I got this from George Barna's website this morning and I thought it would encourage us to think about our relationship with Jesus. Here's the most important part:
The only thing the Church can provide that no one else has is a life-changing, practical encounter and on-going relationship with the living God and with people transformed by similar encounters. Until such a connection is made, focusing on features, programs and benefits other than such a life-shaping encounter is more likely to lose ground than to gain it.
If the message we have has one ounce of credibility, it is that Christ changes lives. If this weren't true, then we would be no different than Hindu, or Muslim-silly ritualistic religions with no power.I'm sure most of us know the story of Josh McDowell, or John Newton. These were men changed! When the world sees that someone who ws evil now living out righteousness, they marvel. They wonder- they eventually see. Apostle Paul- Saul of Tarsus- He was changed radically by Christ and people saw this murderer and persecutor proclaiming the name of the One he had so fervently tried to stamp out- they saw Christ was real!!Christianity today needs testimonies. Real Testimonies- stories of true change from the inside out- lives radically turned around- we need to live lives that are so transformed that the world has no other explanation- no Dr. Phil "self-help" stuff- but the power of Christ that can take a skeptic, an immoral slave ship owner, a murderer, and me and you and use them for His glory!
Yes! Bottom line.