In order to be able to tell about how I have been blessed, I first need to go back to my “pre-saved” days. Up until just over 30 years ago, I was rocking along as if I had total control, and eternity just didn’t enter my mind. As with just about everyone, I had issues off and on, but calling out to Jesus didn’t seem like a real necessity. I always believed that He is real, but didn’t think a personal relationship was necessary or even possible. (any emphasis mine)
There were several people around at that time who I found out later were my “Prayer Warriors.” While home alone one day, I had a mental image come into my mind that was very disturbing. It was a sign that said, “Welcome to Hell,” and it wasn’t talking about Hell, Michigan. For the first time in my life, I truly started talking to the Lord, and told Him I knew I was a sinner (Romans 3:23). Over a period of about an hour, I asked Him to forgive me and let me become a part of Jesus’ flock. I had been reading the Bible off and on for a short while, but after this I started reading every day. My “Prayer Warriors” had done their job very well.
Anyone who has never read God’s word from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21 for themselves, but have just taken other people’s word about what’s there, is in for a big surprise. I found out that a whole bunch of “stuff” that I was told was there – wasn’t. Also, things that were conveniently left out as not being there – were.
Since that time, I have read the Bible cover to cover numerous times, and have used several different translations. My personal preferences are the English Standard Version (ESV) and the New English Translation (NET). These are the easiest for me to read and understand, and they follow the original texts. Also, I made it a habit to read at least one chapter a day until it became a lifestyle. If I miss even one day reading the Lord’s love letter to me, I get a very uncomfortable feeling.
Talking to the Father (prayer) has become a permanent lifestyle as well. Used to be, I thought I had to follow a certain format, and say impressive words like I had heard in church over the years. My Jesus paid a very high price for me to have this privilege of just talking to the Father, for which I am very thankful. Not all my prayers are out loud because I know the Holy Spirit within me passes them on, even when I don’t really know what needs to be said (Romans 8:26-27). Sometimes it may only be a word or two, but I know He’s there and listening.
There have been several requests I have made from the time I called out for Jesus to be my Savior, and they continue today. One, I ask just before reading His word, that my mind be opened for more understanding as to what I need from the passages for that day. I still find new meanings from scripture that I have read several times in the past. There is no way I will ever know everything that is in the Bible. When I start to read, it’s like hitting the “refresh” key on a computer.
Also, I ask that He give me that capacity to love Him more and more each day. Some people say they can’t love something or someone that is unseen; however, I have an image of my Father through all of His creation around us. Just to see a tree, and to know that the Creator made the very first one just by His word. There were no “seedlings” in the beginning, yet He made regeneration possible in every plant, animal, sea life, and especially humans. I believe His word about how long this earth has been here, and it isn’t millions of years. We are not something that has been generated through evolution.
Also, I totally believe the Bible’s prophecies about what the end of this age will be like, and I believe we are at the very doorway of going Home. Any day now, true believers will hear that shofar/trumpet and the shout from the archangel; and we will rise up to meet our Jesus in the air (1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
To have the faith and belief in a Savior, that most of the world disavows, takes a true relationship with Him that only those who have received and accepted His precious gift will understand. He will force no one to accept Him, but neither will He turn anyone away who calls on Him (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:9-13).
Satan and his demons (fallen angels) are working overtime as he knows his time here is drawing short. He knows all of our human desires, and plays on our weaknesses. Those who believe they can outsmart him are totally mismatched and play right into his trap. Another regular prayer request, besides asking for forgiveness, is to help me stay strong when the temptations arise. I do slip and sin, but the Father has provided forgiveness when asked (1 John 1:8-10).
A song written by Bill Gaither in 1963 has come to have special meaning for me. I have been fortunate enough to have attended concerts when it was just the Gaither Trio back in the 1960’s. I have also been able to attend some of the more modern concerts with many inspirational talented performers that appear on the Gaither Gospel show. Every time I hear “He Touched Me,” I am left with a very warm feeling. Especially over the past 30 years. It’s a very simple praise song with two verses and a refrain, but the meaning goes ever so deep.
1.) Shackled by a heavy burden, ‘neath a load of guilt and shame. Then the hand of Jesus touched me, and now I am no longer the same.
Ref.) He touched me; O, He touched me; and O the joy that floods my soul. Something happened, and now I know, He touched me and made me whole.
2.) Since I met this blessed Savior, since He cleansed and made me whole, I will never cease to praise Him! I’ll shout it while eternity rolls! (Ref)
The deeper my relationship with the Savior grows, the greater the value of the words of this song have become. When I spoke of my “Prayer Warriors,” I firmly believe the Father, through them, gave me one more chance to repent (2 Peter 3:9), and had the Holy Spirit provide the “nudge” needed to get my attention. As I said, He won’t force Himself on anyone, but there’s nothing that says He won’t try to properly influence us.
Not only did I get more and more into the word, but the “Touch” of my Savior led me to become an ordained minister. This was a dream my late mother had for me that I never thought would happen. Though I am not presently pastoring a church, posting these messages has resulted in my proclamation that Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings in places I could never go. It’s not for accolades for me, but all praise and glory goes to Him. He gives me the words; I pass them on.
As two lines of the song say, “Then the hand of Jesus Touched me, and now I am no longer the same.” Therefore, in His honor, “I will never cease to praise Him! I’ll shout it while eternity rolls.”
Time is getting short for those who have not called on Him to be their Savior. Once the rapture takes place, it will still be possible for people to be saved, but most likely at a terrible cost. Those raptured will not go through the wrath as God promised in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and 1 Thessalonians 5:9.
“He Touched Me,” and He’s waiting to touch you as well. You will have all eternity to thank Him. It will be the most valuable decision you will ever make.
John 14:6, “Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.”
No matter what any false prophet says, this verse is absolute. Call out today!