Thanks for taking the time to visit our website. I would like to extend a personal invitation for you to join us as we study the Bible each week; there is no cost for the study. If you have a Bible you can bring it, if not we have extras. Please feel welcome to join us any time--we would love to meet you.

But much more important than any invitation that I could offer you is one that you might not be aware of—God is inviting you to know Him and receive the free gift of a relationship with Him.

Many people today are going through life looking for answers to their questions. Why am I here? Does God exist? What is God like? Where do I fit in? Is this all there is to life? How I am supposed to live? Why does life seem so hard? In my own life I have asked these questions--maybe you have too.

One of the reasons we come together to study the Bible is to find the answers God has to the questions in our lives. The Bible contains God's answers to the questions and situations we deal with in our lives, but the Bible is also very clear about the starting place to answering our questions. It starts by accepting God's invitation. We have included a copy of God's invitation for you right here:

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, NLT)

That's it. That's the invitation. It's an invitation for everyone in the world--an invitation to believe in God's Son, Jesus. If you're like me the question you might be asking now is "What do I have to believe about Jesus?" The answer is tied up in the words gave and perish. The Bible makes it clear that on our own we are destined to perish because of a problem we all have--sin. Many people are defensive when they hear someone call them a sinner but the Bible makes it clear that we all have sinned:

For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23, NLT)

All of us have sinned, we have all missed God's standard--which is a perfect life. Whenever we lie, insult each other, steal, etc. we demonstrate our inability to meet God's standard.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23, NLT)

A wage is something you earn--the Bible says that because we sin we have earned death--but God did not leave us without hope. Because He does not want anyone to perish, He gave us the free gift of eternal life through Jesus.

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5.8, NLT)

This is why Jesus came and lived on earth so that He could take our place and die the death we deserved. Because Jesus is God's only Son He is the only One who could live a perfect life and meet God's standard. This is what God is inviting you to believe about Jesus. That He died to pay for your sins, my sins, and the sins of the whole world.

So what does it mean to believe? Well another word for believe is trust and that is a great way to understand what God is asking you to do. Just like you when you sit down on a chair you are trusting in it and not your own effort to hold you up; God is inviting you to trust in Jesus and not your own effort to save you from your sins. In Ephesians, the Bible says:

God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (Ephesians 2:8-9, NLT)

That describes the nature of this invitation. None of us receives this gift as a reward for good behavior. God sent Jesus to die in our place because He knew we could never do it for ourselves. He gave His only Son as a gift for us because of his special favor. Another word for special favor is grace.

A friend I know has explained grace like this: If I was caught committing a crime and went to court and the judge sentenced me to jail time, that would be justice. If the judge recognized extenuating circumstances and minimized my sentence that would be mercy. If I went to court and was found guilty and at my sentencing the judge came down from the bench and took my place in jail for the crime I committed, that would be grace. That is what Jesus did for you and for me. Although He could have left us to be judged guilty, out of love He took our place and paid for our sin. That is what God is inviting us to trust in about Jesus. 

So often we are tempted to try to earn a relationship with God, by good behavior, giving to charity, trying to live a good life--and while all of those things are commendable, they will never be enough to meet God's standard. The only way to enter into a relationship with God is by accepting God's invitation to trust in Christ and not in our own efforts. I can tell you that I did this over 18 years ago and it has made all of the difference in my life. 

You know, with God, there is no time like the present. You can trust in Jesus right now by praying to God. Prayer is simply talking to God. You can pray something like this:

I believe I am a sinner and that on my own I am destined to perish.
I believe that Jesus died for my sins because of Your love for me.
I am trusting in what Jesus did to save me not in anything I have done or can do. Thank you for giving your Son to save me.

If you prayed to trust in Jesus, the Bible says that something incredible has happened in your life right now. Jesus himself said:

I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. (John 5:24, NLT)

By accepting God's invitation you have eternal life and have passed from death into life!
If you have accepted God's invitation to trust in Jesus, we would love to hear about it. You can email us and let us know or stop in and visit with us. Remember that accepting this invitation is just the beginning of a relationship with God that will last for eternity. We would love to help you grow in this relationship.