My Encounter with Christianity
With tears running down my face I stood there while my life was flashing through my mind. I was at our 1st family reunion’s church service. The message was already preached and an alter call was being made, but I didn’t move.
I don’t know about you but that moment was a big fight for me. On one hand was the opportunity to become a Christian and change my life. On the other hand was the devil trying to convince me that I have plenty of time. You know the kind of suggestion that you can just live your life and then give your life to Christ later on.
In response to that was the question, what if this is my last time? As this battle was going on, there were some people that were visiting doing mission work who came and joined the service.
Let me help you understand that where I was sitting was not a normal seat in church. I was sitting up in the pulpit area. And how in the world I got up there? This was due to the fact that we (me, my father and sister) arrived at church late and most of the seats were already filled. You guessed it, and that’s where they seated us.
Well what happened next, a young lady sitting close by noticed me crying and began to witness to me. Once again, the opportunity came for me to make the decision to become a Christian. Through all this ordeal the goodness of the Lord flashed before me, “…; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Romans 2:4(KJV)
Time went on and I decided to give my life to the Lord Jesus Christ. The strange thing about this is that it didn’t happen in church. The service was already over and I ended up doing it on the outside as they led me in the sinners prayer.
Who says you have to be in a church to get saved? That was the greatest decision I have made in my life. This is a portion of my Christian testimony and how I started my personal relationship with God.
Do you know the most important thing I want to point out to you about this experience? That was Easter Sunday, April 1993 our 1st family reunion held in Cooper’s Town, Abaco. It’s now 2012 and we haven’t had another one since.
To know that God set up all this just for me to know him I am so grateful. If there is any one who knows about the special love of God it’s me.
The 7 Benefits:
Do you know how sometimes you often think about if something is worth investing in? don’t let money be involved because you know that you will not let your money part from you so easily. You may have heard it before in this way, What’s in it for me? Or W.I.I.F.M. If you are going to invest in anything money or not there should be some benefits.
So this is our focus today a 2 part message on “7 Benefits of Mere Christianity”. Today I we will look at the first 3. Since you know where I am going now let’s get this journey on the move.
1. Relationship with The Creator – I know that you are aware of and are very familiar with the popular entertainers and athletes of the day. Even knowing the most popular one can’t be compared with the kind of relationship you can have with the creator God through Jesus Christ.
In addition to being your creator, remember he loves you at your best and no less at your worst. He is always willing to demonstrate his care for you. This precious relationship cannot have a value with limit. No one is willing to do more than he has done and will do for you.
The power of this type of relationship? He can have time for you and time for me and none of us have to be jealous of each other. When it seems like no one understands, he is the one with open ears and arms for you. He will give you the friendship, time, attention, resources, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (KJV). God wanted a people to himself and you were included.
2. Purpose – “Unless a life is activated by sustained purpose it can become a depressingly haphazard affair” – Richard Guggenheimer. This word has become ever so popular through Rick Warren’s book Purpose Driven Life. Christianity brings purpose through its origin and target. It is designed for mankind to receive forgiveness of sins through salvation in Jesus Christ and have peace with God. This is the plan of salvation. Be reminded that God designed this whole thing with you in mind. You were not created to just be here. You were ordained to be here.
In Christianity there is purpose for you. Purpose is the intent of a thing. Now let’s think about you. God’s intent for you is good and not evil, God’s intent for you is for profit and not loss.
Realize that your gifts and abilities are needed and are beneficial. Discover your purpose and you will open doors of opportunity for the benefits beyond you imagination.
3. Discipline – “By constant self-discipline and self-control you can develop greatness of character.” – Grenville Kleiser. Whether you like it or not you will face the thing called temptation. The main issue is what you choose to do in response to those temptations. Christianity helps give you the strength to resist.
Discipline: training to improve strength or self-control. This not based on the physical but the spiritual. It’s the power from within that helps you overcome the things without.
Like an individual who goes to the gym to build up their body, so you must go to the word of God to build up your inner man. That’s where you produce and display the Fruit of the Spirit – temperance.
You know the situations where they say everybody is doing it and you choose to say no because of Christian discipline. You don’t do it to show off or glorify yourself but to give glory to God. You would rather deny yourself from ungodly pleasures and suffer for righteousness sake.
Whatever you feed the most is going to emerge the strong man in your life. Disciplined people turn out to be honest, loyal, not give in to greed, faithful, get positive results, focus, not easily persuaded.
Stay tuned for final Part 2 coming next!
Take care until………and God Bless ya
Are you ready to face eternity? If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of your life and desire to make that commitment now please repeat the following prayer:
Lord Jesus be merciful to me a sinner. I realize that I have sinned against you and come short of your glory. I confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and I believe in my heart that God has raised him from the dead. I pray for your forgiveness and ask that you save me now and accept me into your kingdom. Give me eternal life today.
In Jesus Name, Amen.