Shaun LePage, pastor, Community Bible Church, 906 N. 1464 Road:
When I was young, I loved Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through (Christ) who strengthens me.” I foolishly thought that meant Jesus would somehow help me win basketball games.
When I began to think about the meaning of life, I loved Colossians 1:16: “… All things have been created through him and for him.” I realized I had not only been created by God, but also for God! I had discovered my purpose for existence.
When I began to understand God’s holiness and my sinful condition, I loved what Jesus said in John 5:24: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” I realized I did not have to earn heaven. I simply needed to take Christ at his word and “believe!”
When I began to “believe,” I desired to live a life that pleased my God, but I struggled with the sin in my life (still do). That’s when I fell in love with 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I love that — God does not expect me to be sinless, but he does expect me to work hard at putting off my sin as a child gradually puts off his childishness.
Today, as a pastor, one of my favorite verses is John 15:5: “Apart from me (Jesus) you can do nothing.” That reminds me that it’s not about me and what I can do. It’s all about Jesus Christ and what he can do in people’s lives. Without him, church is a waste of time. With him, it is eternally significant.
— Send e-mail to Shaun LePage at email@example.com.
Ron Channell, pastor, Family Church of Lawrence, 5150 Clinton Parkway:
My favorite Scripture placed me on a crossroads in life as I was striving for success, happiness and fulfillment. It is the very serious question Jesus asked in Matthew 16:26. “What good is it to gain the whole world but lose your soul?” Profound question, when you actually contemplate it.
What if you KNEW your decision to live for Christ would radically impact your eternity? Would that truth be worth a thorough, sincere investigation?
This verse made me hunger to know who Jesus really is. Jesus, whose word tells us that he “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Who says, “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). The one who promises us peace, forgiveness, salvation and eternal life. These promises are just a few life-changing blessings our Lord pours over his children.
Before I gave my heart and life to Christ, I thought everything was under control. I was wrong. There was a huge void in my life. Can you relate? By seeking Jesus, I thankfully came to the truth — crystal-clear truth. I was missing my creator living and breathing in me, directing my life.
It’s amazing what happens when you let go and let God. Your priorities, attitude, stresses and worries change. So does your future, all for the better.
I could spend hours expounding on the magnificent things Jesus Christ has done for me, my family and our church family. I’m humbled by the reality that he died for me. He died for you, too. He loves us so much he wants to spend all of eternity with us (John 3:16). That kind of love cannot be found in any person or anything — only in Jesus.
—Send e-mail to Ron Channell at firstname.lastname@example.org