CHRISTIANITY TODAY Emmanuel Reyes
TO BEGIN First off, I’d like to thank God for the blessings he bestowed upon me, both in good health and also in my moments of weakness. Lord, without you I am nothing. If it wasn’t for your love and grace, I’d be like an injured bird, dying on the ground.
CHRISTIANITY TODAY My name is Emmanuel Reyes; I’m a hopeless sinner who blames God for my misfortunes... Or at least, I used to be. I was born into the church, the Church Of God 7th day in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. According to my church’s doctrine I was born innocent and pure. Imagine that, being born to live! To live as a free man, not as a drunkard or as a slob, but as a free man because of God’s love.
JOHN 3:16 Â For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJV) These words have been emblazoned in my heart. Not because I earned them, but rather, because Godâ€™s love was so great that though knowing that man was a sinful, cruel and unloving entity (as a majority), He gave us an opportunity to live
ROMANS 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV) According to the law of sin and death, we would all be doomed to eternal damnation. But God loved us and forgave us through the blood of Jesus Christ.
THE POINT By now, you’re probably wondering what the point in mentioning these verses is, and here’s the answer; Because religion isn’t about having some fancy building, or how loud we sing our praises. It’s about building a trusting and loving relationship with our Lord.
SO WHAT? Through my experience, experimenting with different denominations, I have learned that no matter where you worship, thereâ€™ll always be someone upset about the way you worship. No matter how hard it is for you to even attend church because of how embarrassed you are of showing your face in the House of The Lord, thereâ€™ll always be someone ready to kick you down ever lower.
DOES ANYONE ELSE SEE A PROBLEM HERE? It may be that I’m naive or that I’m too simple to comprehend why, but I don’t believe that was God’s plan for us. I mean, if you can find it in The Bible please correct me, but through reading the scriptures I’ve never encountered a verse telling me to belittle others, spread rumors, or hurt my neighbor.
THE QUESTION THAT BURNS INSIDE ME… Are we made to laugh at each other’s flaws? To destroy each other’s hopes? Are we now authorities on God’s policies? Are we now judges of right and wrong?
THE PARADOX v You call yourself Christian because you own a Bible, but how often do you read it? v You call yourself Christian because you attend church, but is that what your life reflects? v You call yourself Christian because you are forgiven, but does that make you any better than those who don’t know the word of God? v You call yourself Christian because you want to make a change in your life, but are you actually working on it? v You call yourself Christian because you follow the example of Christ, but are you being true to yourself when you look in the mirror and say “I am a Christian”
WE CALL OURSELVES A NATION OF CHRISTIANS Its time for us to live up to these words!!! Its time to put down the bombs and bring out the Bibles, Its time to call back the troops and send in the Missionaries, Its time, to do Godâ€™s will, to follow his word, and to quit basing our beliefs off of interpretations and wants!
BUT IT BEGINS WITH YOU
It all begins with one person, one heart. The will to change comes from a “realationship” with God!
WHY DO I CARE? v I’ve been diagnosed with Major Depression; Manic (I’m Bi-Polar) v I’ve been hospitalized 7 times in the last two years for suicidal thoughts and actions. v I’ve attempted suicide TWICE! v Most importantly, I hate going to church! I absolutely detest going to a place where I’m supposed to feel loved and accepted, Only to feel judged and out of place!
YOU KNOW ME, WHETHER OR NOT YOU REALIZE IT... v I’m that shy “Emo” kid from school. v I’m that depressed co-worker who you try to avoid. v I’m that lonely old man from the old folk’s asylum who never gets any visitors. v You know me, or somebody like me… v Yet, you’ve never said hello. You’ve never asked me to join you for lunch or golf or to talk for a while.
WHY DID I ATTEMPT SUICIDE? v Because I felt unloved! v Because I felt that I wasn’t good enough! v Because I was tired of not having that friend... Someone who truly understood, someone who could sympathize, and help me stand back up! v Because YOU NEVER ONCE THOUGHT that a smile from YOU, COULD SAVE MY LIFE!
MATTHEW 25:41-46 (NKJV)
IF ONLY YOU KNEW… v If you knew how valuable kind words are to US. To every Emmanuel Reyes out there. To the elderly, the forgotten, the broken… v People these days don’t realize the power of saying “I love you!” v People don’t understand one simple equation. How can we love God who we have not seen, when we do not love our brethren who we have seen?
ONE LAST THING… v If you only take one thing away from this presentation, let it be this: God wants all of us, including myself, to be a ray of light in this dark world! v God wants us to teach others how to be a light for Christ! v God loves you! v God wants you to be fisherman of men. v Go forth and bring US to Christ! Bring in all the Emmanuel Reyes’, all the Bob Somebody’s, EVERYONE to him! v You can do it, YOU CAN SAVE A LIFE!
GOD BLESS YOU!!! Signed, Emmanuel Reyes A hopeful, loving, Christian Whose beginning to love church again!