I love the Preach Off because it reminds me that being a Christian can be a lot of fun. I remember thinking the first time CedarCreek hosted this event, “Well, this is different!” Every year, it gets better and better. The commercials, the commentaries, the random words—it’s hilarious!
Today, most of my friends belong to a church and have a relationship with Christ. It wasn’t always like that. There was a time in my life when most of the people I surrounded myself with, including me, thought things like:
- I’ll try that religion when I get older. Right now, I’m having too much fun.
- I can’t go into a church; the ceiling would collapse!
- Going to church is boring—it’s all blah, blah, blah.
- Church people are so fake. All they want is your money!
It’s true that when I became a Christ-follower, I gave up a lot of the things that came with my sinful nature. At first, I felt like I had to, but as I grew closer to Christ and began to realize the incredible sacrifice he made for me, I wanted to! Today, I will gladly forgo a little extra sleep so I can spend time in study, meditation, and prayer. I want to turn on the TV to watch church, or better yet, make a date with some friends to go to a live service.
Last fall, I had three, amazing Christian adventures: Some friends and I had the privilege of going to the Unity Fest in Muskegon, Michigan. My husband and I went with a few other couples to a Christian marriage retreat called “The Shack” in White Cloud, Michigan, and I attended a women’s retreat at Grace Adventures Christian Campground in Mears, Michigan, with some close friends. All three events were awesome fun, and they were things I would never have gotten to do if I hadn’t become a Christian.
It turns out that what I gave up when I became a Christian is minuscule compared to what I’ve gained. I have real friends whom I can count on, purpose in my day, and my B.I.B.L.E. (a.k.a.: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) to guide me!
1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
As followers of Christ, we have an incredible reason for hope and joy! Events like the Preach Off, and our upcoming series, Get Me Outta Here, offer wonderful opportunities to invite others into the fun, life-changing adventure with Jesus. Who will you invite?
Can you remember what it was like before you accepted Christ into your life?
Are you prepared to give reason for the hope that you have?
Think about the adventure you’ve been having since you gave your life to Christ. Consider sharing your story on the CedarCreek App.
Practice giving reason for the hope that you have.
Invite someone to the next series, Get Me Outta Here.
Father, I am so thankful that you called me into this great adventure with you! When I cried out to you, you rescued me! You got me out! You lifted me up and set me on solid ground. Though I still have days of pain and heartache, I no longer have to fear, because you have already overcome the world. Help me to know you more with each passing day and to wait in joyful hope. Amen.
This post was written by Julie Estep. Julie loves her husband John and their combined five adult children and four grandchildren. Her favorite activities are walking their two dogs and golfing. She loves sharing her faith and is grateful for the chance to be a LIO contributor.
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