We, as churches in Shirley, are keen to share with you the good news that God loves you and has an amazing plan for your life.
The story starts with God creating the astounding universe that we live in, and creating men and women to have a relationship with him. He also made us to be in his image, to reflect his character. Sadly we have all, to some degree or another, chosen to go against God’s way, something the Bible refers to as sin. This means that we can’t enjoy the relationship with God for which we were designed – there is an important gap in our lives. We are separated from him, both in this world and in the next, after we die.
The good news is that God loves every person that he created, and has provided a remedy to this situation by sending his son, Jesus, into the world. Jesus was literally God with us. He not only demonstrated the right way to live, but knowingly gave himself up to a cruel death by crucifixion. He did this because he knew that in doing so he was paying the penalty that all mankind deserved as a result of their sin.
By recognizing our sin before God and turning to him, we can receive the forgiveness for our wrongdoing, which Jesus has already paid in his death on the cross. Our relationship with God can be restored.
And the story doesn’t end there. Amazingly, after Jesus died, God restored him to life that we too might have a new life with him. Jesus returned to heaven but has now sent his Holy Spirit to be God living in us, helping us to live in the right way that is pleasing to God.
If you recognize that you are someone who is not enjoying this right relationship with God, you can do something about it now. This is not something to do lightly - it means a big turnaround in the way you live, but if you genuinely want to take a step in this direction, pray this simple prayer:
“Lord Jesus Christ, I need you. I know I’m a sinner and I’m sorry for my sins. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. I turn from my sins. I welcome your Holy Spirit. As best as I know how, I give you my life.”
As we’ve said, this step involves a great commitment to live in a different way, but the benefits both in this life and in the life to come are huge. We walk with the presence of God alongside us and in us, guiding us along good paths, comforting us in times of trouble and giving us a new purpose for living – to please him.
We develop our relationship with God through prayer – us talking to him, and through reading the Bible - him speaking to us. Also God didn’t make us to live by ourselves, he made us to be part of his family – the Bible describes us as his children. You can find other members of this family in the church. So it would be good, as a next step, to get in contact with one of the local churches, where you will be able to find friendship with other Christians and people to stand alongside you and help you, as you begin your new life with God. Contact details for the churches in the Shirley area can be found on the ‘contact us’ page of this website. A great introduction to the Christian faith is to do an Alpha course – you can find details from one of our churches or from www.alpha.org