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Posted: February 7, 2013 9:11 p.m.

Dees: Goodbye, Covington

You may have heard that I announced my resignation at First Baptist this past Sunday. Paige, Emery Anna and I are moving to Birmingham, Ala., as I have been called to pastor Valleydale Church. While we are excited about this move, we are very sad to leave a Covington community that we love very much. All of that to say, this will be my last column for The Covington News.

What do you say for your last column? While any writer would want to go out saying something profound and fresh, I want to leave you with something very simple, but it is the most important thing I know. I want to tell you how you can know God.

A.W. Tozer once said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” That is true; there is nothing more important in your life than your relationship with God. It only makes sense right? If God exists and he is the supreme being in the universe, and the creator of all things then what is more important than your relationship with him? Very obviously, there is nothing more important.

So what is your relationship with God like? Is he far off and distant? Or is he close and personal. Most people see God as a nebulous reality and only guess at his character but that is not the kind of relationship that God wants with you. God has revealed himself to humanity through his word and most personally through his son Jesus.

We can know God in a very real and personal way through faith and devotion to Christ. Because of sin humans have been separated from God, this is why God can seem so distant. Our sin clouds our vision and understanding of God and leaves us disobedient before him.

The most important thing I know is that God is gracious and that he sent Jesus not only to speak to humanity but also to save humanity. Jesus came to earth and lived a perfect life; he never sinned and lived in perfect accordance to his father’s will.

For this perfect life Jesus deserved the greatest reward, but instead he was punished, being crucified, dying for us. Jesus died in order that he might take on the just punishment for sin that humanity deserved.

The good news of Jesus’ death is that our sins have been paid for, and we can be forgiven by God. Three days after Jesus’ death, he defeated death and came back to life and gave an invitation to all of us before he ascended to his father’s throne. Jesus invites you and me to follow him, to trust him, and so be forgiven of our sins, be reconciled to God, and have eternal life.

This is the best and most important thing I know. When I was a little boy, I believed in Jesus and I have felt the presence of God ever since. Because I believe in Jesus I do know God, I know him very personally.

He speaks to me, he guides me and he shows me his incredible love in so many ways. You can know God like this too. Confess to him that you are a sinner, believe that Jesus died to save you from sin and that he rose to call you to a life with him, and then live for Jesus every day of your life.

This does not mean that you will never sin again or that everything will be easy for you. Life in this world is still life. It does mean that God will be with you in this life and when you die, you will be with him in the life to come.
Jesus is my only hope and he is your only hope. If you know him like I do, well then this isn’t really goodbye, but rather I will see you soon.

Jason Dees is a grateful follower of Jesus Christ, the husband of Paige and the father of Emery Anna.

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