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Rock Hill Missionary Baptist serving the Lord for more than a century

For 114 years those attending Rock Hill Missionary Baptist Church have taken the road less traveled. The tiny church, founded in 1908, is on a dusty road in the northern most part of Okaloosa County, and for those many years it has made all the difference for Christ.

In those founding years early in the 20th century, people would walk to church or come by horse or a horse-drawn wagon or buggy of some sort. Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States the year the church was founded. And the ugly head of segregation was the norm just 43 years after the Civil War when the then black church first met.

The church now only meets on third Sunday of each month. It is pastored by 64-year-old Joseph L Durm Jr., who has led the congregation for 11 years.

Rock Hill doesn’t have a big building or several mission programs. The building is a small sanctuary similar to what one would find in many rural areas.

But that takes nothing away from the ministry of those who attend and serve there.

“Coming up here is like coming up here when my grandmother was coming to church,” Durm said. “We have a worship service up here. That’s what I like about it.
“Despite what’s going on (in the world) we have a worship service. We worship God and then we go home.”

The church was organized was in 1908. The first pastor was Rev. J.T McDuffie. The first deacons were C.T. Baggett and J.L. Baggett.

The church meets in a building built in 1978. The original building, which still sits on the church property, was also the community school.

The church draws people from South Alabama as well as Okaloosa County. And racial barriers are set aside in the body of Christ.
“We have about 30-35 in attendance,” Durm said. “They come from Crestview and Wing (Ala.). We have black and white visitors come. The only challenge I have is when it’s raining, sometimes the road get bad (slick and muddy) and people can’t get here.”

The church lost its two oldest members last year, sisters who were both in their eighties. Durm said that makes him the old person at the church.

“I’m 64,” he said. “My deacon just turned 60. Everybody else is fairly young—in their fifties and we’ve got a few kids that come. We have young lady that has a chance to play college basketball. We have several kids that have come out of here that are talented kids. The thing about it is all of them love the Lord.”

Durm said one of his biggest challenges is dealing with the aspects of a family church and knowing when to stay out of someone’s business and when to be there to offer counseling as needed.

Durm said there’s nothing typical about a typical service at Rock Hill. He’s always prepared with a sermon, but some Sundays after two or three songs the Lord might impress on his heart they should have a song service. Other weeks, God might have him change sermons from the one he had prepared.

His main purpose is to see that the people have experienced a service where they worshipped God.
“I have something that I always think I need to preach, and then on Sunday morning it will be whole different thing,” Durm said. “I go as God leads me.”

The church tries to help members with needs whenever possible. Durm said if someone needs to have their light bill paid the church will do It’s best to meet those need.

“We take care of our own members because we know them and we know their needs,” he said. ”We just believe God is going to take care of us. God has taken care of us.”

A city unified in prayer

Pastor Joshua Neel of Hope City Community Church welcomed those in attendance reading a passage from John 17 in which Jesus stressed the importance of unity among believers while celebrating the diversity of denominations and races within the Christian community.

“We must have unity of purpose within our diversity,” he said.

Neel used the example of a football team and how there is a diversity of the different positions, but the players all have the same purpose of winning a game. He pointed out that without the receivers or running backs the team wouldn’t be able to score. And without the linemen blocking, the receivers and running backs would have nobody to protect them as they went about their duties.

In the same way that a football team needs players at every position, the church needs Christians in every field of life.

“You can reach people I can never reach,” Neel said. “And I can reach people you can never reach. Together we can reach them all.”

Pastor Joseph Durm of Rock Hill Baptist Church believes bringing different groups together helps the city in many ways as people are just now coming out of the back end of the pandemic.

“It’s important that the community gets together in unity despite our diversity that we can all work together,” he said. “There’s a lot of turmoil from Covid 19 where people had lost hope. We are here to bring hope back to the city. “Jesus Christ is the only hope. If we put God first in everything we do, it will all work out in the end. You can’t focus on what man does. Don’t bother with the wicked, God will destroy them.”

Durm agreed with what Neel said about being a unified team.

“We all have an assignment to do to win the game,” he said. “And the Book (Bible) tells us we’ve already won. All we have to do is keep fighting.”

Vision 2025, a call to make disciples for Jesus

Vision 2025 is a five-part plan in which the church fulfills the call of Christ found in Matthew 28:19 to go into all the world and make disciples.

“We have a vision to impact our community,” Prows said. “And that is huge, and I don’t say that lightly, because I have served in churches that didn’t have that vision.
“We are not going to be a church where you just have a place to sit. We are not going to sit. We are called to serve and to be salt and to be light.”

The five goals of Vision 2025 are simple and in some ways ambitious.

Goal one is to have between 600-650 in worship services each Sunday by 2025.

“It’s not about a number, it really isn’t,” Prows said. “It’s for our folks to know there is a community that needs the Lord. We want to be evangelistic.
“We want to be intentional in our evangelism. If we don’t hit 650 then we don’t hit it. The number’s not the point, it’s setting a goal saying we want to be intentional in reaching people for Jesus.”

Goal two is to start a satellite campus in Crestview and that goal is already in the works. Pilgrim Rest is taking ownership of Valley Road Baptist church in Crestview.

“We have adopted what was formally known as Valley Road Baptist Church off Valley Road,” Prows said. “Their last Sunday was Easter. Last week (April 24) they came and officially assembled and joined our church.
“Our goal is early next year, January or Easter to launch a satellite campus. So we will have a Crestview campus and a Baker campus.”

Prows continued that goal three is to continue to have a heart for missions, especially on the African continent.

“We have partnerships in West Africa, in Uganda and in Kenya,” he said. “We have gone to Uganda a couple of times. We have gone to Kenya a couple of times.
“I will be going to West Africa Togo in 2024. Our former youth pastor and his wife are missionaries in Uganda. They are training pastors and planting churches in the bush villages so that is also part of Vision 2025.”

In 2016 Pilgrim Rest moved into the new 12,000 square foot worship center that seats between 600-650.

Goal four is to have the worship center paid off by 2025. The church owns nine acres of land on the south side of the property. Once the worship center is paid off the goal is to build a Family Life Center on those acres.

Prows said once the Family Life Center is complete that it will be open to the community as well as church members as Pilgrim Rest continues to do whatever is needed to reach the Baker community for Jesus.

The fifth and final goal is to have 300 members in discipleship programs.

“Jesus, In the Great Commission, he said, ‘Go and make disciples,’” Prows said “So we want to be a discipling church. I use a phrase that we want to be a disciple that makes disciples that make disciples.”

As Pilgrim Rest continues towards reaching the goals of Vision 2025 ministry abounds in all parts of the church as it reaches Baker and the surrounding areas.

“We love our community,” Prows said. “We are to be salt and light, the hands and feet of Jesus. That’s what we have to offer.
“I’m always excited when people come in and say I want to make a difference for Jesus. We are a church, but we are not idle. We are on the go and we have a vision to reach our community and our world for Jesus.”

Big weekend on hand for First United Methodist youth

“We call it Discovery Weekend,” First United Methodist Pastor Ronnie Bearden said. “Basically it’s sort of an intensive weekend that is actually led by youth. It is patterned after the Emmaus Walk (a three-day experience of spiritual renewal), which a lot of different denominations, a lot of different churches, understand what that means. Whereas Emmaus Walk is open to everybody, this is open to our youth.”

Bearden went on to say the weekend will basically present various aspects of the Gospel message and Christian life. Sessions include what forgiveness means, the blood of Jesus and what He did for us. There’s a session on the church as well.

“Interspersed between all these activities (sessions) are fun activities are team building and group building,” Bearden said. “One of the things that makes it so unique is that it is led by youth. The senior high youth are the ones that lead and actually do the talks for the younger youth.

“It’s designed to be a kind of journey of faith,” Bearden continued. “It meets people where they are, meaning that some of our younger youth will not know Christ and this is a wonderful opportunity for them to come trust Jesus as their Savior. Others have already made that decision, but they are still in a growing mode and learning what the church looks like.”

Throughout the weekend there will be prayer times where the students are invited to deeper prayer and surrender to the Lord.

“There’s a time they share together overnight and have meals together,” the pastor said. “And then all of it culminates in a special worship service at 9:45 (a.m.) Sunday, which is Discovery Sunday.

“We have two of our older teenagers who will be sharing something the Lord has laid on their heart. It’s a wonderful spiritual moment for them.”

This will be the fifth Discovery Weekend. It started in 2016 but wasn’t held in 2020 because of Covid.

The pastor said between 30-35 young people participate each year.

“It becomes a church supported effort,” Bearden said. “Obviously there are a lot of adults involved to help it happen. I’ll be involved as the pastors.

“When it ends Sunday morning, our men will be cooking breakfast for them here at the church. It’s a churchwide event to help them (the youth) understand their faith and grow in it.”

Saving Grace Women’s Home offers hope

“I’ve been in the program for nine months,” Kimberly said. “I suffered with alcoholism for 27 years. I actually was looking through the phone because I was looking for a program that was free and didn’t need insurance or anything, because I didn’t have insurance, but I knew I needed the help.”

She was scrolling through her phone looking for a program when Saving Grace popped up. She later learned that she shouldn’t have been able to find it on her phone. But that’s just an example of God’s saving grace.

Kimberly, 59, who is originally from Baltimore, has lived in Pensacola for the last 45 years. She quickly admitted that the biggest challenge for her was following directions and having to do things a certain way and be at meals at a certain time.

“I’ve taken structure,” she said, “and that God can do anything with any person. If they are willing, and able to take the program seriously, it will work.”

Kimberly shared how nice it is to remember having phone conversations with her children, and not only remember having the conversations, but what the conversations were about.

LeAnn, who is from DeFuniak Springs, will be graduating from the program in a few days. A little more than a year ago she was fighting for her life.

“I had been on opioids for 22 years. The last five years I was an IV user,” she said. “I spent three days in the ICU. My body was literally shutting down on me. I couldn’t take it anymore.”

She said she spent about a week in bed suffering from withdrawals, but it wasn’t as bad as it might have been if God hadn’t carried her through it.

The best part of the program for her has been having the relationships with her children restored.

“They see that I’ve been diligent and stuck this thing out and surrendered to the Lord,” LeAnn said. “And He restored all the things back to me I’ve lost through the years. I’m going home to my husband and my children and I have an opportunity to do jail ministry so I’m going to go into that.”

LeAnn would encourage any woman suffering with an addiction to seek out Saving Grace.

“When you are in your addiction, whether you want to admit it or not, you’re lost, you’re miserable,” she said. “You have no hope, no self-worth, no anything. There is a better way of life, there really is.”

Saving Grace Women’s Home is part of the Project Hope ministry for men that originated in Houston. There is a Project Hope in Crestview and one in Arkansas.

Deanna Trujillo, Executive Director of Saving Grace Women’s Home Florida, explained the origin of the women’s ministry in Baker. She said her boss challenged their church with the idea of a women’s ministry and the church accepted the challenge.

Saving Grace Florida opened Jan. 21, 2021.

The 12-month program had its first graduate in February of this year and two more graduated in March.

Trujillo understands what the women in the program are going through because she has walked that path.

“I get emotional about it because God gave me that same grace,” she said. “Grace is life changing. The world wants to condemn us.

“They are not an addict, an alcoholic, struggling with depression or a food addiction because they are bad people. There is a healing that needs to take place in them. Here at Saving Grace, that’s what we believe.”

She went on to say that there are times when God’s grace, His love and His truth and sometimes it’s that hard core truth is what going to change those roots and pull them out.

“I think the hardest part of this program is there are consequences,” Trujillo said. “Throughout this program of 12 months, it’s a discipleship program. I get emotional when the girls make a mistake, but here is a place where we can pick them back up and show them the difference of what the world has taught them and what the Word teaches and walk them out in grace. By condemning them, it’s just going to cause them to go deeper down into that pit. It’s life changing and every day I get to see a miracle. Our hope is to replace the lies with the truth.”

Some people might see a program like Saving Grace as brainwashing. And Trujillo admits that in some ways that’s just what it is as part of the discipleship program is.

“It’s really a battle of the mind and we have to change the mind,” she said. “People think that discipleship programs are a brain washing places. That’s what we are. We are trying to clean out the lies, clean out the crap and clean out the negativity and replace it with God’s truth about who you are, who He created you to be. That’s part of the transformation that happens with God.”

Jessica Gonzales, who was addicted to meth, graduated from the Saving Grace Women’s Home in Houston in February of last year before coming to the home in Baker. She started in a restoration program before getting a job on staff. She recently became the program coordinator in Baker.

“My journey has been very interesting with all of its ups and downs,” she said. “It may sound crazy, but in some ways it’s been fun. The most difficult part is thinking you can do it on your own and finding out you can’t.”

Gonzales’ message for the addict is summed up in two words.

“Get help,” she said. “Jesus Christ can change it all. Even if you don’t know, give it a chance and it will totally change our life.”

The home is a place busy with activity. There are dorm rooms, study areas, group areas and, as would be expected, a large kitchen area with plenty of seating. To help fund the ministry there’s a wood working shop where those in rehab make plaques with inspirational messages to sell.

Too often a girl will leave the home before completing the program thinking they’ve got a grasp on things or fearing they need to be making money. When they do return, they aren’t condemned for their misstep.

“When they leave, we are here with open arms when they come back,” Trujillo said. “Just like the prodigal son, he had to go off and experience what he experienced. And sometime the girls come here leave after a couple of weeks. And then they come back and it’s not our place to judge them.”

Trujillo’s testimony is one that she hopes resonates throughout the program.

“I lived my life as a victim for so long,” she said. “In my mind I was a victim. And God took a victim and made me victorious. That’s my testimony.”

How Easter killed my faith in atheism

I thought she was going to turn into a self-righteous holy roller. But over the following months, I was intrigued by the positive changes in her character and values. Finally, I decided to take my journalism and legal training (I was legal editor of the Chicago Tribune) and systematically investigate whether there was any credibility to Christianity.

Maybe, I figured, I could extricate her from this cult.

I quickly determined that the alleged resurrection of Jesus was the key. Anyone can claim to be divine, but if Jesus backed up his claim by returning from the dead, then that was awfully good evidence he was telling the truth.

New York Times best-selling author Lee Strobel was a journalist on a mission to disprove Christianity. He says he couldn’t.

For nearly two years, I explored the minutia of the historical data on whether Easter was myth or reality. I didn’t merely accept the New Testament at face value; I was determined only to consider facts that were well-supported historically. As my investigation unfolded, my atheism began to buckle.

Was Jesus really executed? The evidence is so strong that even atheist historian Gerd Lüdemann said his death by crucifixion was “indisputable.”

Is the resurrection a legend? Not a chance. Experts tell us it took more than two generations of time in the ancient world for legend to develop and wipe out a solid core of historical truth. Yet we have a report of the resurrection – that Jesus appeared to named eyewitnesses, including a skeptic and opponent whose lives were changed 180 degrees – which scholars have dated to within months of Jesus’ death.

Lee Strobel’s latest book is “The Case for Heaven.”

Was Jesus’ tomb empty? Scholar William Lane Craig points out that its location was known to Christians and non-Christians alike. So if it hadn’t been empty, it would have been highly unlikely for a movement founded on the resurrection to have exploded into existence in the same city where Jesus had been publicly executed just a few weeks before.

Besides, even Jesus’ opponents implicitly admitted the tomb was vacant by saying that his body had been stolen. But nobody had a motive for taking the body, especially the disciples. They wouldn’t have been willing to die brutal martyrs deaths if they knew this was all a lie.

Did anyone see Jesus alive again? We have at least nine ancient sources, both inside and outside the New Testament, that confirm and corroborate the apostles’ conviction that they encountered the resurrected Christ. Repeatedly, these sources stood strong when I tried to discredit them.

Could these encounters have been hallucinations? No way, experts told me. Hallucinations occur in individual brains, like dreams, yet Jesus appeared to groups of people on three different occasions – including 500 at once!

Was this some other sort of vision, perhaps prompted by the apostles’ grief over their leader’s execution? This wouldn’t explain the dramatic conversion of Saul, an opponent of Christians, or James, the once-skeptical half-brother of Jesus.

Neither was primed for a vision, yet each saw the risen Jesus and later died proclaiming he had appeared to him. Besides, if these were visions, the body would still have been in the tomb.

Was the resurrection simply the recasting of ancient mythology, akin to the fanciful tales of Osiris or Mithras? If you want to see a historian laugh out loud, bring up that kind of pop-culture nonsense.

One by one, my objections evaporated. I read books by skeptics, but their counter-arguments crumbled under the weight of the historical data. No wonder atheists so often come up short in scholarly debates over the resurrection.

In the end, after I had thoroughly investigated the matter, I reached an unexpected conclusion: it would actually take more faith to maintain my atheism than to become a follower of Jesus.

And that’s why I’m now celebrating my 38th Easter as a Christian. Not because of wishful thinking, the fear of death, or the need for a psychological crutch, but because of the facts.

New York Times best-selling author Lee Strobel leads the Lee Strobel Center for Evangelism and Applied Apologetics at Colorado Christian University (www.CCU.edu/strobelcenter).

Sharing God’s Son with Sunset Village

Matthew 19:14 in the New International Version, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

And just before ascending into Heaven, Jesus told the disciples to go into all the world spreading the Gospel message.

That command started in Jerusalem.

Woodlawn Baptist Church in Crestview has taken those commands to heart as it reaches out to the children of the Sunset Village Housing Project.

Woodlawn Senior Pastor Jason Allen explained the church’s decision to reach out to Sunset Village.

“We decided about a year ago that we just needed to pick an area in our community that we could just invest in and bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said. “But also, to just encourage, strengthen and lift up, so we decided to come here to Sunset Village. There are a lot of kids and a lot of folks in the area and we just thought it was an area where we could encourage folks.”

The ministry to Sunset Village started with a block party last summer, followed by Vacation Bible School.
Woodlawn has distributed food in the community and hosted another block party earlier this year.
Allen said the church is continuing to build relationships in the community. The goal of the church is to come alongside the residents of Sunshine Village ,showing them the love of Christ and that there are those in Crestview that care and support them.

Children from Sunset Village play a game carrying Easter eggs from one basket to another using a spoon.

The latest effort by the church is the idea of Children’s Director, Mandy Jones desired to do more to share the story of Jesus as the Easter season
approached.

“The four weeks leading up to Easter, we are coming out on Thursday from 4-5 p.m.,” she said. “We are coming out to share the stories of Jesus and just loving on them. We have activities, Bible stories and snacks, that kind of things.”

Jones is drawn to the children of Sunset Village because they remind her of how things were in her family when she was a child. Those memories compel her to want to share the message of Jesus with the children.

“Growing up my family didn’t take me to church,” she said. “I was not exposed to church until I had friends that I could go with to church later in elementary school. Reaching these kids where their families aren’t taking them to church is where my heart is so I can be someone that shares the Gospel with them.

“I grew up in a rough neighborhood. And I grew up not being at a church and hearing the Gospel. You have no idea until someone tells you about it (the story of Jesus).”

Allen believes the only real hope for a hurting heart is to know Jesus.

But until someone sees the love of God in action that person might not be receptive to Him.

“We want to show them that there are people that love them and care for them in their journey,” Allen said, “and that we want to be a part of their lives to encourage them as much as we can. We just want to be a small part of putting a smile on their face and letting them know that they are not alone in the struggle of life.

“Our real goal is to just build relationships with these kids and with their families and as the church to be the hands and feet of Christ,” Allen continued.

Jones said the children in Sunset Village are asking her and Woodlawn to come back more often. As the school year winds down in less than two months the leadership at Woodlawn are starting to plan ways to minister to Sunset Village in the upcoming months.

“We will have Backyard Bible Clubs during the summer,” she said. “Kids are asking that they come back more so will see what the future holds.”

Helping the people of Ukraine

He’s confident that will be the case as local residents answer the call to help those ravaged by war in Ukraine.

Strickland explained that each Southern Baptist church has its own rules and procedures, but the local churches are quick to work through and with the association to help those in need as the association works through the International and North American mission boards.

“There are some Baptist churches in Ukraine that we (Southern Baptist) work with,” Strickland said. “The Send Relief ministry is a combined effort of the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board working with churches in Ukraine.

“Our folks find out from them how they feel, what’s going on there and how they interpret things,” Strickland continued. “They work together to find and approach to work in the situation. For instance, there are church buildings that have been destroyed and we are trying to help them find some way they can meet.”

More importantly, Send Relief has people on the ground helping displaced Ukrainians find shelter and providing clothing and food.

There are also teams of medical professionals working through the International Mission Board to help those with health needs.

The IMB also has people in Poland helping with the refugee crisis as more than 2 million people have left Ukraine in search of safety.

Strickland understands it can be frustrating for those wanting to help find ways to do it. That is where the missionaries and other denominational leaders in Europe become the bridge of information.

“The local church and the association, usually send monetary contributions to the International Mission Board,” Strickland said. “They find places that have needs and get them what they need.
Strickland said he doesn’t know of any local volunteers planning on going to Ukraine at this time.

“When the governmental people begin to say it’s safe to come in, that’s when it will possibly happen,” he said. “We orient the group that says they will go to the challenges, the dangers and the needs. This group becomes a team that plans what they are doing.”

The biggest need right now is money. Those without a church affiliation can give monetary donations to Okaloosa Baptist Association, which will forward it to the International Mission Board. Checks can be made payable to Okaloosa Baptist Association and designated Ukraine relief. Donations can also be mailed or dropped off at the office, which is located 102 E. Edney Ave, in Crestview.

Strickland also suggests praying for the emotional stability of the church people, because when the war ends, they will have a major task ahead to help rebuild the country and help provide for the needs of those afflicted by the war.

Secondly, he also said to pray for the political leaders.

“A lot comes from my wondering, ‘What are they going to gain from this’” he said. “Russia comes in and bombs and takes charge, but what are they going to do? They are going to have to rebuild and reorganize. My prayer focus would first be on the Christian people that are meeting secretly and the political leaders that are behind it.”

5 Bible-based New Year’s Resolutions for 2022

A resolution by definition is “a firm decision to do or not to do something,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary. It means a commitment to try hard to achieve a goal, commonly at the beginning of a year. So, what are some resolutions that you can implement this new year to grow your relationship with Christ?

  1. Shift your mindset and focus on God

Life can get challenging; it’s inevitable. Hard times will come, temptations will creep up and it’s easy to just fall back on our flesh and let the devil win. God never said it was going to be easy, but He did promise He would never leave us nor forsake us. So, put your full trust in Him and get rid of that negative mindset that things aren’t going to work out. Focus on His kingdom and your purpose through Him.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

-Philippians 4:8

2.    Make time to rest in His presence.

Slow down. We live in a fast-paced culture, where it’s easy to fill up every minute of our schedules. We go from work to soccer practice to rehearsal to church to home and leave no time in between. God did not create us to go, go, go all the time. It’s not good for our physical health, our mental heath or our spiritual health.

Even Jesus took time alone to be with His Father. We need to slow down to hear God’s still, small voice.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

-Psalm 46:10

3.    Be flexible and trust God’s will and timing is better than ours

Sometimes we think we have everything under control. We like to be in the pilot seat of our lives and do what we think is best. How’s your track record so far? Through my personal experience, God has taught me that He knows best. He sees the whole picture. We just see what’s directly in front of us.

That goes for plans and timelines. Sometimes I want something now and God says wait. God has taught me patience as an adult. When things happen His way and on His time, they have been so much greater than I imagined.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

-Isaiah 55:8-9

4.    Wake up 30 minutes earlier and read God’s word

We make time for things that are important to us. I will be the first to say I am NOT a morning person. Sleep is so nice and is necessary to survive. But so is the word of God! I’ve witnessed a noticeable difference in the days I make time to study the Bible in the morning and the days I hit the snooze button and skip my “daily bread.” God promises us joy and peace, but we have to give Him the opportunity to do that. He speaks through his Word, so when our Bibles are closed, we can’t hear Him.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

-Hebrew 4:12

5.    Bring up Jesus in your daily conversations and spread the Gospel

Jesus commanded us to tell everyone about Him. It’s our main mission and we often forget it. Now more than ever, people are lost, living with fear and uncertainty. They want something that is real. They want something that makes them feel seen and loved. We have that and when we don’t talk about Jesus in our daily lives, we’re keeping Him to ourselves. We’re not sharing the most phenomenal, life-changing gift of salvation and preventing the Gospel from spreading. This in turn delays the redemption.

Don’t you want everyone to know about the Jesus who changed your life, who offers hope and eternal life? Then talk about Him, and not just on Sunday. Boast about His love and all the awesome things He’s done in your life. Give Him the glory.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

-Matthew 28:19-20

As believers, we tend to be hard on ourselves when we mess up. We want our lives to glorify the Lord and when they don’t, we feel like we’ve failed. But you know what the good news is? We serve a loving and forgiving God. When we repent of our sins, it glorifies God. So, when you mess up on these resolutions, that’s OK We’re human and we’re not perfect. The key is to try again and keep pursuing Jesus, every single day of 2022.

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