Believe It…Live It!

Keith PateWebster’s Dictionary defines “believe”: To consider something to be true or honest; To accept something as true, genuine or real; To have a firm or wholehearted religious conviction or persuasion.

By the time you read this the Youth Choir will be on day six or seven of a ten day choir/mission tour to Minneapolis, MN. Our theme this year is BELIEVE. Our spotlight verse is John 11:25-26 (NLT)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

In a recent conversation with some international friends we were speaking of the early Christian Church, and how they were under great persecution. Evelyn and I told our friends about the “Ichthus” (fish symbol) and how it was used to denote Christians. The Ichthus or Fish (Ichthys in Greek) is a symbol of Christ. Often in the early church, when a believer suspected another person was a follower of Christ, he/she would draw half of the fish symbol on the ground; if the other person responded by drawing the remaining portion their uncertainty would be laid to rest.

“Belief” in Jesus Christ for the early Christian was more than mental ascent; more than creedal recitation; more than a weekly gathering for worship and fellowship; more than saying a prayer that culminated in a formal Baptism. Belief, which ALWAYS included “followship,” meant laying one’s life on the line….literally. The confession: Jesus Christ is Lord! carried much more weight and consequences for them than it does for us today. I mean you could end up breakfast for some hungry lions if you didn’t watch out!

Therefore, early Christians recognized the momentous decision to “believe” in Christ was a weighty one with far-reaching implications! It was an “all in” decision! No lackluster, tepid candidates need apply! Only a full, enthusiastic, stare death in the face approach was acceptable! They knew their strength came from a big God. They believed Him to be all He said He was, and sufficient for the task before them.

Maybe it is time we re-discovered this type belief—true belief. Belief… that can change our families, our city, our state, our country and our world!

Pray for our youth group as we continue on mission this week! Join us in worship on Sunday night, July 8 at 5:00 PM as we present our full program for the church family!

Thank you to so many who have given money, gift cards, supplies and more to make this trip possible! May we move forward in Christ’s strength!

Keith

Keith Pate About Keith Pate

Keith is originally from Castleberry, AL in Conecuh County. He joined Eastern Hills as Minister of Music in January of 2005 from Anastasia Baptist Church in St. Augustine, FL.