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What's in a word?
May 23, 2011
by Pastor Dan Swanson, First Baptist Church, Cokato

Last time I heard, there are more than 50 different groups of Baptists in our country. It amazes me that something like that could really be true. But, there we are!

I have had people ask me lately, “Are you like that Baptist church that protests at funerals of our soldiers?” I say no.

My heart grieves for the families and friends of those who have given their lives to continue to support our great land. In the words of the singer – I am proud to be an American.

So what is a Baptist anyhow?

Most importantly, we are people of the Book – the Bible. We believe the Bible is a gift from God and that it tells us who God is and what He is like.

My job is to seek to understand and teach God’s Word to everyone who will listen. In doing so, I seek to call people into a relationship with God through coming to know God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

God calls people to find eternal life through His Son, Jesus. He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me!”

Without coming to Jesus, mankind is lost. Imagine the tragedy of a person who thinks they know where they are, but still are hopelessly lost in the woods of life.

Jesus came that we might have life, and to have that life abundantly. Imagine a quality of life beyond your wildest hopes, and discovering there is Someone who wants us to experience that life abundantly. Could anyone be more blessed?

My mother’s favorite psalm, Psalm 16, quotes David, “My boundary lines have fallen to me in pleasant places. My heritage is beautiful to me!”

The final verse of the psalm asks God for a favor, “You (Lord) will make known to me the path of life. In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand, there are pleasures forevermore.”

Sadly, many people settle for temporary pleasures and miss those which are eternal and lasting. As believers in Jesus, we discover that He is the path of life, just exactly as He said, “I am the way” (path).

As individuals, we come to Jesus by faith in His truthful Word, and then we grow and study the teachings of God’s Word – the Bible – and find those eternal pleasures of which David spoke.

The greatest thing in all the world is knowing Jesus; walking through this life with Him as our guide and friend. We are, as people, fallen and broken in so many ways. But He constantly calls us back into that personal walk with Him.

He forgives, or wants to forgive, and encourages us along the path that leads to Heaven. And there, He welcomes His people into the presence of God’s eternal home.

May I encourage you to come and meet Jesus? Open your life to Him and begin to walk the path of life in Him, and with Him. That is the message God sends to us in the Bible.

His Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto my path. Come walk in His light.