What an absolute honor it is to write you this email... If you're reading this, it's because you responded to a clear invitation to give complete control of your life to Jesus, at an Agape young Adults service. I don't know who brought you, I don't know the circumstances that led to your attendance, but I do know you just walked into the greatest decision you could ever make. At our church, we believe when somebody responds to an invitation like you did, it means a few really important things.1.) It means you ACKNOWLEDGE that you are a sinful human being, in desperate need of the life saving GRACE of JESUS... Sin is easily defined as "missing the mark." Due to all of us missing that mark by default... due to this fallen world, JESUS became "the mark." He died on a cross to take my place and to take your place. What we are owed is what we have sown. Sin leads to death and that SHOULD be our story. But by His grace, we get what we have not earned, what we do not deserve... His love, His mercy, His Grace... His story is now our story. We are "in Him."2.) It means you have ACCEPTED this grace!! You are "approved," you are "accepted," you are "forgiven." The rest of your life, you have the opportunity to serve God BECAUSE He loves you, not "so He will love you." We use the phrase "live out of a place FROM not FOR." We help people FROM a place of acceptance, not FOR it. We serve Jesus daily, sacrifice daily, continually "die to ourselves" daily FROM a place of approval not "for it." My prayer for you is that you realize the Grace that has been poured on your life was a gift. You didn't do anything to get it, besides accept it! So in that same way, don't start now trying to "pay for it" or "work for it." Freely you have received, so freely give!I truly hope to see you again. If you are ready to take the next steps, here is what I recommend... *Get planted and committed to a church in our city. It makes perfect sense for that church to be Liv It Church as you have made the cornerstone decision here. If perhaps you feel you connected with Jesus but may want to look at another church, with another style or method or sound, by all means. Just do it, and do it quickly. If you try to serve Jesus and not actively build His church, it's the equivalent to setting sail across the sea in a gorgeous boat that has a giant hole in the bottom. The local Church is the hope of the world. I believe that unequivocally.*Attend our Life Track session! Life Track is a catalyst to help you become a fully-devoted follower of Jesus Christ. Life Track offers the tools necessary to make this happen in your life. From the initial decision to accept Jesus as your Lord to your final destination in life-changing ministry, we will lead you step-by-step from healing to growth and into a fulfilling leadership role.*Get plugged into a small group... Simply put, it's finding people who share your same passion for Jesus in a "non-church service" format. We eat together, have fun doing things together, pray together and learn about Jesus together. It's the X factor of this new life... Meaning if it's present in your life, it's amazing. If it's not, you will find it increasingly difficult to walk this road alone. It's not the design for God's plan of action.. you need people!*We want to keep in touch with you to encourage you in this life changing decision and connect you to ways our church can help you live out your God-designed destiny. If you have already done the steps above and are still looking for a way to grow with the Liv It Church family, please reply to this email and let us know how we can help you further.I am confident that if you start with the above steps, your life will never be the same. Because of your commitment to Jesus at the service you attended, your ETERNITY will never be the same. Due to your confession of faith in Jesus Christ, I believe someday you will enjoy Heaven. But there is this also the matter called the "here and now." Jesus didn't save us to just give us eternity insurance. He saved us and called us so we can immediately help others see HIM and love people how He has LOVED US.
I will be praying for you and can't wait until we meet again.
- Pastor Derek Shackelford
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