life church / welcome / real life                                                    

To really live you have to find out what real life is all about.

To state this as simply as I can...   There is a meaningful purpose for your life!  There is true joy and freedom that can be found.  But there is one huge problem that we all have to face.  It's like a chain and shackles that hold us back us from experiencing life's true purpose and really living.  Some good news is that God has provided us with a solution to our problem.  Once you understand the very personal yet universal nature of this problem and hear about the only solution, you then have a choice to make.   

So... what about you?  Have you received this gift from God that let's us really live?   

I can't imagine talking about real life without referring to the ultimate truth on the subject, the Bible.  There are several scriptures listed for you to investigate on your own.  By moving your mouse over these references, (ie, John 3:16-17) you should be able to read them for yourself. 

I hope that you will soon discover how good life with God can truly be!  

Bill Parks,
Pastor of Mitchell's Life Church


Begin by understanding your real purpose in life.

What is the purpose of life?  People throughout time have asked that question and tried to answer it by seeking wealth, social status, pleasure, power, relationships, community and many other pursuits.  One of the most wealthy and wise men of all time wrote, "Everything under the sun is meaningless, like chasing the wind."  He had tasted, touched, smelled, heard and seen everything imaginable in his lifetime and yet understood that there was something even deeper to still be discovered. 

To understand our purpose we first have to understand that we are more than just a body and a mind.  With our mouths full of good things and our brains filled with ever increasing information we still have those moments when we long for something more.  Why is it that we become dissatisfied with experiences or material things that just a few days or weeks ago were all that we could think about?   Isn't there anything that will truly satisfy this craving for more that seems to be deep within us?  That longing is your spirit crying out for real life.  The real you is reaching out for a reason or explanation that will make sense of this life that at times seems unfair and painful.   Ecclesiastes 3:11

The Bible teaches that we are a spirit, we have a soul (our intellect, will and emotions) and we live in this body.  If I lost one of my arms or my ability to see, the real me is still here even though my body has changed.  If my brain was damaged in some way that I lost my ability to communicate, the real me is still there even though I may not be able to interact with others anymore.  When someone dies we look at that motionless body and brain and say that they have lost their life.  You are more than just a body (that's good news for those of us who aren't so excited about our shape or appearance)  You are also a spirit.  1 Thessalonians 5:23; Proverbs 20:27

No matter how hard you have worked to convince yourself that we are just some cosmic accident or collision of chemicals that evolved into what we now see, the evidence that I see everywhere points to an amazing Creator!  The Bible also teaches that God created us in His image to enjoy relationship with Him.  If you have a mysterious and complex tool that came with an instruction manual provided by its creator, wouldn't it make sense to look into those instructions to see what the tool's purpose is?  Well, our Heavenly Father has recorded and preserved through thousands of years, His instruction manual for mankind - the Bible.  As we dig in and discover the purpose that our Creator intended, we can understand and satisfy this spiritual longing that is found in almost every culture and generation that has lived on this earth.     Genesis 1:27; Colossians 3:10; 2 Timothy 3:16-17

I believe that our primary purpose is to know and be known by our Heavenly Father, Creator and God.  Our greatest spiritual desire and need is to live in a close relationship with Him and learn more about who He is and who He has specifically created us to be.  There is great fulfillment and reward in discovering this purpose and realizing this life is not just to be about me.  A life that is lived to bring attention to God and make His goodness and nature known is quite an adventure.  I hope you will soon discover this for yourself and begin to really live.  But before you can, you will have to face the problem I hinted at earlier.  Mark 12:30-31  

Realize that we all face a very real problem.

Eventually you will REALIZE that we have all missed the target.  The Bible word "sin" is an archery term that means missing the mark. Living only for yourself is not living according to God's target for your life.  Whether we have lied or stolen or envied or hated, we have all sinned and there is a real price to pay.  Without God's help and mercy we all stand guilty before the judge and will face punishment.  No matter how good you think your intentions are or how many good things you have done we can't do enough to earn God's forgiveness.  We can't erase the penalty of our sins by trying to replace them with good works or even by getting involved in religious activities.  Once you begin to understand that you have actually sinned, you realize that you face a problem you can't fix on your own.      Romans 3:10 and 3:23 and 6:23; 1 John 1:8

Discover the only real solution to our problem.

Here is the most amazing part of all of this.  Because of God's great love for His most precious creation, mankind, He was not satisfied to remain separated from us.  He was willing to pay whatever it cost to satisfy the just and terrible reward of our disobedience.  Understanding that the price had to be paid, He chose to send His own Son, Jesus, to completely satisfy the penalty for us.  When you RECOGNIZE that Jesus chose to be executed on a criminal's cross to pay for the penalty that you deserved, you begin to see God's solution to our greatest problem.  It's as if He saw your verdict of "guilty" and stepped between you and the judge to take the punishment for you.  Jesus had not sinned or broken the law, yet He chose to be counted as a criminal on your behalf.  His willingness to go through all of that suffering and pain was fueled by His amazing love for you.  Jesus, a man who had never missed the mark or broken the law, had your penalty nailed to him on the cross so that your debt would be paid in full.  God counted the sacrifice that Jesus made for your sins as sufficient to completely satisfy your penalty.  His perfect obedience to the Father paid the price for our disobedience.     John 1:9-14; John 10:10; Romans 4:25 and 5:6-8; Ephesians 2:4-9; 1 John 2:1-2 

Start the journey to begin really living today!

When you understand that Jesus' death and resurrection has opened a door for you to be set free from the death penalty of your sin you need to REPENT!  That means to do a 180-degree turn.  You no longer live for yourself and your plans, but you start living for God and His higher purpose for your life.  We were created to know Him personally as "daddy" Father and to make His love and power known to people everywhere.  When you turn your heart back toward your loving Heavenly Father you begin to see the temptation to sin for what it really is.  You decide each day to live free from the power of sin with God's help.  You may not be perfect, but in your heart you desire to live in a way that honors the one who gave His life for you.  You begin to live as if you would rather die than go back into a lifestyle of selfishness and sin.   Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30; Mark 8:34-38; 1 Corinthians 10:12-13; 1 John 1:8-9 

We RECEIVE this new life from God by first believing the truth about Jesus.  We then respond to God's offer of forgiveness and adoption as His children by asking for His forgiveness and turning away from our sins.  We personally and publicly state our belief that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was raised from the dead.    Jesus promised us that we would be born of the Spirit and God would send His very Spirit to be with us and within us.  His Spirit lets us know that we have become His children and that we have been given new spiritual life.  Our old life of living for ourselves has ended and our new life has begun in Christ.   We submit our life to God and let Him become the director or boss of our new life.  We begin to experience this real life as we are saved from the penalty of our sins and begin this new life with Him.  The truth is that we have been made new and it doesn't matter how we feel or what others may think or say.  As we receive His gift of new life, we are His both now and forever!  John 3:16-17 and 14:15-18;  Romans 10:9-10Galatians 4:4-6; 1 Corinthians 15:2-7; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20

It is time to take this personally.

Are you not sure, but still curious?  I would encourage you to keep reading on this page.  Please, feel welcome to visit one of our weekend worship times or just contact us with a question.  You can visit our "what to expect" page to see what these times are about.  You will find others who would not yet call themselves believers but are listening and looking into what the Bible has to say.  You will find this week's activities and locations listed on our calendar page.

Are you sensing in your heart that you need to receive this new life?  Then don't wait another minute.  You don't have to be in a certain building or with a certain person or group of people to receive God's gift of life.  Talk to God right now just like you would talk to someone else in the room.  Be as open and honest as you can about how you have been living.  Tell Him that you believe Jesus truly was the perfect Son of God who died for your sins and was raised from the dead.  Ask Him to forgive you and count the sacrifice that Jesus paid with His blood as the payment for your penalty.  Thank your Heavenly Father because He has already done everything required to fulfill the promise that He would forgive you and make you a child of His.  Ask Him to give you the strength to live your life for Him because Jesus gave His life for you.

As you talk to other people today, let them know that you've asked God to save you from your sin and that He has forgiven you.  Tell your family and friends that you are living for the One who saved you and not just for yourself anymore!  Not everyone will understand and some will mock you, try to talk you out of your decision or even try to make life difficult for you.  Whether their response makes you feel good or really frustrated, know that God is your Father and He loves you more than anyone else ever could.  So tell the world... Life with God is good!  On your best days and on your most difficult days, that truth doesn't change.  You are His and He is your Father who has chosen to forgive you and give you new life.

There are different terms that people use to describe what takes place as you turn your life back toward God and begin to experience this real life for yourself.   You may hear people say that you...
have been saved (Which refers to the truth that you have been saved from your sins. Acts 4:12; Romans 10:13) or 
are born-again or born of the Spirit (As Jesus taught in John 3:3-8) or
became a Christian (this was a term given to those who professed their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. Acts 11:26
are a follower of Christ (Jesus called his disciples to follow Him. Mark 8:34-38) or 
are one of those Bible-thumping Jesus freaks (It's possible that this might become one of your personal favorites)

Whatever you are called or choose to call yourself, know that God is working inside of your life right now.  Because of God's loving grace and through faith in what Jesus chose to do for you on the cross, you have been saved and can begin to experience real life!  Your sin debt has been paid and the Spirit of God has given you new life.  The difference between life with God and other religious ideas is that this is a relationship not just a set of rules to follow.  You are not becoming a religious person who works really hard to then earn something from God.  You are a child of the King who has been welcomed home and given an open door to experience the relationship that we all long for and are not satisfied until we find.  Ephesians 2:1-10 

If you have made the decision to receive this new life today, would you let me be one of the first to know?  Send me an email or call and tell me about your decision.  I would love to hear the good news and celebrate with all of heaven because one of God's children has come home! 

If you have you received this new life, keep growing!

Find a church that will help you grow!   This new spiritual life has many parallels to our physical life.  When we are born as a baby we receive physical help and protection from others so we can grow and mature.  Please know that you are welcome to ask us questions and for help to grow spiritually.  We would be honored to help teach you more about life with God.  If you live in another area and meeting with us personally is not an option, we will try to help you find another believer or a Church that will help.  Please don't hesitate to contact us, visit one of our activities or come to one of our worship gatherings.  Just as you would not want to be left as a newborn infant on your own to survive in this world, we don't want you to face our spiritual enemy, Satan, alone either.  As you get to know other believers (your new brothers and sisters in Christ) you will realize that becoming a follower of Christ does not make you instantaneously perfect.  We are all still maturing, but as a church we learn to love and help each other grow as we experience this life together.   Becoming a part of a local church is such an important step in your spiritual life and will become a treasured part of your life as a follower of Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Hebrews 10:24-25

Talk with God constantly!  This new spiritual life is meant to be a relationship - not just religious activity.  Your creator and Father wants you to know Him personally!  As with any relationship, it is developed over time through communication.  Prayer is such a powerful and important part of our lives as believers.  If we claim that God is now the "director" of our life, we need to make time to listen for his leading.  As a good and loving Father, he also wants to hear about what you are dealing with in life.  You can talk to Him anywhere, at anytime about anything.  No special religious sounding words are required.  Just honestly and openly talk with the one who knows you better than your closest friends and loves you more than anyone else ever can.  To begin with you might want to set aside a certain time each day to just quiet down the world around you and spend time just talking with your Father.  Jeremiah 29:12-13; Matthew 6:5-18; Philippians 4:6-9; James 1:5-7

Keep learning!  Another physical/spiritual parallel is that we feed new babies pure milk so they can become strong and healthy.  Just like milk sustains a baby, the Bible, God's Word feeds our spirit.   His Word is truth that we should eat daily and that we should begin to see as a manual for living.  God wants us to know about what He has done for us, what He is doing inside of us and what He desires to do through us to help others.  Something amazing takes place inside of us when we turn our hearts back toward God.  His spirit opens our eyes to understand the truth of the scriptures like never before.    Even if you have read the Bible from front to back many times before, you will see how it now applies to your life in some powerful ways.  If you have never read the Bible for yourself, I would encourage you to start reading in the Gospel of Mark.  This Gospel (which means "good news") is a beautiful and fast moving account of the life and ministry of Jesus.  If you are curious about something and want to know where to read, feel free to ask. 1 Peter 2:1-3; Ephesians 1:17-23

Should you be baptized in water?  The short answer is yes!  Click here for more information on water baptism.

Dig deeper!  There is so much to learn and so much to experience. Don't be satisfied with just a basic understanding.  Really get to know God and ask Him to do some great things with your life.  You can find some good resources to help you search out and learn more about life with God right here on our website.  You can download, listen to or receive the podcast of free recordings from our weekends together on the listen page.  You can find some great links to study tools and resources on the resource page.  You can also find out where and when we are meeting together to worship, study and experience life together in the days ahead on the calendar page.  I pray that God will continue to work in your heart and that you too will discover just how good life with God can truly be!  

Do you want to share this good news with others?

A natural part of experiencing something so life changing is to want to share it with others.  Anyone who received an amazing gift or won a competition or was set free from something terrible would want to tell someone.  Don't let the apathy or comfort of someone else's complacent attitude keep you from joyfully talking with others about what God has done for us.  He saved us from destruction and has given us abundant spiritual life through what Jesus did for us.  We have discovered the real purpose for living and have only so many days  in these short lives to share it with others.  Why not ask God for an opportunity to talk with someone about this good news today?  (Matthew 9:37-38 and 28:19; 1 Peter 3:15)

-Ask God for opportunities at home, school, work or wherever you are to tell others about the good news of His unconditional love. Pray  and ask God to give you the confidence to share what you have learned with a specific person or anyone that comes across your path. 

-If you want to remember an easy way to describe how anyone can respond to God's gift of salvation from our sins and eternal life, you can begin with the four words that I used above that start with the letter "R":   Realize, RecognizeRepent and Receive.  Or you could remember the words: Purpose, Problem, Solution and Decision

-Memorizing verses from the Bible is another great investment of your time.  You could start with the verses listed throughout this page.  As people ask questions about the faith you have in what Christ has done for us, you will have answers from the Bible (not just your personal opinion)  

-Never doubt the power of just sharing your story with someone.  Talk about what your life was like before you came to Christ.  Explain when and where you heard the good news and what steps you took to receive this gift.  Make sure to let them know what has changed in your life since you gave your life to Christ.  Listening to your story may help them take a step closer to a real faith in Christ.  

-Simply Invite them to join you as you worship with other believers or as you study God's Word.  When we meet together, there is almost always an opportunity to personally respond to this good news or ask questions if you are curious.  Become a person that offers a warm welcome to anyone that God opens your heart to care for.  Trust that as they interact with you and other believers they will see the change that this loving God has made in our attitudes and actions toward each other.  

-Send them a link to this page or to other resources that you believe might plant another seed of truth in the soil of their heart.  People are bold enough to send me messages and forwards and links everyday that don't have news in them that is anywhere close to this good.  You have found something life changing - pass it on!

Get ready.  Life with God is a great adventure!  When you start asking God to work through you to help others, you may never be the same and may go where you never thought you would go.  But whatever He asks of you and wherever he leads, life with God is good!    


Bible Options