is a chance for new life. But no matter what I say, YOU have to believe that to be true. YOU have to be believe enough to take steps to help make it happen. God has given you the offer...now you have to accept it. 

There's hope!

Billy




January 19, 2015, 10:45 AM

The Gift

Christianity doesn't make sense. 

I know that's kind of a weird statement, but it really doesn't. It doesn't really jive with our humanistic way of thinking. Christianity teaches us that you are a sinner. You are separate from God. You must be brought back to Him. This makes sense. We can understand the idea of wronging someone and the need to be restored. The method of restoration is the kicker. We are taught in Ephesians 2:4-9 that our salvation, our restoration to God, is by none of our doing. We need to be restored to God, but there's nothing we can do to be restored. Huh? It doesn't make any sense. 

Restoration to God is a gift. We don't have what it takes to be restored to God. We have to one hundred percent rely on the grace and mercy of God revealed to us through Jesus. It doesn't make sense. We feel the need to DO SOMETHING. We feel the need to make it up. I once baptized a 60-something year old man who just could not believe that accepting Jesus in baptism would simply wash away 60 plus years of sinning. He told that it was just "too easy." I couldn't argue with him. I just told him he needed to trust God and be obedient to Him. He finally relented and just did it...still in disbelief that this was all would take to be right with God. Many Christians live every day with guilt and shame. They just haven't done enough. We read verses like Romans 8:1 which says, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." We can intellectually understand this message, but it's hard for us to truly accept it. 

We've sang the song, Jesus Paid It All, but we struggle with this truth. We feel like we must do more to be saved. We feel like we haven't done enough. We haven't done enough, we can't ever do enough, but that's okay. It's called a gift. We don't earn it. We don't deserve it. God in his amazing grace and mercy sent Jesus for us. Jesus is our gift. 

The only catch is will we accept the gift or not. That's the million dollar question. So many in the world know about Jesus but many never accept the gift. What have you done with this gift? Have you ignored the gift or have you accepted it and devoted your life to it? 

It's up to you what you do with Jesus. 

Have a great week,

Billy




November 30, 1999, 12:00 AM




November 30, 1999, 12:00 AM




November 30, 1999, 12:00 AM


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