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2016-17 Worship Plan

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God's Gift of Grace

You have an empty, aching feeling deep within yourself. Have you discovered that nothing seems to relieve it? Perhaps you've tried drugs, alcohol, shopping, an affair, or used the internet for comfort, and still you don't feel settled or satisfied. Maybe you've attained the positions and "stuff" that participating in the "rat race" affords, and still you're left wanting. You're certainly not alone in feeling this, and there's a good reason for the way you feel.

You are a special creation of God, and He desires to have a relationship with you. Without God, life sometimes feels meaningless. We simply move from day to day until we reach our moment of death. That's NOT the end however. We are body, soul and spirit. We will exist in a spiritual state for eternity, either with God, or separated from Him. Belief in the reality of the spiritual realm isn't necessary for it to exist.

Because of sin, we are separated from God and we need the forgiveness that was attained by God's only Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that,"... all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." It is through that act of sacrificial love, that we can be sure of not only spending eternity with God, but of enjoying our lives here and now more. In Romans 6:23 it states, "the wages of sin is death." This is an eternal separation from God in hell. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Jesus died in our place so that our sin may be forgiven, and our relationship with God may be restored. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16

The Bible says that believing that promise puts us back into a close relationship with God. Believing in Jesus means confessing to God that we are sinners, and that we need Jesus. The Bible says we're to repent. This means changing our minds and changing our ways. But we don't have to fight the temptation to do wrong alone. When you ask for forgiveness and ask Jesus to be your Lord, God gives us the Holy Spirit to help us.

Are Christians perfect? Not a chance. We still fall on our face from time to time, but our comfort is knowing we simply have to ask for forgiveness, and it's lovingly given by God.

Can't we just keep on sinning, knowing God will forgive us? Well, once you begin to understand your relationship with Jesus Christ through reading the Bible, you'll understand that it was Love that kept him on the cross and not nails. Out of love He paid the penalty of our sins of yesterday, today and tomorrow. I can't change what I did yesterday, but I can try my best, with the Lord's help, not to make that penalty any worse than it was. Remember, Jesus died for the sins of all men, for all time. Haven't you tried everything else and still feel that void? Fill it with the love of God.

A relationship with God begins in your heart, by believing in, or having faith in, Jesus. Then pray to God. Confess your sin and ask Him for forgiveness. You might pray something like this:

"Jesus, show mercy to me, because I realize I am a sinner. I believe that you came and died for me. Please forgive me for neglecting You and living in ways that go against Your will for me, and save me by bringing me into eternal relationship with You. With your help, I now turn from my sins. I place my trust in you, and will seek to be baptized in your name, following faithfully your example in all things. Help me now and always to live for you in this world." The Bible passage 1 John:9 states,"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

As you ask Jesus to have mercy upon you and answer your cry for help, God responds and meets you through His Holy Spirit, who enters your heart, cleanses you of your sin, and adopts you as a child of God, giving you a new life. The relationship is a two way street: you calling on Jesus, and Jesus answering your prayer.

How many times in life do we wish we could "do it all over"? Here's your chance to wipe away every sin you've ever committed. The Bible promises that we become new creations in Christ. As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, we'll soon find the "fruits of the Spirit" more evident in our life. These are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

If you have begun a relationship with God and believed in Jesus, please contact us at office@whatcoat.com. We would like to celebrate this decision with you, pray for you, and send you some information on how to grow as a follower of Jesus.