By: Rev. Justin Krupsky, Senior Pastor
We all have a story of where we are in our relationship with Jesus. Some of us know who Jesus is, some of us have never heard about him. Some of us would say we don’t believe in him and some of us say we do. Some of us feel strong in our faith and some of us feel weak. Some of us have lots of doubts and some of us have few. No matter where we are in our relationship with Jesus, He makes a promise to meet us where we are.
We all have a story, here is my story: I grew up in a Christian home, was baptized as an infant, confirmed in the 8th grade, and went to church. However as I went through my teenage years I began to be plagued with guilt and shame. At one point I prayed a prayer one night to God telling him something was wrong and that I wasn’t sure if it was my perception of who He was or if I just wasn’t strong enough to be a Christian. Over the course of a few years God began to clear up my struggle.
In the Spring of my freshman year in college my struggle ended when I heard that it wasn’t by works that I was saved but by God’s grace. The message that I heard was that God loved me just as I was, not as I should be. Suddenly in that moment a freedom overwhelmed me and I realized that it was my perception of God that was off. I was never strong enough to be a Christian or good enough to earn His love. He however is strong enough and good enough for me. I realized at that point that what took place in my baptism was exactly what I needed, His work, His effort, profoundly and gracefully reaching down to me and saying you are my child and will always be my child, your guilt and shame have been washed away. It was as if chains fell off of me and a freedom marked with confidence overwhelmed my entire being. In that moment I knew I was unconditionally loved. In that moment Jesus truly brought me to life as He enabled me to confirm the promise of my baptism.
1 Peter 3:15 says, “ Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
In week 2 of our “Ready, Set, Go,” sermon series we are going to open up God’s word together to be inspired to be prepared to share our own faith stories. If you are unable to come to worship this weekend please visit our website to listen in or watch our sermon.