I encountered an amazing experience this past weekend, which I spent with the members of the Shasta Lake Bible Fellowship. Their story is amazing. This group of laypeople own a facility whose construction was accomplished through a string of miracles. When the last nail was driven, they had fully paid for the building. But what makes this group special is that its congregation is not small. About 75% of its regular attendance is comprised of non-members from the community who, even though they are not members, feel a strong sense of belonging. This is a “fellowship,” and although Bible studies continue as folks transition into membership, all are welcome and all belong; this is their fellowship. You feel a strong sense of love, warmth, and acceptance the moment you walk in the door, and this sense presents a stronger welcome than the specific greetings from individuals. It is the result of a combination of things, a synergy in which the sum of the parts far outweighs the individual contributions. In a word, it’s love, in action.
We covered four topics that are foundational for Renewed Heart Ministries. These topics examine issues that every person needs to understand about the Gospel in these closing moments of earth’s history. The first topic is the importance of our focus on understanding His character rather than our behavioral or intellectual achievements. The second topic addresses why bad things happen to people if God loves them. The third topic is the intrinsic nature of reality, in contrast to the religiously imposed paradigm through which most Christians relate to God. The fourth topic explores the Cross, including what it says to us about the definition of love and whether we have the courage to believe that the God of the universe truly is that type of love.
It was a powerful weekend, filled with many life-changing encounters with the divine heart, which many have not yet seen. Testimonies continue to pour in about the incredible miracles that God has accomplished for this fellowship. Praise be to His extravagant love, His amazing grace, and the intimate friendship that He has given to us all.