November 2016 Update

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This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true;  but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:5-10

How often have we heard these words, “We are children of the light?” Look at the second part of verse seven, (“and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”) Nowhere does it say in this that my righteous judgement and my adherence to the Law saves me, does it? No, it says that is the action and the right of Jesus the Christ to save all from sin.

And what gets in the way of this salvation? From the words of Jesus,
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not go in yourselves, and when others are going in, you stop them” Matt. 23:13 (NRSV)
to the words of Paul,
“Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.” Romans 2:1
We get in the way of Christ salvation for the world.

Why do I share this with you this month? This month many of us will gather together with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. We will pray, eat, give thanks, laugh, cry, and then go about our lives (which is all good, by the way). Some of us during this time of focus on gratitude will think of friends and many who are far away from God and the good news of Christ’s salvation and want to do something about it. Here at Hope at the Beach, by your generous gifts and most needed prayers you can do something.

We have seen a big increase of seekers finding this joy in Christ – returning to their love of God. Each week for the past few months we have been enjoying many new faces, when asked their stories tell a very familiar truth. For the most part it’s something like this, “My church, family, friends, whatever, did not agree with the way I live my life, the way I look, the person I am, etc. and have hurt me so deeply that I thought I would never come back. But today I heard a message about a loving and forgiving God, thank you for that.”

Now that is something to be very thankful for! So I encourage you to add Hope At the Beach to your thanksgiving prayer and let the light of God’s mercy shine in your hearts and out to all so that they may know the saving grace of Christ.

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