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OPINION: Life is about relationships

First, let me introduce myself.

My name is Kevin Strope and I'm the new executive pastor at Northridge Baptist. My wife, Jennie, and I are parents of two adult children. We love being part of the Northridge family and are grateful for the new relationships we're making here in Mitchell.

Did you notice that in my introduction, I described myself in terms of my relationships? That's something we all tend to do; much of who we are is defined by your connections with the people in our lives. This is so deeply ingrained in us because it's how we're wired. We were made for connection.

In Genesis, God said that it is not good for man to be alone. That statement includes everyone; we were made to have relationships with God and people. Jesus himself said that the most important commandment is simply to love God and love people. This is so crucial that according to psychologist Larry Crabb, all of our problems are a result of not being deeply connected to God and others. Unfortunately, as a result of sin, we all were born disconnected from God and, as a result, disconnected from each other.

Thankfully, Jesus made a way back into relationship with God. We can be saved from a life of isolation and broken relationships by faith in Jesus. He paid our sin debt on the cross so that we might be a part of his family, fully forgiven and free to love God and people. "It is for freedom that Christ has come to set us free." (Galatians 5:1).

Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, God has been working to put his family back together. The sacrifice Jesus made opened the door for all of us to come home. If you don't know Jesus, I'd love to talk with you about how you can know him and live in freedom. If you do know him, remember that loving him and loving people is more important than anything else you'll do today.