Christian by Birth–Baptist by Choice (Part 8)

That’s My Story and I’m Stickin’ to It

So, over these eight postings you’ve had a chance to get to know a little of what’s behind me in my experience—where I’ve come from.  In the twenty years that I’ve been a Southern Baptist and involved in ministry I’ve lived the adventure of a lifetime.  Some of what I have endured has been very difficult and there have been nights of weeping and praying that have seen me through.  Other times I didn’t believe it could ever get better than it was only to be proven wrong time after time. 

Obviously there are many more things I could write about, but I want to close this series out now with a few final thoughts.  I’m sure more and more of my life will be shared as I write, since I find some of the richest lessons come from my own experiences.

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Christian By Birth

The difference in my life is and has always been Jesus Christ.  Having a relationship with God through faith made all the difference.  Walking with Him I have found hope, strength, joy, and most of all love.  I can’t even conceive of my life without Him.  This same life is available to anyone who would become a follower of Christ.  It’s as simple as these three steps of faith.

  • Come to Him – He invites all who are willing to come to Him
  • Believe in Him – Faith is believing what can’t be seen, trusting what can’t be touched.
  • Live with Him – Each and every day faith is what sustains me.  Live with Him daily.

I would love to tell you more about how you can begin this relationship of faith and to help you walk through the daily steps of living with Jesus Christ.  Just get in touch with me by email or visit Find It Here to learn more about it.  I assure you it will be the best and greatest decision of your life.  I’m not saying it makes life easier or your circumstances better.  I’m saying that for the first time you will know what real life can be, and you will truly live. 

Baptist by Choice

People ask me all the time why I am a Baptist.  Having grown up in a different denomination, what made me change.  I hope I’ve revealed a little of that through these writings.  I also hope that I have not lead anyone to believe that I am disrespecting or dismissing the church where I grew up.  I love that church and the denomination.  I pray for them all the time, and hope that they will be a light in the darkness and lead people to faith in Christ.  Every church in every denomination has the potential—and the responsibility—to proclaim the Gospel to the world.

For me the decision to become a Baptist was based on a few simple criteria or statements of faith that I adhere to.  This isn’t as fancy as some of the more eloquent statements or creeds that I’ve read, this is just what I believe and why I am Southern Baptist.

  • I Believe that God is the creator and Sustainer of Everything
  • I Believe that God is Three in One (Father, Son, Spirit)
  • I Believe that Jesus Christ was, is, and will always be.
    • He was born of a virgin through the Holy Spirit, just as Scripture states
    • He became the supreme and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of mankind on the cross
    • He rose after three days, resurrected from the grave
    • He will come again and receive all who have believed into eternal life
  • I Believe that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to Salvation. 
    • Forgiveness of our Sins is only found in Christ
    • No one is immune to the effects of Sin in our lives
    • No one is removed from the reach of Salvation in Christ
    • Salvation is offered freely to all who will come to Christ and believe.
  • I Believe that the Bible is the Word of God and is Without Error
    • It was given to us through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit
    • It is as applicable and relevant today as it was when it was given.
    • I believe that its teachings hold the key to experiencing the life God intends for us
  • I Believe that the Church has a Commission from Christ to Proclaim the Gospel to the world, beginning in our homes and communities and stretching around the globe..until the whole world hears.

Obviously there is much more, but these are some of the foundational elements of faith for me.  If you would like to learn more about the beliefs of Southern Baptists you can get in touch with me or look online at THE BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE.

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Like Sands Through the Hourglass So are the Days of our Lives

I love serving the Lord in my life.  It’s been the greatest reward I could ever imagine.  Financially we don’t have much.  In the eyes of much of the world we are probably miserable failures.  But I look forward to the hope that is before me in Christ, that one day I will hear my Lord say to me, “Well done good and faithful servant.  Enter into your rest.”  The rest of the world may jeer and laugh, it will all be worth it in the end.

Each day that comes brings a new adventure and new opportunities as well as challenges.  Each day come with trials that stretch my faith and blessings that strengthen my faith.  If I had it all to do over again I am sure there are things I would like to change and do differently, but I wouldn’t want to change anything if it would in anyway interfere with the faith I’ve found, or my relationship with the Lord I love and who loves me so amazingly.  As the great theologian Garth Brooks sang, “I could’ve missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance.”  My life with the Lord, my wife, kids, and now grandkids, is a dance I would never want to miss. 

Thanks for Taking the Time to Read My Story.

Watch for Future Postings from BigDBentley

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About bigdbentley

MEET DAVE "BIG D" BENTLEY - A MAN OF MANY HATS I wear a lot of hats in the course of my life. I wear the "husband hat" with my wife, Andie, whom I have been married to for 26 years. I wear the "daddy hat" with my children, Danielle and David, and their spouses, Micah and Tracie. I am privileged to don my "Papa hat" with my two gorgeous grand-daughters, Amaria and Jaydan, and my energetic grandson, Jethro. I wear the "pastor hat" with my church congregation in Wallingford, Vermont. I have served churches in West Virginia, Alabama, Florida and Vermont. In December of last year my wife and I accepted the call to serve in Wallingford, Vermont. In addition to this variety of caps, I am a student, attending Liberty University to receive a Masters in Teaching in Elementary Education as well as secondary Language Arts. My hobbies tend to revolve around my family, so they include, camping, traveling, playing board games, and spending time with them. In addition I enjoy reading, rainy days, listening to and playing worship songs, and cooking.

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