Expression of Christ’s Love

Expression of Christ’s Love

Back in November we embarked on a journey called The $100 Difference. We gave out $100 gift cards to members of our congregation with the belief that the simple act of blessing someone else with a gift card can make a difference in their life in the name of Jesus. 

God did some amazing things through this simple initiative and over the next few weeks, we wanted to tell you four of the ways we saw Him at work.

Season of Hope

Season of Hope

Voices rose together in a beautiful harmony around me while I held a candle in my hands. The candles were flickering gently in their candelabra casting a warm glow on the stained-glass windows. Verses of Silent Night were running through my mind. It was a special, calming moment of worship.

Ever since I was a baby, I’ve attended the candlelit Christmas Eve service at my small home church in Washington, Illinois. I can count on one hand the amount of times that I’ve missed going (this year being one of those times). My Dad and Uncle are in charge of making sure the candles are all lit…and don’t burn down the church. My whole family goes.

Why do I struggle to agree with the Bible?

Why do I struggle to agree with the Bible?

“Hey, do you want some ice cream?” my childhood friend would say.

“Sure!” I’d reply.

A few seconds later, when he’d find his mom, I’d invariably overhear him say, “ Kevin wants some ice cream. Can he have some?” Of course, he’d follow up by asking for his own bowl, too.

It is common for us to ask questions “for a friend” when we don’t want to appear to be the one who is asking. It’s one thing when we’re craving a bowl of ice cream. It’s another when the question is uncomfortable or delicate. When we ask a question for a friend, we avoid emotions like shame (to admit a need), embarrassment (about looking foolish), or fear (of being rejected).

Such is the case with this question. None of us would overtly claim that we disagree with the Bible. No; we’re far too concerned with saving face. For that reason—and because I must also personally relate with this question—I’m using the first person. I’m not as concerned about why he, she, or they struggle to agree with the Bible. I’m concerned with why I struggle. If you can relate, join me.

How do I forgive the person who hurt me?

How do I forgive the person who hurt me?

I was working on homework in my dorm room and my phone went off. I picked it up to read the text message. My heart fell. The tears started to well up in my eyes.

You see, I had thought I was being an intentional friend—I made time for us to be together when I was home from college and we would always text, sometimes Skype. I knew the love language of my best friend was quality time and I had honestly tried to be there for her. I may not have done it perfectly, but I had sincerely tried. However, in her mind, I had not been a good friend, but an awful one. I was shocked that my best friend and maid of honor would say something like this a few months before my wedding IN A TEXT.  

How can I know I’m truly saved?

How can I know I’m truly saved?

Many believers in Jesus have wondered, “How can I know I’m truly saved?” I believe one of the reasons this question has haunted so many people is because of the way we have approached salvation. 

All of humanity, including Christians, have more often than not taken a “check-list” approach with God (another term for this is religion). I do such-and-such and I am “okay” with God. This is a fatal flaw, because this approach to God is centered in religion rather than relationship.