May 2022 Newsletter
Jesus is worth it!
by Pastor Mike Novotny
Expectations are everything.
So much of the joy (or frustration) that we feel isn’t based off what our lives are like but rather what we expected our lives to be like.
How you feel about your homework isn’t based on how much homework you get but how much homework you expected to get. The aches and pains of age could cause you to grumble at God or be grateful toward God, depending on how healthy you expected to be at your age.
See my point? Most of us don’t spend much time analyzing our expectations, but we should. Expectations are everything.
Which brings me to the big question—What do you expect as a follower of Jesus?
If you, like me, follow Jesus as your King, Savior, Lord, and God, what do you expect your life of faith to be like? Easy and comfortable? Healthy and wealthy? Always on cloud nine with prayers answered within 24 hours?
Or do you expect your faith to be hard? Costly? Uphill?
Read the gospels (or Paul … or Peter … or Jude … or Hebrews … or Revelation) and you will find accurate expectations for your life of faith. I would summarize those expectations like this:
Following Jesus is so hard and so worth it.
There are Christians all around the world who would say Amen! to that. They might be the only Christians in their Muslim families. Or the only follower of Jesus among their group of secular friends. Or part of a church being closely watched by an anti-Christian government. Their lives are, honestly, so hard.
But those hard lives are so worth it. Jesus said, “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown” (Revelation 2:10).
Life with God is worth it. Wearing a crown is worth it. Being victorious over sin and death is worth it. And hearing your Father’s voice of approval, when all is said and done, will be worth it. Yes, following Jesus might be hard. You might be tested. You might suffer. You might be rejected.
But Jesus is so worth it, and all of heaven knows it.
May we believers believe it too!
Bringing God’s Word to the world!
It is because of friends like you that Time of Grace is able to share the message of God’s amazing love with people in countries around the world. Through your support, God’s messages of hope flow through Time of Grace into countries like South Africa where Stefan lives.
He says …
“Your teachings are amazing, and I get so much hope and courage to face every day in my country. If it weren’t for your teachings and daily messages, I would have probably given up my Christianity a long time ago.”
Thank you for going on this mission with us to touch the lives of people like Stefan—no matter where in the world they might be found.
Imagine it! A loving personal note where he shares exactly what he sees going on in your life … where you’re doing great, how he wants to help you grow, and what steps you need to take to persevere in your faith?
That’s exactly what you find in the early chapters of the book of Revelation, letters straight from Christ to the early church to encourage, challenge, and inspire believers to stand firm in a hostile culture.
In this new book, Letters From Jesus, you’ll discover how those letters speak clearly to your life today. Sometimes his words are tough. Sometimes they’re tender. But they are always filled with love and an invitation to experience deeper joy and purpose in him.
Cowritten by Pastor Mike Novotny and the pastoral colleagues from his local church, this book issues a call for Christians everywhere to wake up, rekindle their passion, and live boldly for Jesus today.
Request your copy on the enclosed reply card as thanks for your gift to help reach more people through Time of Grace. Thank you!
Some amazing friends have put forward a $140,000 Challenge Grant, which will make any gift you give today worth TWICE as much to help make Time of Grace teachings available in more languages … and reach more people around the world! Your gift will go even further to help make the Time of Grace family look like the family of God we’ll meet in heaven—every tribe, tongue, and nation!
Time of Grace devotional plans are now in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Thai, Brazilian Portuguese, and more on the YouVersion Bible App!
Tune in to Time of Grace in June for Pastor Mike’s four-part series—Freedom in Forgiveness. Forgiveness can be really hard. Where do you even start? What the Bible has to say about forgiveness is not only helpful and powerful; it’s shocking.
The first episode of Freedom in Forgiveness is available to view on June 5th with new episodes released each Sunday in June.
Follow Pastor Mike on Instagram
These are my guys. Every Wednesday for the past seven years, I have gotten together with a crew of middle-aged men and tried to win/not sin/have fun. 😊
Even here in Appleton, Wisconsin, which is predominantly white, people from around the world gather on the soccer field, and I have loved learning about their cultures, their childhoods, and their journeys to America.
These pictures make me think of some of Jesus’ final words—“Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).
Americans and Latvians and Bosnians and Romanians and Mexicans and Costa Ricans and Argentineans and Gambians! Oh my!
One of my favorite parts about playing soccer (besides the soccer 😊) is the little glimpse of heaven that I get every Wednesday night. I see men from various nations and think about the diversity that exists in glory:
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9).
Soccer brings the nations together, but our Savior does it even better. That’s why Time of Grace is working harder than ever to get God’s Word to as many nations as possible—tripling our efforts to translate our messages into various languages so that people around the globe can hear, believe, and be saved.
And you are a part of that! You might not ever visit Thailand or travel to Mexico, but your prayers and generous gifts enable us to translate a Bible reading plan into Thai or Spanish. While you may never meet the people who read God’s Word in their native languages because of your support, they are thanking God (or saying “¡gracias!”) for you.
And I am too. Thank you for being part of what God is doing around the world through the work of Time of Grace.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16).