For the first 19 years of my life, I would have said that I was not a “bad” person. In fact, I thought I was good...actually VERY good. I obeyed my parents, went to church every week, did family chores, and tried not to speed. I had a sweetheart all through high school. Yet there comes a time when the truths of life can’t be explained by just being good nor attempts at doing good. I was religious and a sinner. The summer after high school graduation, my sweetheart became pregnant - and I was dad. With encouragement from our parents, Terri and I were married on November 7th, 1980. Our first-born, Jennifer, greeted us with great joy. So did Joseph, our second child, a year later (side note: Joshua came a year later followed by Jeremiah the next year). Being 20 years old...married...with two children...life was a challenge. Our marriage and my life were going no-where fast. Frustration and disappointments seemed my lot in life. Then, our brother-in-law invited us to church. Long story short, we made a personal commitment to Christ in a manner that religion did not offer - but a relationship did. It took the simple understanding of His message from His Word - the Bible.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:9
Now when the “Bible” is mentioned, it can conjure up thoughts that differ from person to person. For some, the Bible is just a book… a rather large one that sits on a shelf or table. For others, the Bible is like your tax return - it’s a part of life, but you’ll never understand it. Still others have at times glanced at the pages of the Bible, and have thus determined that it’s riddled with errors or erroneous assumptions. The term Christian means “follower of Christ”. If I have to follow someone in my car, I want to talk to them before the journey. Knowing what direction they will be heading and any stops that will be made makes the journey enjoyable. If something should happen along the way, at least we are traveling together. That’s the way I see the relationship that the Lord desires for every person who would put their trust in Him. The journey is best understood by asking the Lord into your heart and by taking the time to understand - not just read - the Bible.
Understanding the Bible and being a part of a church fellowship is sort of like getting a new cell phone. If your friend has one, together you can get into the features of the phone and enjoy its use. Same thing with the Bible. By studying the Bible with others and with the Holy Spirit as your guide, you will be enjoying the enhanced features of what God’s plan is in your life, a plan that He makes clear on every page of His Word.
"..but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"
II Peter 3:18
The Lord desires a personal relationship with you. I would like to invite you to visit us at Calvary Chapel in Cedar City as we study the Bible. God has a deep desire to speak to you and have you see His plan for your life first hand.
In Christ Alone,
Top - Isaiah & Jennifer... Terri & Pastor Joe
Middle Row - Jeremiah & Diana...Amber & Joshua
the handsome guy on the bottom, Joseph IV