Thursday, August 26, 2010
Twenty-Five Years Ago Today
In the summer of 1985 I was seeking....didn't know what....but I was lost and looking to be found. I thought I was a Christian because I was American and I had gone to church my whole life. Sang hymns, knew creeds, even led vacation Bible school. Obviously the church didn't have anything for me.
I spent a lot of empty time with friends doing what young adults do...looking.. looking for something that will make them feel whole and like "they are supposed to feel like" whatever that is.
I was on the top of a hill overlooking downtown Ft Worth in a vw rabbit convertible. My friend asked me on a scale of 1 to 10 how I would rate my relationship with Jesus Christ. I lied and said about a 5.
He then asked me to compare if 1 on the scale was cold and 10 was hot, about what temperature would my relationship be.....I fell hook line and sinker! I said "oh about lukewarm, maybe a little warmer. But just good ole lukewarm water"!
My friend then quoted this verse:Revelation 3:16-17 "So because you are lukewarm- neither hot nor cold- I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say I am rich, I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."
The sad thing, I wasn't just lukewarm, I was frozen and destined for hell. I was lost. Thankfully, the Lord put this young man in my life and it caused me to do a lot of searching and looking. I just didn't know Jesus had left the 99 and had come looking for me! He found me! He redeemed me!
When I first got saved I was part of a fellowship that taught so much about service to God and the body of Christ. This was something that a 21 year old selfish girl really needed to learn. One sweet precious friend took me to buy a Bible. I had no idea that they were so expensive. I mean really...$60 for a Bible!
When she pointed out the one I needed, I just about fell over. Immediately I said, "Now, I don't want to invest too much into this. I've tried a lot of these things. I've tried Shaklee, and a whole bunch of jobs and I don't seem to have much stick- to- it -ness, so...is there a little less expensive one, just in case this deal doesn't stick?!"
My friend was a little exasperated with me. She said: "This isn't like any of those things at all and if you'll just buy this Bible and read it, I promise you it will stick!" Thank you Paula, it stuck!
Well I read it. I read it so I could figure out how I could make all my other heathen friends feel guilty. If I was going to jump onto the Jesus wagon, I wanted them to come too. I told them that if they didn't repent "They were going to see the firey dance of death before their very eyes and it was going to be too late!" Needless to say, I didn't have a revelation of the love of Jesus. Nor did they, and they left me and my new found Jesus.
It came. It came when a precious woman told me that Jesus loved me, no matter what I did. He loved me as much today as He would love me tomorrow. I was precious in His sight. She even shared that if there was only one person left on earth and it was me....He would have still died for me!
That did it. That led me to the heart of Jesus! It lead me to see Him in all His glory. It showed me that religion and pounding out a message to make people feel bad was not what He was about. It showed me that "all had sinned and come short of the glory of God".
Our pastor spent much time preaching from the book of Ephesians. The truth had made me free! I wanted to love people. I no longer felt rejected. I was loved and finally able to love others. No longer was I desperately looking for "it"! I found it...it was HIM...JESUS....my SAVIOR....my REDEEMER!
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if rightiousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."
Many years have gone by and I wish I could say, I've done more for the Kingdom of God than I have, but this one thing I do know is that He will enable me to do His good works. He will enable me to tough it out through the really hard times. He will reveal Himself to me, when I think I'm about to drown. He will hold out His hand to me, when I really don't deserve it! He will hold me up and not let go of me. He will help me to walk through fires, hotter than anything I could ever have imagined and enable me to smile in the midst! He is a good and faithful God and I stand amazed at His goodness!
The really awesome thing....He will do it for you! Thank you for sharing this little birthday tribute with me. God deserves all the glory. He is the one who has done great things! He took me out of darkness and brought me into His marvelous light!