Sermons

Devotional Thought

Christianity Is…About Jesus

The game of basketball is one of our most popular sports. Backboards and rims dot driveways and parks all across America. Pick-up games thrive at the YMCA. Michael Jordan, a former professional basketball player, is the world’s best-known athlete.

Imagine for a moment that the game of basketball never existed. We would no longer see kids on driveways shooting baskets. Michael Jordan would not be a household name.

Remove James Naismith from his connection to basketball and everything about basketball evaporates.

Who is James Naismith? None other than the father of basketball. He was a physical education instructor who invented the game just over a hundred years ago. In the first game played, two peach baskets and a soccer ball were used.

Let’s talk for a moment about an even more influential movement . . . Christianity. Christianity has grown throughout the world in scope and popularity for 2000 years. Its influence extends to every continent on the earth. How much do you know about Christianity?

Did you know that Christianity is not just a set of rules and guidelines? Sometimes that is how it is perceived. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Christianity is about a person named Jesus Christ and his work.

Jesus is the reason for millions of hearts and lives being changed for the better. He willingly sacrificed his life on a cross and rose again from the dead for the benefit of the world. Jesus makes it possible for us to have a personal relationship with God. He opens the door to a life of eternal joy and peace.

Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

No Naismith, no basketball. No Jesus, no Christianity.

Pastor R.

Devotional Thought

Christianity Is…

Many people have problems with organized religion. Religion ties them up in knots. They view it as a subtle way to keep the ignorant in line through fear. They consider it an excuse for the foolish to procrastinate on earthly problems, while dreaming of a make-believe heaven.

It’s no wonder such a view is prevalent. The following true story illustrates the point.

A couple came to a pastor to get married. The future bride had no specific expectations of her new relationship. Wounded by a first marriage, trapped in a job monopolizing her life, she barely had time to sleep and not enough energy to trust anybody.

The pastor pointed the future bride to Jesus. Jesus took time to live for us and die on the cross for our sins. He’s always there to  hear those who trust in him. Trust in God moves us to trust and make time for the people in our life.

Some time later the bride’s mother came to the pastor for advice. She was worried sick about a problem in her life. She didn’t attend church regularly, so she didn’t have much knowledge about Jesus and God’s love. But she did say she was excited about going to visit Jerusalem with her church in a few months.

Suspicion. Pride. Escapism. That’s all that some people see in religion.

You don’t have to travel a thousand miles to gather real hope. You can see Jerusalem in the eyes of a woman who dares to trust her husband at Jesus’ prompting. You can feel an angel’s touch when a child grabs your hand and tells you what he’s learned in Sunday School. The world is created anew every time people learn that God has forgiven them because of Jesus.

No wonder some people hate religion. It often becomes just rules and opinions. But Jesus is living faith and action wrapped into one. False religion breeds pride and guilt. Jesus brings love and forgiveness, compassion and understanding.

Christianity isn’t just an empty religion. It’s about a living Savior and a grateful response to him.
 Pastor R.