Sierra College

Dean Diebel

Are you trying to be religious? What game are you playing? I learned one day there is difference between Christianity and being religious. I am so thankful the day I discovered there was a difference between being religious and Christianity. 

I had the opportunity to be around a great Christian professional baseball player, Dave Roberts who now is a scout. When I was with Dave, I always received a special feeling. I later found out, it was his love for Christ and for me personally. Dave knew sports meant a lot to me, but he told me, Dean, the only goal worth having in sports is becoming like Christ. 

Then one of my friends, Bobby Logan, invited me to to church with him. There I met Pastor Keith Knoche. During my first visit with Keith, he made the comment that one of his goals as a minister is to get to know everyone in his church personally. I was going to get to know Keith in that way and now he and I are very close friends 

Through those men, I came to a point on April 1, 1978 when I invited Jesus Christ into my life. One reason was that I need a secure feeling about myself. Now that I have Jesus Christ in my life, I know whatever happens to me is working together for good. The Bible says: And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. #1 

A friend of mine once wrote in my junior high yearbook, To a winner, from a loser. I believe when you have Jesus Christ in your life, you are a winner. However, if you dont have Jesus Christ in your life, you are a loser. The Bible tells us: Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things passed away; behold, new things have come. #2 

Everything that happens to me in my life is part of Gods plan. And God is concerned about your future and everything about you. The Bible says: But seek first His Kingdom, and His righteousness; and 
all things shall be added to you. #3 

Before I met Dave and Keith, I didnt realize that I needed to personally receive Jesus Christ into my life. But, the Bible makes this point very clear: Jesus answered and said unto him, Truly. truly. I say to you, unless one is born-again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. #4 Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say unto you, unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. #5 

Since becoming a Christian, I have tried to always keep God on my mind. I want to please Him, in everything I do in my life. The Bible tellsus: We must obey God rather than men. #6 

To me, being a Christian means five things: 
1. That Jesus Christ died on the cross for me to give me eternal life. 
2. Therefore, I want to make Him first in all I do. 
3. I try to experience Gods love and forgiveness daily. 
4. I help introduce others to Christ through my testimony. 
5. I enjoy having a personal relationship with Him. 

I love telling people that I am a Christian. If you accept Jesus Christ into your life, dont be ashamed of it. The Apostle Paul says in the Bible: I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation 
to everyone who believes. #7 

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ into your life, I want to challenge you to make that commitment. Dont delay it! God is concerned about your future. I hope and pray you will make the same decision I did on April 1, 1978. It is by far the most important thing you will ever do in your life! 

The Bible tell us: But all these things that I once thought very worthwhile - now I ve thrown them all away so that I can put my trust and hope in Christ alone. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have put aside all else, counting it worth less than nothing, in order that I can have Christ, and become one with Him, no longer counting on being saved by being good enough or, by obeying Gods laws, but trusting Christ to save me; for Gods way of making us right with Himself depends on faith - counting on Christ alone. Now I have given up everything else I have found it to be only way to really know Christ and to experience the mighty power that brought Him back to life again, 
and to find out what it mean to suffer and to die with Him. #8 

God has made it possible for everyone to have eternal life. The Bible says: Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble. #9 Man decides his own destiny by the choice he makes in accepting or rejecting Jesus Christ. 

Finally, I want to challenge you who profess to be Christians: 1. Live it! 2. Show it! 3. Dont be ashamed of it! The Bible says: Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is heaven. #10 

I personally made another commitment to Jesus Christ on June 17, 1980. As I had matured in my Christian walk, my desire to serve Him completely grew even stronger -- I mean 100%, not 80% or 90%. I wanted Him to open the doors and direct me as to where He wanted me to go and what He wanted me to do. The Bible tells us: Commit everything you do to the Lord, Trust Him to do it and He will. 

1. Romans 8:28 
2. 2 Corinthians 5:17 
3. Matthew 6:33 
4. John 3:3 
5. John 3:5 
6. Acts 5:29 
7. Romans 1:16 
8. Phillippians 3:7-10 (The Living Bible) 
9. 2 Peter 1:10 
10. Matthew 5:16 
11. Psalms 37:5 

Dean Diebel