What a sweet time it was having my new friends Emma and Stella on the podcast this past week. (LISTEN HERE!) We had the best conversation about God and all that He’s done in our lives and I couldn’t help but think that Easter was the
perfect time to share this blog with all of you. So, let’s dive in!
I’ve never personally met Emma and Stella but the reason I wanted them on the podcast is that I believe their story represents so many people’s story from the last year. When I asked them their story of this past year they began
with their experience from last Easter. My post I’d made about Passion City Church the Saturday before Easter crossed Emma’s Instagram feed and it sparked an interest in her to watch Passion’s Easter service! Emma watched
the service tearing up the entire time, and afterward, called her friend to let her know that Jesus had SAVED HER.
Stella then chimed in with her experience. She had actually already planned to watch the service herself because she’d heard that I would be speaking.
Well clearly God can speak through anything, but I am so thankful He chose to speak through my message that day because it gave these sisters hope for their own family to come to know Christ. This sparked immediate conversation among Emma, Stella, AND their brother about having a personal relationship with Jesus!
What I love about their story is that on that day Emma and Stella both took the Gospel personally. And that’s what we all should do in our lives. I think a lot of times people see others having this radical transformation with Jesus but doubt that it could happen for themselves because of x, y, or z. But when you open your heart you see that the Gospel is for everyone, you see that nothing is too big for the cross.
I’m confident that Emma and Stella’s decision to follow Christ will impact generations to come. My grandfather was a wild man at one time, definitely not a christian, and a preacher came in to talk to him which led to him giving his life to Christ.
Without this encounter, it’s likely that my dad or even I might not have a relationship with Jesus. This is why I believe my two friends have potential to impact generations to come.
I asked them what life had been like for them in the past year. Emma and Stella said it’d been so cool to see God doing a work in them over the past year since last Easter. They also mentioned that they’d started a snapchat story where they talked about all that God was doing in their lives and had almost 100 people from their school join! I love this because so many people put social media in a bad light, but in reality, it can and should be used to promote the Gospel, which is exactly what these girls have done. Stella added a little about how their snapchat had sparked so many to reach out and be inspired in their personal walk with Christ. PRAISE GOD!
A lot of times when people come to know Christ, their immediate response is “now what?” But I once heard someone say that obedience is a natural response and that stuck with me. Once you follow Jesus, you don’t have to do anything crazy. You just have to use what you have.
We see time and time again in the Bible where Jesus uses what people have. Even in the story of the woman at the well, she went back to everyone and shared her story, which is what I see my friends Emma and Stella doing. They’re allowing God to use their story to change others’ lives.
We went on to talk about a mutual friend, Britt, from the Passion City Church team. They spoke about a few of the questions they asked Britt in their conversation with her. At one point Emma mentioned a question she’d asked
that could have sounded ridiculous to some people, but I admired her so much for not feeling ashamed for asking. I think that if people would just willing to ask their questions without embarrassment, we’d see a change in a lot more lives.
I asked them if there’s one thing they’d want to say to people who are listening who might be where they were a year ago, before God transformed them. To that, Emma replied with telling everyone to just do it. Just say yes to that relationship with Jesus. Each day is no guarantee so why wait? Stella added that she’d suggest talking to someone and ask the hard questions.
These new friends are so wise in their thoughts and advice. And get this….they’re only 17 and 14. Whoa! Seriously wise beyond their years. But I think that’s what Jesus does. He equips those who He’s called with wisdom and knowledge.
I’m so excited these two were able to make it on the podcast, because did I mention, they literally took the ACT the same day!? Now that is what I call dedication. Their story makes me so fired up and I know their family will be blessed by all that God is doing in their lives. I cannot wait to see where all God takes them!
Emma and Stella’s miraculous experience is so encouraging and makes me want that for everyone reading and listening.
So, I wanted to walk through what it means to truly give your life to Jesus. And I couldn’t think of a better person to do this than my husband, Christian! Friend, you might have never stepped in a church building before, but just know that does not limit your ability to have a relationship with Jesus. Your relationship with Him isn’t based off how many religion boxes you have checked off.
Christian began explaining the Bible by introducing the 66 books within it. Now, there’s an old and new testament made up of those books. Jesus is physically present in the New Testament but not in the Old Testament. The Gospel translated simply means good news. How awesome is that?!
The good news is that Jesus died and He rose again. This is good news because His death symbolizes the
forgiveness of sins for us and His resurrection means that if we put our faith in Him then we’ll be raised to live a new life with Him. In the Old Testament, in order to have a relationship with Jesus, a sacrifice had to be made. But in the New Testament, Jesus is the perfect sacrifice and He makes a way for all our sins to be cleansed so that we can be in relationship with God.
Christian goes on to read in 1 Peter and talks about what the beginning steps of a walk with Jesus look like. It all starts with repentance. We know that Jesus died for our sins so we ask forgiveness and turn from our sinful ways.
Then comes baptism. Baptism is symbolism of Jesus washing our sins clean. It’s a public declaration that we are no longer who we used to be. It’s also a marker in your life to remind yourself of how different your life will be. That doesn’t mean that you’ll be perfect, because repentance is a constant thing.
In the book of Acts, Jesus says that He knows people are sad He’s leaving, but they should actually be glad because the One who God was sending was better for them to be with than Him. The One who God was sending was the
Holy Spirit. The Spirit walks and dwells with us and quite often we feel the Spirit leading us toward a direction or decision.
Jesus died, was buried, and raised, and we just have to believe that. All the time people will say they want a relationship like Christian and me, but the truth is, without our relationships with the Lord, we wouldn’t have a relationship at all.
I was once speaking at a Juvie center and this girl came up with me and said she appreciated everything I was saying but she couldn’t believe in God because she couldn’t see Him. I then asked if she believed in fear, to which she was puzzled. Well, fear is the belief that something has the potential to harm you. But faith is similar in that you have to have faith that God is potentially there to save you. Yeah you can’t see it, but faith is believing without seeing. So, you really have the choice to believe one over the other.
The upside of faith is that we have a whole book dedicated to it and filled with instruction on how to live out a life full of it. This girl ended up giving her life to Christ and I had the opportunity to baptize her. Seeing her start a new life was incredible!
I say all that to say, if you’re drowning in fear and the things of this world, give Jesus a try. He might be your only option and He’s definitely your best one. And let’s just say if He’s not real, which I strongly believe He is, what are you losing? I don’t think you’ll regret living a life walking in love, joy, peace, and all the fruits of the Spirit. You will live such a better life by the principles in the Bible.
Yes, I’ve never seen God, but I also can’t unsee the things I’ve seen and experienced with God in my life. And that’s enough evidence for me to hold onto this Truth and Gospel and believe in it. So, I hope this encourages you and that you have an amazing Easter! There is so much meaning behind this holiday. It’s not just a day we should show up at church. Let this be a day you encounter Jesus and get to know more about Him. Go start your new life today, friend. You’ll never regret the day you did.
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