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ALTON - On the most recent episode of “You’re Beautiful” with Brian Trust, Pastor Jose Diaz spoke about his journey to Christ.

Diaz discovered God when he was 22 years old. Since then, he has become a pastor at Hope Community Church in Granite City, and he is eager to share his story with people. He hopes to help people know God like he knows God.

“Christ loves us so much that He would literally die for us in place of our sins, and what He wants is a relationship with us,” Diaz explained. “He doesn’t want to threaten us. He doesn’t want us to be afraid. He’s actually omnipresent so He’s everywhere. But He wants to manifest Himself, His blessing, on those things in your life, because this life is designed to destroy us and hurt us. But He comes that we may have life abundantly. He wants to be our joy, our peace, and you can have that.”

To Diaz, “ministry is people,” and his work focuses on helping others. He has participated in many clothing and toy drives throughout the years to help the community. In helping people, he serves God.

His relationship with God has guided Diaz in his relationships with other people, too. He believes that God teaches him how to love, and this love is something he shares with the people in his life.

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“The defining feature of a disciple of Jesus is love. If I have God in me, I have love in me, and I’m going to feel led to love people and to want to see His transformative power touch them,” he added. “That’s what makes me want to be obedient. It’s not because I’m afraid of this or of that. It’s because if I truly have a relationship with God and I love Him and He loves me, then I want to love you just the same that you love me. There's a verse that says we love because He first loved us. So we can’t truly love, from His perspective, until we encounter His love.”

Diaz recently had a powerful experience that solidified his faith in God and His love. His church was in need of a shuttle bus or van so they could begin a traveling ministry. Another pastor at a nearby church called Diaz and, unprompted, gave him the title and keys to their bus that they no longer needed. This encounter further proved to Diaz that God will provide.

As a 22-year-old who came from a “broken home” in “the hood,” Diaz said, he was lost when God found him. He firmly believes that anyone can find God and have the relationship that he now has with Him, and he pointed to the bus as evidence that God is listening.

“That's why I give all credit to Jesus Christ, because He found me exactly where I was at. I was jacked up and He changed my heart,” Diaz said. “I’ve just been learning patience and keeping my hands on the plow and doing what He said to do in His word. And He came through and not only provided for us, but provided for Him. That’s why I serve Him. He’s so good.”

To build his relationship with Christ, Diaz said he had to let go of his own plans and will, which were affecting his ability to “experience God.” He often reflects on 2 Corinthians 5:17 and the idea that one can be made new through God. This is what he experienced when he accepted Christ, and he hopes to help others have that same revelation.

“I just came to a place where I said, you know what, I’m tired of doing the same things over and over and getting different results. God, I want true results,” Diaz remembered. “And that doesn’t mean everything was easy. But it meant this: I could trust God. He has been faithful, and He can do the same thing in your life. Wherever you’re at, whatever you’ve done and been through, He wants to forgive you. He wants to have a relationship with you where it’s you and Him.”

You can watch or listen to “You’re Beautiful” with Brian Trust at 2 p.m. on Thursdays on RiverBender.com/Video.

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