Every generation asks deep searching questions and Christianity gives the best, most fulfilling answer possible. Jesus, the gospels, the truth of God’s word, the presence of the Holy Spirit – this is the best answer that makes greatest sense of all we see around us. Today you may sense a void, something missing in your life, you know there’s got to be more … Jesus is who you are seeking. Jesus said, my Father is the gardener. If you want to find your way back to the Gardener of Eden, the Creator of all … Jesus is the way.
The New Testament tell wonderful stories of people whose lives were changed as they cross the line of faith and put their trust in Jesus. The Ethiopian official travelling in luxury with everything to live for and the Philippian jailor who felt he had nothing to live for, both experienced wonderful joy when they put their trust in Jesus. Lydia, who opened her heart to Jesus generously opened her home to his people. Read the gospels and see conversion after conversion, lives changed, forgiveness found, hope restored, peace given, people reconciled with God and each other.
With very, very few exceptions, all these people who were converted to Christianity, did so with the help or influence of another person. The same is true today. If you are a Christian, who was most influential in your coming to faith in Jesus? Think again of the person who invited you to youth group, took you along to a meeting, introduced you to Christian friends, offered you a book to read or prayed for you in your time of need. If you are not a Christian, who has helped you gain a better understanding of the Christian faith? Who encouraged your faith? Having been helped by others, who can you now help come to faith in Jesus? Who comes to your mind?
If we think of this as a race, then perhaps not many people are waiting at the starting line. Is the person you are thinking of close to the line, looking on from the grandstand or not even in the stadium yet? Everts, Schaupp & Gordon, in their book Breaking the Huddle give one picture of a pathway towards the start line of faith. They speak of crossing thresholds from distrust to trust, from indifference to curiosity, from closed to change to open to change, from toying with spiritual issues to a quest of seeking answers, and lastly from being spiritually lost to being a follower of Jesus. Occasionally a person might move quickly from distrust to saving faith, but more realistically they may stall on any or all of these thresholds. Is the person you are thinking of be somewhere on this pathway? If so, what could you do to help them take a step closer to crossing the line?
Have you ever sensed there has to be more to life? Is that still an ongoing search for you?
If you are not yet a Christian, are you near the starting line? If so what would help you move forward?
If you are a Christian choose one of the thresholds and consider what you might say or do to help a person move forward.
How could our church help people put their trust in Jesus?
Rev John Malcolm