A Word From Our Pastor

September 2023

The other day I was hanging out with a friend. This friend is a Christian but doesn’t always act like one. Some days he’s in line with God’s word, and some days life’s struggles get the best of him. As our eyes met, I really wanted to say something about it but decided to let the Lord speak to his heart knowing nothing I could say would have the same impact as the Father’s words. So, I prayed with him. And after sometime passed, I winked at him… and walked away from the mirror. (Author unknown)

Sounds about right. Can you relate to that? I know I can. Here’s the thing, I’m messed up, I mess up and will continue to mess up. I try every day, and I fail every day. We all do but our failures, our past doesn’t define who we are.

St. Augustine once said, “There is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future.”

The meaning is simple and edifying: No one is so good that he hasn’t failed at some point, and no one is so bad that he cannot be saved. One day Paul was killing Christians, the next day he was a Christian. One day Peter was a fisherman, the next day he was a fisher of men. Don’t judge yourself based on that “one day”. If God can create the whole world in six days, He can surely create a new heart in one. Jesus came for those who are less than perfect, those who are far from perfect, and those who are anything but perfect.

That’s the difference between Jesus and us. Most of the time we wait for people to change before we accept and love them. We tell people, “You change, if you want to be accepted and loved.” Sometimes we even do this thinking in the name of religion. “Religion says God will love us if we change.” This is not the way of Jesus. He loves people first. He accepts you where you are, who you are, and as you are. God loves us as we are, but He also loves us too much to leave us this way. “The gospel says God will change us because He loves us.”

Jesus is willing, able and present to rescue, deliver, and transform sinners like you and I. To the world, you may a dirty rotten scoundrel, but to Him, you are a precious child of God. You may be down on yourself, far from God, and over your head with problems, but God goes out of His way, looks for you, and calls you to follow Him.

Christianity is not for the “perfect,” it is for those who recognize their imperfection need for help beyond themselves. Faith teaches that God is not looking to destroy us in our imperfection but to build us up, forgive and sustain us, despite our imperfections.

If you’re beating up on yourself, you’re actually questioning why God loves you and thinks you’re special.

God knows your every thought and hears every word you speak, and when your actions fail, He reaches out with unwavering forgiveness and love.

He looks at you through a lens of grace, and He sees the beauty of His creation. You are valuable to Him. You are loved. If God looks at you and thinks you’re something special, so special that He gave His life for you, who are you to argue?

Pastor Tim