Isaiah 6:8, “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here am I! Send Me.” (any emphasis mine)
There is something I have learned over the past 30 plus years, and that is to be serious about anything I may ask of the Father. Prior to that time, I was a typical person, full of the world and of myself. I believed there really was a God, Jesus and Holy Spirit; and all that I had heard about numerous Bible stories, I believed to be true. I also discovered that “hearing” about what’s in the Bible, and “knowing” what’s there can be altogether different.
Having grown up in a Christian home, and going to Church just about every time the doors were open, had me believing I was all set for the “next life.” For the “middle” part of my life (about 18-40), Church attendance was occasional at most, and hardly at the same place more than a couple times. I still felt fairly secure with my future, as many people today believe about theirs. Complacency is a major tool of Satan.
What caused a major change in my life was presented in a previous message. Briefly, I had been married for less than a year when my wife asked if I wanted to go to Church service with her one Sunday. I went, and I believe because of several prayer warriors, and the prayers being offered by my wife, I was open for a “Holy Spirit” experience. The next day I bought a new Bible and read it cover to cover for the first time. After reading several different translations, I realized just how lost I really was.
Alone at home one day, I started a prayer that was more of a “personal” conversation with Jesus. I admitted I had been totally ignorant about the condition of my soul, and asked for Help and Forgiveness. I confessed every sin I could remember, and even for those which I couldn’t bring to mind. I also asked that I be given the ability to understand His message for me (Bible), and to enlighten me further. My relationship with the Savior truly began that day, and I asked Him to use me in whatever way He saw best.
The biggest obstacle for me in the beginning was to grasp the fact that the Creator of the Universe wanted a “personal relationship” with me. I had not yet learned the concept of an Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent Heavenly Father. While reading the book of John one day, a verse seemed to jump off the page, and I re-read it several times. John 14:6, “Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by Me.” This has become my life verse.
After going back through the previous chapters, John 10 gave me an even closer look at the Savior:
Verse 14, “I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own, and My own know me.”
Verse 16, “And I have other sheep (including even me) that are not of this (Jews’) fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock and one Shepherd.”
Verse 18, “No one takes it (His life) from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.”
Verses 27-29, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
Then, verse 30 tied it all together; “I and the Father are One!”
All of a sudden, My Jesus took on a whole new meaning for me. Here was the Creator of everything, humbling Himself to become lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:9) so that I personally could be secure in my eternal destiny. This is the one true God that loves His creation that much (John 3:16-18; Romans 5:8). No other so-called “god” of any other religious sect is shown to be compassionate as is our Lord God Jehovah. They are all created in “man’s” mind, and Satan would love for you to believe they are equal with Our Heavenly Father.
One Sunday at a Church service we were attending, I found a news bulletin that told of a pastor program from Baylor University that could be completed online. I tried to make light of it, and told my wife that maybe this is what I needed. She took me by surprise and said, very seriously, that I definitely should take it. I did, and currently am an ordained “Christian” pastor. I have been fortunate to have been able to present His word over several years in several different Churches, but I claim no organized evangelical title other than “Christ’s servant.” I will gladly wear this honor all the way Home.
By the way, my current ministry is not Sunday/mid-week oriented, but for me is every day.
Colossians 3:23-24, “Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord, and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance (Heavenly Home) as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
Posting these messages is a part of that ministry. My goal is to get His words, not mine, out to those who are seeking answers. I give all praise, glory and honor to the Father for allowing me to be a servant, and for providing the actual messages to submit. I am never too busy to stop and offer prayers for those around me who are in need of them. In today’s world, there are never too few who need prayer and comfort.
So the question in my mind that comes up now and then is, “Why Me, Lord?” Kris Kristofferson wrote this song in 1972, and by 1973 it was his biggest success. In his own statement, this song was inspired by a Larry Gatlin song. Around that time, Kristofferson attended a Church service where he was inspired to accept Jesus as his Savior. After this, there is no further mention of his relationship with the Lord. My hope and prayer is that he was sincere and is still following the Lord.
(1.) Why me, Lord? What have I ever done to deserve even one of the pleasures I’ve known? Tell me, Lord, what did I ever do that was worth loving You, or the kindness You’ve shown?
(C.) Lord help me, Jesus, I’ve wasted it so; help me, Jesus, I know what I am. But now that I know that I needed you so, help me, Jesus; my soul’s in Your hand.
(2.) Try me, Lord, if you think there’s a way I can try to repay all I’ve taken from You. Maybe, Lord, I can show someone else what I’ve been through myself on my way back to You. (C.)
This is one song that is ingrained in my mind. I have asked many times, “Why Me?” And the next thought is, “Why Not Me?” No, I don’t deserve the love of my Jesus; but then again, no one could ever measure up to that standard. Jesus Himself made it possible for the Father to look past all my failures, and because I have Him in my heart, He has made me worthy. Nothing I could ever do would accomplish that without the blood of my Jesus that was shed for all of us. Everyone who truly accepts the gift of Salvation that was paid for in full by Jesus at Calvary has a reservation to be with Him forever. He even will prepare a place for everyone in Heaven (John 14:1-3).
Is it any wonder that all who reject the Savior will not be there? They will be in the hell-fires with Satan and his demons (fallen angels) forever (Revelation 20:11-15). Everyone has right up to their last breath on earth to repent and accept Jesus as their Savior. After this, their destiny is sealed.
The thief on the cross beside Jesus illustrates this by his asking Jesus to “remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). Jesus said the thief would be with Him in paradise that very day. The other thief did not repent. Care to guess who we will see when we get Home, and who will not be there?
No matter what anyone has done up to this moment, it’s not too late to call out and be saved (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:9-13). To wait too long could be an eternal mistake. Remember John 10:16, Jesus came for everyone, if they are willing to become a part of His flock. Call on Him today. He’s never too busy to accept you. It will be the absolute best decision you’ll ever make in this lifetime.