Happy Mother’s Day

A Tribute to  Mothers

Mother’s Day is a reminder to everyone to say “Thank You” to God and to the wonderful ladies for the life we so enjoy.  Without God (and Mom) we would not even exist.  If your mom is no longer with you, take a moment to thank God for her and say a word before your family and friends to honor her this weekend (If you have children or teens at home, please read this post to them). If your mom is still with you, then take a moment to share a tribute to her – you can do this in a card or with a gift or a phone call (if you do it in a “text” please make it significant – something more than a “smiley” emoji). Share your loving gratitude with her today…  no one has the promise of tomorrow.  

A Tribute to Mom and Grandma 

My mom trusted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior along with her friend at the age of 10 at a summer Bible camp.  In the greatest trials of her life (losing her first husband to cancer and her second husband totally dominated by alcohol), she turned to the Lord in prayer and in the Bible (sadly her denominational church did not teach God’s Truth).  God answered her prayers and miraculously saved her husband and brought her to a true church where Christ was exalted.  For the last 46 years, my brother Steve and I have been blessed with a mom who is a prayer warrior, spiritual influencer, cheerleader, and a soul winner.  Only heaven will reveal the many blessings on our church family because of Suzie Groninger Beaver Wendal Jones.  “I love you, Mom!”

My grandma was born in 1900. As a little boy, my grandma made me feel safe.  Because of the large crowd at the farmhouse, I shared a bed with grandma. I remember her cleaning out my pocket that I had stuffed full of glowing lightning bugs. As a teenager I spent 5 summers working on the farm and I had breakfast everyday with her – just me and Grandma.  She spoiled me with homemade applesauce, cookies, and pie.  She cooked all the fish I caught (even an eel).  My grandma never lost her temper or raised her voice. She loved God, served her family, and brought us all great joy.  I was honored to share the Gospel at her funeral (before I became a pastor).  At 61,… I still miss her greatly.  

A Tribute to my Wife

Celebrating 25 years of marriage this last week has given me time to reflect on what a gift from God Jodie has been to me, our family, and our church. God wonderfully answered the prayers of many the day we met.  I know I am closer to God and love others more because of the godly influence of my wife.  She not only rescued me from a deep loneliness but she brought spiritual sunshine to our church family and visiting guests.  She deflects all praise to God and she is extremely thankful for the godly influence of her parents on her life.  She is truly a Proverbs 31 woman.  “Sweetheart, I’ll love you forever!”

All of our pastors’ wives carry burdens, confidences, and face spiritual attacks that few in our church will ever experience.  May you join me in honoring and praying for the moms of our spiritual leaders (pastors, deacons, and staff wives) as we worship and serve our Wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

The best thing you can do for your mom is love and obey God with all of your heart.

Moms, Happy Mother’s Day and THANK YOU!

2020 Lessons to Help us in 2021

Here is my list of 12 Lessons from 2020.  I am sure you can add to the list and even jot down what God is already teaching you in 2021.  We can experience God’s peace as we seek to walk with Him each day this year!  If there are events you cannot attend at your church, you can still be a part of what God is doing through giving and praying for your pastors, church family, and the ministry to our community and the world!

We’ve always lived in a world of change, but nothing as extreme as last year.  Our faith in our Sovereign God has been strengthened.  He predicted that in the last days “perilous times shall come” 2 Timothy 3:1.  We have not only seen a rise in “lawlessness” but we now understand how the antichrist will be able to exercise global power in the coming Tribulation.  As we draw closer to our Lord’s return, we should not be filled with worry, fear, or anxiety, but great excitement and anticipation.  The writer of Hebrews said, “When you see this day approaching” [the events predicted before the return of our Lord], then be more committed to “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together”  Hebrews 10:25.
Let’s never forget that “the darker the night, the brighter the light.”  Our country and world is under a great blanket of spiritual darkness, and yet the light of one Spirit-filled Christian gives enough light to draw others to Jesus Christ.  Let’s shine God’s light through us in 2021.

12 Lessons from 2020

1.  Christ can give me Peace in a Pandemic.

“I need to focus my heart on God and receive His peace.”

2.  It’s not about me.

“I need to be less selfish.”

3.  God has a bigger plan than I can possibly know.

“I need to let God be God.”

4.  Difficult times reveal what’s in our hearts.

“I need to learn to depend on God when things don’t go my way.” 

5.  My plans can be changed overnight.

“I need to learn how to be flexible.”

6.  We need God’s wisdom when misguided leaders step outside of their God-given authority.

“I need to know when to submit; when to appeal; and when to quietly resist.”

7.  Taking time to re-evaluate the direction of your life is vitally important.

“I need to look to God to determine the purpose and goal of my life.”

8.  The church of Jesus Christ CAN be flexible.

“I need to value and support my church.”

9.  Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. 

“I need to be kind to Christians I disagree with.”

10.  Treasuring family and friends is important.

“I need to realize that the lives of my family and friends are precious and fragile.”

11.  Thanking God for the gift of taste and smell.

“I need to be grateful for the little pleasures and gifts from God.”

12.  Christ is Enough.

“I need to learn to be joyfully contentment regardless of anything:  persecution, finances, politics, masks, vaccines, riots, etc.”

COVID-19: What in the World is Happening?

If there is a God, why is He letting this happen?

Well, first of all, the evidence all around us indicates that God does exist. Intelligent design is undeniable! God created us in His image which includes emotion, will, and intellect. What that means is – we have a “free will” to do what we want to do.

Our first parents (Adam and Eve) introduced sin not just into the human race, but also into the whole world (Romans 8:22). Since that time we have all been exposed to accidents, disease, and death. The Bible teaches us that every living thing (plant, animal, or human) has a broken genetic code. Sooner or later, every living thing will die (Romans 6:23).

Sadly, many of us have known of family members and loved ones who experienced an early death. Is this God’s fault? Is the human experience of pain and suffering evidence that God does not exist? Not at all! On the contrary, if there is an evil force in the world than it stands to reason that there must also be a good force in the world. Insurance companies have often described catastrophes of floods, fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes as “acts of God”… as if to assign blame to God for the bad things that happen in the world. Nothing could be further from the truth. The current world pandemic of COVID-19 is just another proof that we live in a broken world. Instead of blaming God for the cause of our troubles, we need to look to God for help in our troubles.

Is COVID-19 a Sign of Bible Prophecy?

In a sermon about the future, Jesus said there would be “signs” in “the sun, in the moon, and in the stars” that would warn people of His literal return to the earth (Luke 21:25). Jesus also gave a list of events or signs to describe a future period the Bible calls the Tribulation (described in Revelation 6-19).

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse(various) places” Matthew 24:6-7.

Bible Prophecy expert Pastor David Jeremiah writes, “Is this a sign of the Second Coming of Christ? I cannot say with any certainty that it is. But neither can I say with any certainty that it is not. It could be the early evidence of number three on Jesus’ sign list, the coming pestilence. A pestilence is “a contagion or infectious epidemic that is virulent and devastating. That is a pretty good description of what’s going on right now.”

COVID-19 is NOT the “Biblical sign” of Matthew 24:7 or Luke 21:11 but Jesus said that these signs would begin to appear like “birth pains” and will increase in frequency and intensity leading up to His return.

“Do I have your attention yet?” – God

Can God use this worldwide pandemic to get your attention? Absolutely. We cannot ignore the daily news reports that remind us of the tens of thousands dying from this virus. Even though the mortality rates are highest among the elderly and the immune compromised, we are hearing of many healthy young people succumbing to the deadly effects of this virus. How can we not be reminded of the brevity of life – our life (James 4:14)! Whether you are young or old, healthy or sick, what matters most is not if you will catch a deadly case of COVID-19, but where you will spend eternity.

Do you have the assurance that Heaven is your eternal home?

You will live forever somewhere. God cannot take you into His holy heaven with sin on your soul. He has provided a cure for sin. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived a perfect life and died a sacrificial death providing a way for you and me to be forgiven of all of our sins. When someone receives Jesus Christ as their personal Savior they are making the decision to believe that Jesus died on the cross on their behalf and rose again from the dead. His way is the only One who can forgive your sins. You may have read of people from Iran and India who created their own “medical drinks” to prevent or overcome COVID-19. Instead of providing a cure, those who drank this concoction actually became more ill and some even died. As the Great Physician, God has prescribed one way to come to Him, John 14:1-6. Turning to Christ means you are willing to turn away from your sinful ways and begin to follow Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If right now you are sensing the conviction and guilt of your sins, call out to God in prayer and receive Jesus Christ today. You can make that decision by praying from your heart, something like this:

“Dear Lord, I know that I am a sinner and I ask you to forgive me of all of my sin. I believe that Jesus died for me and rose again from the dead. Please come into my heart and become my Lord and Savior. I trust You alone to save me. Amen.”

If you have just received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, I am glad to say to you, “Welcome to the Family of God.” If you have trusted Christ as your Savior, I would love to hear from you. I would love to send you a Bible and some materials to help you grow in your new relationship with the Lord. Please contact us at info@vfbt.org or 610-948-8100; or you can fill out the form below.

What happens if I get sick?

My prayer along with millions of others is that this virus will be defeated. Many people will get the virus and not even know they have it, others will have the worst flu symptoms they have ever had in their life. But there are many who will perish from it. Whether COVID-19 comes to you or your family members or not, we can have the peace and assurance that God will be with us in our worst crisis of life. Jesus promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” As a Christian, it is not so important how long we live, but how well we live for our Savior. When it is our time to meet the Lord in heaven we have the promise that God will send His angels to usher us into His presence for all of eternity (Luke 16:22).

Baptism Sunday

Is Baptism for Me? When I was 15 my dad was saved from a life of alcohol addiction and he took us to church where I became a Christian.  That Christmas we were at my grandma’s farm and my brother Steve informed me that my parents had invited the new pastor to come over to […]

Love and the Lost Letter

God’s love story for us isn’t just a Hallmark movie – it’s better. He only asks that we hand the pen to Him.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated in our family for several reasons. My wife and I share cards and she makes the family a special gourmet breakfast… because it is also my birthday. My favorite Valentine’s celebration was our church’s Valentine Banquet in 1996. We had our highest attendance at that banquet for one simple reason. The church family was going to meet my fiancée Jodie Friesen for the very first time. It was a joyous time in our lives and also for the church as they were meeting someone who was literally the answer to hundreds of prayers. Jodie and I were engaged in January at Skylon Tower at Niagara Falls. But the engagement, the answered prayers, and the joyous celebration with the church was almost NOT to be. Why? Because of “The Lost Letter.”

A couple of years had passed since I had become a single dad. My first wife passed away of cancer. Those years had some unique challenges for me. You see, I have DCS (Domestically Challenged Syndrome). Before my wife passed away, my neighbors brought a meal every Monday night. I honestly didn’t know that Lasagna could be made 10 different ways – all delicious. After being widowed the church family graciously brought many meals to us as well. Matt and Jeremy were only 8 and 4 when their mom entered heaven.

In addition to running a household as a single dad, being a pastor, and coordinating a massive building program at church, I was struggling with deep loneliness. Not only did I love my first wife, but I loved being married. During those years a number of well-intentioned matchmakers attempted to “set up” both Jodie and me with different people. Not one of those introductions seemed to be God’s will for our lives. A church planter from our church met Jodie at Camp YES in Ontario and told her my story. They asked if they could pass on her address to their pastor. Jodie said she would pray about it. God gave her a perfect peace about passing her name and address on to me. I called her father, Pastor John Friesen, and asked permission if I could write his daughter. It wasn’t until October that I finally sent my first letter to Jodie. To my wonderful surprise she wrote back. For the next three months letters flowed consistently back and forth from Pennsylvania to Canada.

Jodie writing her first letter to me, 1995

During those months of letter writing (pre-email days), the Lord began growing a friendship between us. We shared the activities of our days, our thoughts, and yes our dreams to serve the Lord for the rest of our lives. It just seemed natural to invite her to come for a visit and for her to invite me for a visit. I suggested two dates for my first trip to see her in Canada – December 18th and December 26th. I anxiously awaited her response.


I was puzzled. You see when I would send a letter, I would receive a reply in exactly 10 days. Not only was international writing slow, but Canada did not have mail service on Saturdays. A little disappointed and a little perplexed I wrote again – and did not mention any dates. I received a reply, but no mention of visiting Jodie in Canada.

Like every other member of Adam’s fallen race, I too am plagued with jumping to conclusions – false conclusions. I assumed that Jodie’s father was fine with the idea of his oldest daughter writing someone from out of the country, but nothing more than that. After all, of her 46 aunts and uncles and 100+ cousins, no one had moved from their beloved homeland.

I had come to a crossroads regarding my future. I had been on several dates at the recommendation of pastors and missionaries – most of them were out of state. Now I have been writing someone who I truly desired to meet and I am thinking that it will never be. I was sure that Jodie would not go against her father’s wishes, nor would I ask her to do so. That night I got on my knees and made yet another surrender to God. I prayed something like this: “Dear Lord, you know my heart is growing towards Jodie. I ask that you do what I cannot do to take the next step. But if not…. I surrender to Your perfect will even if that means remaining single until my boys graduate from high school. I will give up dating and focus on the boys and growing your church.” It was a difficult prayer of surrender because it was “not my will.”

The next day as I pondered my prayer of surrender, I came to the conclusion that it would be futile to continue to write Jodie if there was no future for us. But then I wondered what Jodie’s father was really thinking… “Did he not want his daughter to leave his church and country? Did he not want his daughter to marry someone who had already been married?

“Did he not want his daughter to become a step-mom of two boys?” I decided to call Pastor Friesen and find out if there was a reason he did not want me to come for a visit. I found their house number through information and made the call. Shortly into the conversation he asked me, “Do you think God is in this?” My immediate response was “Absolutely.” He said, “Would you like to come for a visit?” I joyfully responded that I would love to. Then he said, “Would you like to say ‘Hi’ to Jodie?”

Would I like to talk to Jodie?

My heart began to pound as I waited for Jodie to come to the phone. With a bit of a Canadian accent she said, “Hello, Scott!” We have a wall plaque hanging in our bedroom that reads, “You had me at Hello.”

On December 26 I made my first trip to Canada. Followed by a second trip to be engaged. Then came that joyous Valentine’s banquet. That day Jodie met the boys, my parents, our staff, and church family.

Jodie meeting Matthew and Jeremy for the first time that first Valentine’s weekend, 1996

On that first trip to Canada I discovered that my letter had been lost in the mail. Jodie did not receive it until December 18th. She felt so bad that she had not responded to that letter. But somewhere between Pennsylvania and Canada, an angel was dispatched from heaven to hide that letter for two weeks. I call it “The Lost Letter.”

In the Sovereignty of God, I had one more test before the Lord would let me meet Jodie – the test was full surrender. I came to the conclusion that God was more than enough to dispel my loneliness. He was not going to let me take the next step without full surrender to His perfect will.

We all have discovered that the Lord brings into our path many “lost letter” tests. Many of them will not be easy, but they are exactly what God wants us to go through. And so the next time you find yourself in the middle of a “lost letter test” and life is not going the way “you want it to go” just remember that God really is in control of your life (Romans 8:28).  God wants us to seek Him first and be content in Him, Matthew 6:33. As you pray a “not my will, but thine be done” you can sit back and experience His perfect peace as you trust Him, Isaiah 26:3.


Everything He gives us is grace – and that is more than enough!

And so Valentine’s Day is extra special in our family as it reminds us of how He used a quiet miracle of a “lost letter” to bring us together 24 years ago.

The Wendal Family, 2019

Dreams Do Come True

It all started because of a gospel tract left at a service station. The story begins on a hot summer day in 1975.  God answered my mom’s prayers and my dad was wonderfully saved from a life of alcohol addiction.  After having the car serviced, my mother picked up a Fairfax Baptist Temple tract from the counter, and soon our family began attending church.  After hearing Pastor Bud Calvert preach the gospel of Jesus Christ for about four months, I received Christ as my Lord and Savior during an invitation prayer.  God changed my plans!  Instead of becoming a pilot, I became a preacher!  All glory goes to God!

As I look back over 35 years of God’s blessings, leadership, and power in our church family, I am humbled and honored that I have been allowed by the Lord to be an under-shepherd to Jesus Christ for the saints at Valley Forge Baptist.  I am certain the Lord could have chosen thousands of other more qualified men than myself to lead this wonderful church family that He has built.

Dreams Do Come True

For a teenager and a young man with a great fear of public speaking, it is nothing more than a demonstration of God’s power to place me in the ministry.  It is a dream come true to pastor in one place WITH JOY for 35 years.  I praise God that He has allowed me and our church family to see the fulfillment of His wonderful promises that He made to us:  “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3

Praising God for All He has Done!

The Holy Spirit directed both the apostle Paul and Dr. Luke to record some of the metrics of the early church.  I would like to join with Paul and say, “… I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.”  Romans 15:17

I would like to boast in what God has done.  I take absolutely no credit or honor in His mighty work.  Truly, it has been the saints of our church family who have faithfully done “the work of the ministry.”  The “Difference Makers” at VFBT will receive the credit and reward in heaven for faithfully serving our Savior.

What has the Lord been doing for 35 years at Valley Forge Baptist?

Several thousand trusting Christ as Savior.

9,000 guests have heard the gospel.

1,500 baptisms.

320 baby dedications.

$10,000,000 given to World Missions.

4,000 kids attended VBS with hundreds being saved.

Supporting 200 missionary families.

10,000 meals served to the homeless and needy.

18 fresh water wells dug in foreign poverty lands.

Thousands of dollars given for disaster relief with the Gospel.

As a church family, we take no credit for all that God has done.  We are simply servants of the Most High God.  It is my joy and privilege to serve our Savior with some of the greatest saints this side of heaven!!!

To all of our VFBT Church Family, We love you, Pastor Scott & Jodie Wendal

“Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”  Ephesians 3:21

How to Write Your Testimony

The blind man answered and said, “Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” John 9:25

1 – Realize the Power of Your Christian Testimony

First and foremost – remember – there is power in your testimony! Revelation 12:11 says we overcome our enemy be the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony.

2 – Study Examples of Testimonies from others

Paul’s Testimony, Acts 22:3-21 Acts 26:9-20

Tracts on tract rack past the restrooms on the left.

3 – Spend Time in Thoughtful Preparation

There are a few things to consider before you start writing your testimony. Think about your life before you met the Lord.

Questions to Consider:

What was going on in your life leading up to your salvation?

What problems or needs were you facing at the time?

How did your life change after that?

4 – Start with a Simple 3-Point Outline

A three-point approach is very effective in communicating your personal testimony. The outline focuses on before you trusted Christ, how you surrendered to him, and the difference since you’ve been walking with him.


Simply tell what your life was like before you surrendered to Christ. What were you searching for before coming to know Christ? What was the key problem, emotion, situation or attitude you were dealing with? What motivated you? What were your actions? How did you try to satisfy your inner needs? (Examples of inner needs are loneliness, fear of death, insecurity. Possible ways to fill those needs include work, money, drugs, relationships, sports, immorality)


How were you saved?

Simply tell the events and circumstances that caused you to consider Christ as the solution to your searching.

Tell how God spoke to your heart.

Tell who God used and how they witnessed to you.

Tell where you were at when you were saved.

Tell how you responded to that invitation


How has your life in Christ made a difference?

How has his forgiveness impacted you?

How have your thoughts, attitudes and emotions changed?

Share how Christ is meeting your needs and what a relationship with Him means to you now.

5 – Important Tips to Remember

Stick to the point. Your conversion and new life in Christ should be the main points.

Be specific. Include events, genuine feelings and personal insights that clarify your main point. This makes your testimony tangible – something others can relate to.

Be current. Tell what is happening in your life with God now, today.

Be honest. Don’t exaggerate or dramatize your life for effect. The simple truth of what God has done in your life is all the needs to convict others of their sin and convince them of his love and grace (www.christianity.about.com).

6 – Things to Avoid

Avoid giving every little detail.

Avoid being graphic or inappropriate details of your past.  You can refer to specific sins in a general way.

Avoid using terms that an unsaved person would not understand – like the term “unsaved.”

Explain How God has…

– Opened your eyes to spiritual truth

– Rescued you

– Delivered you from despair

– Given you a purpose to live for God

– Forgiven your sins

– Taken away your guilt and given you a clear and clean conscience

– Changed the focus of your life from being selfish to caring for God and others.

  1. Write out your testimony
  2. Short version – 2 minutes or less
  3. Long version – 5-7 minutes (no longer than 10 minutes).
  4. Let the place where you are sharing your testimony dictate the length.

If you are talking one on one then you can take longer to give your testimony.  If you are speaking to a group where other people will also be speaking, then you need to keep your testimony shorter.

  1. Look how Paul’s testimony is tightly put together. He didn’t ramble on about things that had no bearing on his testimony
  2. Practice giving your testimony so that you will be prepared to give it when the opportunity is opened to you.

The SALT Strategy:

S    Say Anything

A    Ask Questions

L    Listen Well

T    Turn the Topic to Christ

God is PRO-Eternal Life

Both the Old and the New Testament declare God is PRO-Life.  God is the giver of life and it is a stain on any nation that does not have laws to protect the unborn.  Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”  I would like to encourage every Christian to do something!  Contact your representatives.  Below you will find a sample letter to hand deliver, email, or send to your legislators.  It’s easy to do.  In any search engine type in “Find my Legislators” and add your state name.  In the book of Acts the apostle Paul shared God’s Word with several political leaders.  You will find that he always addressed them with respect and courtesy, but he stated the truth – as should we.  Not only is God PRO-Life, He is also PRO-Eternal Life.  He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  Go Shine your light, Matthew 5:16!


Dear __________________________,

Thank you for serving our community.  I would ask for your support to protect the lives of the unborn in Pennsylvania.  It is an irrefutable scientific fact that, at the moment of conception, every new human being represents a genetically distinct life.  The survival of an unborn child should not depend on whether or not the child is wanted by his or her mother.  To abort [kill] that human being in the process of development, at any stage, is to interfere with this child’s “right to live.”  I am sure you are familiar with the Unborn Victims Violence Act passed in 2004, which defines a fetus as a “child in uterus” and if the child is injured or killed that is a legal crime.  Furthermore, 38 states including Pennsylvania have harsher penalties if a victim is murdered while pregnant – these laws define a fetus as being a person.  It would be appropriate for our legislatures to be consistent and apply all legislation to protect the unborn.

If you look back to the famous Roe V. Wade Case, the plaintiff Norma McCorvey later became a Christian and deeply regretted her involvement in the legalization of abortion.  The statistics on depression and alcoholism in women who have aborted, and yes even suicide, is alarming.  Abortion leaves a lifelong scar of pain and regret on each mother.

Many believe that women have the right to choose and do what they want with their body.  We agree that women have rights over their own body, however, once they become an expectant mother, there is another body – another human being – inside of their womb.  What should be the safest place for a new life has become a place of terror, pain, and death for millions of American babies – and disproportionately so for the African-American community.

The termination of living growing children is a silent holocaust in our state and it needs the attention of our Pennsylvania senators and representatives.  We cannot continue to kill our own children and teach our young women that this is an acceptable way to handle unwanted pregnancies.  Adoption is a wonderful and courageous choice for mothers.  I ask you to consider sponsoring and supporting legislation like the heartbeat bill which will not allow for abortion past 6 weeks when the heartbeat is present.

I thank you again for your willingness to serve as my representative.  I will pray that God guides your decisions as you help to oversee the needs of our community and that you will realize that it is your job to protect all life, born and UNBORN.



__________________ (your name)






How Can I Experience God Personally?

If a complete stranger asked if he could borrow your car for a day, you’d probably say no.  But if a close friend or relative made the same request you would be inclined to say yes.  We can only put our full trust in someone we’ve come to know well.  That’s the difference in knowing about God versus knowing God in a personal way.  The God of the universe is crazy in love with you.  He proved His love when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to come into the world and take the penalty of your sin so that you could experience God personally and the joy of living in heaven!

Do you know God?

Religious people know about God.  Genuine Christians have the ability to know God in a personal way.  Becoming a child of God cannot happen by our own efforts of good deeds or religious rituals like getting baptized (Ephesians 2:8-9).  But when we transfer our trust of what we can do and begin trusting in what Jesus Christ has already done for us, we can experience a living relationship with the living God.  The moment you believe that Jesus died for you and rose again and commit yourself to become a follower of Christ, you can experience God in a personal way.

What Experiences of God can Christians have?

Assurance of Heaven

The moment you become a Christian the Holy Spirit of God begins to live inside of you (I Corinthians 6:19-20).  The very first thing the Holy Spirit did for me when He came into my life was to give me assurance that I was going to heaven.  As a child I prayed the same prayer every night – “Now I lay me down to sleep.  I pray the Lord my soul to keep.  If I should die before I wake.  I pray the Lord my soul to take.”  Think about it – what kind of prayer is that for a little kid!  That prayer never gave me the feeling of assurance that I so wanted in my heart.  But thankfully, when I asked Jesus Christ to become my Lord and Savior, God gave me a quiet peace and confidence that when I die I will go directly to heaven as God has promised in His Word – “… to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord”  (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Daily Joy and Peace

Another experience of knowing God is the daily joy and peace that comes to our hearts as we grow in our faith.  As Christians, we know and believe that God ultimately has control over everything.  God is not the cause of all of the bad things that happen in the world.  We live in a fallen world that has the obvious curse of sin upon it.  But God is so great that He can even take the bad things that happen to us and teach us lessons that allow us to help others, Romans 8:28.  God will not forsake us during the hard times of life, but rather He will give us a deep joy rooted in our relationship with Him.

Loving Others

We have a saying I have shared with our church family on many occasions:  A Shared Joy is a Double Joy; A Shared Sorrow is Half a Sorrow.

The Bible says that Christians are brothers and sisters in Christ for eternity – and that’s a very long time.  Loving others is the one virtue that Jesus said identifies Christians as belonging to Him.  If you are experiencing feelings of loneliness, then it’s time to experience God through the joyful fellowship of worshipping the Savior with a congregation of people who desire to grow in their faith.

New Desires

Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly”  John 10:10.  Abundant living is an experience that comes when you truly know God.  You begin to put off some of the old habits and begin some new ones.  The Holy Spirit creates an inner compulsion for us to come together for worship, learning, and fellowship at church.

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…” Hebrews 10:24-25

If you do not attend a church where the Bible is clearly taught and explained, then come and join us as Valley Forge Baptist where we experience God by growing closer to Him each Sunday at 9am; 10:30; and 6pm.