We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement each Sunday … and somewhere along the course of the week, often we find ourselves in need of a little bit of something to help us through.

Welcome to Extra Strength: a mid-week pick-you-up for the soul. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for extra encouragement and challenge. 

Extra Strength

We Are Church: We Invite {Sunday, August 18, 2015}

By Sheryll Belonga

It started with an invitation.  But before that I believe it started with prayer, not a simple prayer but a pleading to God for my soul. The person praying this prayer was my Aunt Mary.  Mary.  That name alone means holy, right.  It’s like my grandmother knew that she would have a spiritual purpose in life.

Growing up I viewed her as religious. Anything that was not spiritual was evil and you always felt like you had to do right when you were around her. You watched what you said and did so that you would not offend her.  She wanted everyone in her family to be saved.

After I graduated from high school I accepted the invitation to go to youth camp with her kids and the other kids from their church. It sounded like fun and it was. It was my first real encounter with God.  Sure I prayed before bed and confessed my sins as part of my religion but the relationship aspect was missing.

At camp I accepted Christ for the second time (the first time was at the age of 13).  I was baptized upon returning from camp. That was when more invitations came.  I was invited to go to their church. I went. I was invited to go to Bible study. I went. I was invited into their religion and I went. My walk changed and my talk changed but my soul was still divided.  I soon left the church and went on my own but the invitations to come to church didn’t go away. I didn’t go back but she didn’t stop inviting.

Back then I saw pressure to be this spiritual person but for her it was more than that. She wanted to insure that I really knew Him and that she would see me one day in heaven. She never let the fear of rejection stand in her way.  She never cared about what people would say.  She was determined to not let an opportunity slip away.

I have a relationship with Jesus Christ because of her. I am whose I am because of her. It started with an invitation. But long before that I know it started with prayer.

 

Sheryll Belonga is wife to Jurrell and homeschooling mom to their three great boys. Her desire is to glorify God in all she says and does in spite of life’s daily happenings.

 

 

 

Be Challenged:

Who is God placing on your heart to invite to church?  Who is God placing on your heart to invite into a relationship with Him? They may not accept the invitation right away and when they do their lives may not initially turn out the way you hope, but it will turn out. It all starts with an invitation – but before you invite be sure to pray.

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