My Life Journey
I'd like to tell you that what you’re about to read is really important and is going to impact your life. The truth is, I'm probably not going to tell you anything you haven't heard before, but let me encourage you to read it anyway.
Home of Christian
I was raised in a small village along with five brothers and two sisters . It was a beautiful, quiet place. My parents always taught me about God and his Son Jesus, so as I walked, I would often think about God. Was He bigger than my dad? How long was forever - longer than a Sunday morning service?
I also did all the things that children do in a Christian home: Sunday school, choir practice, young people’s groups, and so forth. I did them all without complaining – until I was 15. It was Sunday morning and Dad and I had just finished chores. I was slow coming in from the barn and Dad told me to hurry up because I was going to be late for church. It was that morning that I told him I wouldn't be going to church anymore. He looked at me with the most hurtful look on his face. I had to leave the room. I just couldn't look at him.
My Heart Was Hardened
Something happened to me that day. I started to get hard inside. There is a lot of security in an orderly Christian home and when I was on my own, I was lost. I continued to lost and do what is please to me. When you’re in your late teens or early twenties and you’re living in a place where anything goes, that's how you live. However, it didn't take long before my life was right back where it had been before. One of the things my Dad taught me was how to work hard. To my disappointment, all I heard that evening was these guys talking about God. What a disappointment. I thought they were actually going to teach me something about how to quit meaningless things that I do.
Even so, I made up my mind and got so religious I think even God couldn't stand me. Dad was a reactionary, so for him not to react to the things I was doing was a gift from God.When I was in my 16, one Sunday morning I was in bed sick and hung over. For the first time in years I prayed: "God, I have everything I want, and I'm still unhappy. There has to be more to life than this. I ask that you do whatever it takes to get me right with you. If you have to take all of this away, then do it." I'm here to tell you - God answers prayer!
Everything Fell Apart
When I was home, I would stop in to see my Dad. He was always glad to see me, and I always knew he cared about me. I also knew he loved the Lord and that he had something I thought I would never have. You see, by this time I thought I was doomed to hell and there wasn't anything I could do about it because it was on September 1997, my Dad had passed away. I realized that my dad was every time I ever needed.
My Father’s Legacy
I started to read some of the verses Dad had underlined in his Bible, more out of curiosity than anything. I also began to read some Christians book. I remember reading a particular passage where it said that when Jesus died on the cross, He died for all of my sins: past, present, and future. I stopped. I had never heard that before. It must be a misprint, I thought. I must have read it five or six times before the lights came on and I realized that Christianity had everything to do with Christ dying for me and very little to do with Frank being good enough.
Talk about excited! I got down on my knees and accepted Christ's forgiveness for my past sins and asked him to be my Savior now and in the future. For the first time in my life I felt free. I got up off my knees and was jumping up and down on my bed yelling, I'm free! I'm free! And for the first time I could turn to God and have peace through all of it.
I also faced the fact that I was an before doing worldly things. Through prayer, I was able to clean up the wreckage of my past and become free to get on with the rest of my life. Nearly a year later, I met my childhood sweetheart, June, who had also given her life to Christ. We were married not long afterwards and God has continued to do great things in my life.
I prayed that God would give us opportunities to share what He has done for us. I was invited to share the gospel in one village called Hlamphei where we saw people come to know Jesus for the first time through my sharing about the love of God. I also shared Christ with many people including those living in jail and hospital. Again, many people heard and responded to the good news of Jesus and I feel that it was the greatest blessing that God has ever given in my life.
What Will it be Like?
I sometimes wonder what it will be like to be all alone with Jesus – to sit beside a quiet stream in the mountains and ask Him all the questions I have; to stand and look into the face of the One who died for me and tell Him how much I love Him. Isn't it great that He isn't some all being but rather a real and living God we all get to spend eternity with? Can you imagine touching the Christ who died on the cross and rose again? To never wonder again: Was that God talking or was it just me?
I know there have been very few changes in my life. Everything that has changed in my life has come about when I've surrendered to God by the power of His Holy Spirit. He has made the changes, and He’s still doing it. I'm so thankful for a Christian Mom and Dad that never gave up on me. The Bible says,
"If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him?" (Matthew 7:11, emphasis mine).I check myself in this verse and think about my children what is the best thing I could give to my children. Where this journey leads me is truly in the hands of God. I just ask for His mercy and grace to accept all He has for me.
You Can Have it Too!
If you’re reading this and have yet to invite Jesus to be your Savior, there will never be a better day than today. It's just as easy and as free as it was for me back in that road camp. There's no magic in any particular words, but if God is speaking to you, don't wait. Don't harden your heart one more time.
If there's unforgiveness in your heart, deal with it. Don't wait. You can walk in freedom and it’s wonderful. Ask God to show you if there's anything you need to deal with and then ask Him for the courage to deal with it. He’ll give it to you. He is always faithful.
The Bible says (Jesus is speaking),
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him" (Revelation 3.20).
Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive us of our sins and to make us what He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of our will.
You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here's a suggested prayer:
Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You and ask You to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.