Keller: Religion says, ‘Follow the rules,’ but Jesus says, ‘Follow Me’
I attended the First Baptist Church of LaPlace after hearing that their new pastor, Shane Newton, was to be introduced. He recently served as Senior Pastor at a church in Danville, Alabama. He is 44 years of age, enthusiastic, humble and excited about this next chapter in his life.
He began by telling the congregation that he wanted to be honest with them and said that being from Alabama, he’ll never be converted to an LSU fan.
His sermon was about “The Great Invitation by Jesus.” “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. ” (Matthew 1:28-30)
Considering that he had an awesome responsibility, he stressed that as pastor, his ministry would never be about him, but about Jesus Christ. “He must increase, and I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
He said that on a visit to New York City, while touring the Rockefeller Center, he noticed a statue of Atlas compelled to support the world over his shoulders. Later he visited St. Patrick Cathedral across the street and on the backside of the high altar he noticed a statue of Jesus as a young boy holding the world in one hand.
He continued by sharing that the invitation by Jesus assures us that He is accessible, He is always gentle and humble, and He is never harsh with us. Jesus desires us to allow Him to be the Lord of our life, have a deeper relationship with Him and most importantly to trust Him. What the world says doesn’t matter. The bottom line is – what does the Word of God say?
In closing, he said that religion tells us what we must do to be saved. Jesus only says, “Come to Me.”
Salvation is so easy, it confuses people. Jesus says, “l am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
As we welcome the pastor, his wife Anna and children Dylan and Britany to St. John, I believe that the best is yet to come for the family and, especially, for the church.
If you have any questions, or comments, please write to Harold Keller at Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, or call (985) 652-8477.