Many years ago, a friend of mine made some poor decisions and lived with the consequences. But, this fall will be the first time he will be able to vote. Earlier this week, he applied for his first passport. His life is more than just turning lemons into lemonade – it is a living story of grace and transformation.
I never really considered my friend a religious person. So, you can imagine how surprised I was when he asked me, “would ‘you Christians’ accept someone like me?”
The Rest of the Story
After a pregnant pause to process what I had just heard, I said, "I can't speak on behalf of all Christians, but this Christian - me, accepts you for you."
Silence. I could tell that he was getting emotional from the sniffles over the phone.
What he said next amazed me. "I know you accept me because you're my friend. I guess I just don't know if God accepts me."
If he could see my smile from ear to ear, I'd look like a kid by a sno-cone machine on a 100 degree day. "A friend told me that I did not choose him; He chose me. Do you know who that friend was?"
"Our friend, Jesus. Jesus, God's Son, was rejected and died in every way so that you and I can be accepted by God. He's done it for me. He's done it for you. I accept you because Jesus has accepted me."
I'll spare you the details, but that evening, he said - perhaps for the first time ever (I didn't ask), "I believe this."
When was the last time you had a spiritually-oriented conversation with someone? Whether you have them regularly or have never had one before, will you join me in learning how to have more and better spiritual conversations with others?
Three Ways to Begin a Spiritual Conversation
As we move into September, be encouraged that Jesus has spiritual conversations with you...
Love you more than you know. -pt
Meet Pastor Tim
Tim Bayer has served as Our Savior's Lead Pastor since September 2019. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Concordia University - Irvine, a National Leadership Facilitator and Resource, and a Community Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Tim studied sociology, psychology, and theology prior to earning his M.Div at Concordia Seminary - St. Louis. He has also is a candidate for an Ed.D (ABD) in Transformational Leadership. He is married to Beth and they have three young children. Together, they enjoy exploring the outdoors, experiencing culture, and pizza and movie nights.