Each of us has our own miracle story of how God pursued us and reached out to us. Here’s mine.
4 What is His name, and what is the name of His Son? Surely you know!
I do, indeed, know.
My story has three parts:
- Full-time vocational service
Salvation: At the age of six, I was riding my bike at Mindy Means’ house in Denton, Texas. She mentioned that she was going to be baptized soon. I asked her why and she told me that she had invited Jesus into her life. My interest was piqued. I listened to the sermon that Sunday very closely. That week, I popped into the kitchen and asked my mother, “How do I get saved?” My mother told me to tell Jesus that I know I’m a sinner, but I want Him to forgive me and come into my life and be my Savior. I asked her to help me, but she told me to go into my bedroom, get down on my knees, and do it myself. She said that it was between God and me. So, I did. I remember sensing a man in the room with me, kind of behind me and to the right. He was smiling. When I turned to look at him, he was gone! But, I knew that Jesus had come into my life. I have doubted that day twice since then (as a child), but both times, God confirmed that He did, indeed, save me that day.
My recommitment came after a year of doing things that I ought not to have been doing. I was coming out of the eighth grade and going into high school and was hanging out with a friend, who was four years older than I. We were at Falls Creek; it was Tuesday at the noon service (11:15). Johnny Bisagno was depicting the crucifixion of Christ and what He went through physically. I was riveted. At the end of his sermon, he said, “If Jesus endured all that for you, can’t you live for Him?”
That afternoon, my friend and I went hiking. We found a quiet place and talked about the sermon. We decided that Jesus was worth following. That week marked the re-instatement my fellowship with God, which carried me through those hectic years of high school and even my first year of college.
My call to full-time vocational service also came at Falls Creek. I was working there as a lifeguard and volleyball referee my freshman year at college. At one of the evening services, I was near the back of the tabernacle (it was open-air then). The speaker was being very blunt about our commitment to Christ and how we are to take it seriously. The Holy Spirit directed me to go down front, so I did. In the counseling room, they gave me a card and had me fill it out. It asked me what decision I had made and gave me some choices. Since the Spirit hadn’t given me any specific direction for ministry, I checked, “other.” Boy, was that an accurate statement! In my ministry, I have been Youth Director (eight years), Music Director (all but six months), Associate Pastor, bus driver, Senior Adult Minister, Sunday School Director, Nursery Coordinator, Janitor, and numerous other jobs that don’t have titles.
In each decision, I felt a desire to follow Christ “higher up and farther in.” I still have that same desire that gets me up in the mornings (most times at 4:30) to spend time with Him. I never lose that desire to follow Him as I go throughout my day. I don’t get life right lots of times, but as long as I am repentant and determined to try again, my relationship with Jesus just keeps getting brighter and brighter.
The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18
That pretty much sums up my relationship with the Father and fellowship with the Son. Do I know Him? YOU BET I DO!
Abba, it’s been 53 years now, and I still feel like a novice at Christianity. At the same time, we have walked together so long (from my perspective) that I cannot fathom ever considering forsaking You for any reason. I look forward to death because I want to see You face to face! At the same time, I think that You still have things for me to do here on this earth. I’m with Paul, who stated the same sentiment in Philippians 1:20-26.
I’m looking forward to church today when I get to lead Brookwood in praise and worship of You. Come and inhabit the praises of Your people, O LORD! Amen.