A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT

By: Gary L. Rodgers

Emphasis on I Peter 2:2

 Hello Family and Friends,

I wanted to send you this great website. http://www.blueletterbible.org/

I use this website a great deal and I believe that you will find it equally rewarding in your Bible studies. The site has a whole host of useful tools and helps, and it incorporates the use of the Strong’s Concordance as well. I like the ease in which I can search out scripture and word studies. But no matter what you read always keep in mind that the ultimate answer to everything that we need is in the bible, which points to Christ.

The bible was not written to make us feel good about ourselves it was written to show man that no matter how hard we try by our own efforts we are a hopelessly lost sinner[1] that needs a Savior. But it does give us hope, assurance, and a peace that goes beyond all understanding. And the answer that it provides to all of our needs is Jesus Christ[2] and Him only. It never has been and never will be Jesus Christ plus (church membership, baptism, and good works). It has to be Jesus only and nothing more, else the more becomes the deciding factor for salvation and Jesus becomes nothing.

It is my hope and desire for you that you will study God’s Word and win souls to Christ. There are people who you will come in contact with that are waiting for you to present the gospel of Christ to them. Not everyone that you talk to will get saved in that moment of witnessing. But I encourage you to give them the gospel.[3] It may be that you were meant to sow the seed to them that day.[4] It could be that someone else has sown the seed but you were to water it. And eventually you will reap the harvest. A lot of people won’t get saved until they are hanging onto their last straw of hope. It’s in those moments of desperation that they will recall what you said to them that they cry[5] out to the Lord to save them. So I encourage you to keep planting the seed[6]. It will yield its strength in the time of harvest.

The bible was not written so that we would understand everything that we read as we go through it. There is the matter of growth and in 1Peter 2:2 we find that we are like new-born babes when we first get saved and as a hungry baby we should desire the sincere milk of the word (spiritual food in the bible) so that we can grow through the various stages from infancy through adolescence into adulthood. When you first read the bible you will glean from it just like an infant those things that are soft and easy to digest or understand. And as we keep reading (feeding upon the word) we will in time grow and grasp things more and more, and eventually grow into spiritual adulthood. We have a natural tendency to get ahead of ourselves and someone needs to slow us down and bring us back to where we are in our growth.

Growing up I couldn’t wait to get my driver’s license. It was my ticket to becoming my own Boss; it was my ticket to freedom. And so how many of us would hand over our car keys to our twelve-year-old and say there you go have at it! No, there is some training involved and it also involves responsibility and maturity. We might even want to be some famous race car driver, and that in itself takes even more training and discipline. Growing and maturing in the word of God happens in the same way, it is a process that happens over time and as we become more responsible and mature by putting to practice what we learn, God will eventually trust us enough to hand over the car keys. Will we have Christian fender benders as we grow? Yes! And yes we will at times have an accident, and there are times when we will have an all-out wreck. But we will eventually get back behind the wheel a little more cautiously and hopefully a little wiser. Don’t get discouraged when you have trials.[7] It doesn’t always mean that you are doing something wrong. Sometimes a trial comes along that is in reality a stepping stone to your next level of spiritual growth and maturity. Trials are also a witness that you are a child of God.[8]

In closing I wish to encourage you to keep reading and to keep growing but by all means don’t throw away the keys. You will learn to slow down and you will gain the experience that you need to become a mature responsible driver (reader and student of the word).

I hope that what I have given you becomes a help to you and that you will pass this along to others along the way. I am certain of one thing, we all will face eternity and when we stand before God how will we answer Him when He asks why we should be allowed to enter into Heaven? There is only one answer and that is because we have put our faith (our absolute and final trust) in Jesus only! There are no plus’ that can be added to Christ.

Keep reading, keep growing and don’t let the fender benders get you down. You will run through traffic lights and stop signs, but the confidence that we can all have is that God has a great repair shop like none other!!!!!!!!!!!

Saved by the Grace of God!

Gary L. Rodgers

THE INVITATION

God has a plan for your life. First of all He wants you by faith to become one of His children so that He can teach you and train you. Christ stands at the door of your heart wanting to come in. By bowing your head in prayer and confessing to Him that you are a sinner in need of a Savior he will forgive you for your sins, and the Holy Spirit will come into your heart to teach you and train you in the Word of God. Salvation is a free gift that was paid for by the blood of Christ and is offered to everyone throughout the world. To receive it, follow along in prayer and repeat the following words by faith.

Dear Lord, I confess that I am a sinner. Please forgive me for every sin that I have ever committed. Please wash away all of my sins with your blood. I believe in You, I trust in You, I know that you died on the cross for me, and I believe that you resurrected form the grave for me. Please come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. In the name of your son Jesus Christ I ask it. Amen!

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, and to wash away all of your sin with His blood, and to come into your heart to be your Savior, then we praise God for you.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place: _______________________________________________________

of your decision. Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067 to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk.

Thank you, and may the Lord richly bless you!


[1] Isaiah 53:6

[2] 1 Thessalonians 5:9

[3] John 3:16

[4] 1Corinthians 3:6 – 9

[5] Psalm 107:6, Jonah 2:1 & 2

[6] Luke 8:4 – 15

[7] James 1:2 – 8

[8] Job 5:17, Psalms 3:11 & 12, Hebrews 12:5 – 8