I don’t ever want to forget when it was that I met Jesus.
But neither do I think that’s totally possible if the old has gone and new has come.
I’ve had this feeling like I just may burst.
For days I’ve had so much running through my head _ so much I want to share.
Easter was yesterday… we pretty much celebrated it for all of last week. I found myself wanting to post something on Friday bc there were so many emotions and feelings about Friday and Jesus being crucified. Then again on Saturday in thinking about the waiting and what it must have been like for Mary and the disciples waiting for Jesus to come back. Waiting for what was to happen next. And of course, on Sunday in knowing that He rose and He’s alive, He lives and bc of that I get to live … but not just live…. we get to live free. Nothing felt right to post though. So I waited.
Our church and our pastor are truly amazing and we feel honored to sit under his teaching. They never miss an opportunity to share the gospel in a practical and simple way (bc it really is simple) and bc of that we see people respond weekly by coming in one way but being able to leave another…a new creation. Because that’s what the bible says in 2 Cor 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Saturday night we went to our Easter service. I had a new top on that I picked up a few weeks back from Target. Jode had gotten a new shirt and Gray man, too. The girls both wore things that they already had. Summer is here and it’s always a challenge to keep all 3 of my kids in clothes that fit come the next season. We had shopped some during the week beings the kids had been out of school all week for Spring Break. But I purposefully didn’t make a big deal of us having “new Easter clothes” for this Easter 2012.
Because of the number of people that attend our church and in order to accommodate everyone they offer numerous services starting on Thursday night. We had invited some friends to go with us and we got to see first hand our friend walk out of that service a new creation in Christ. And not only him, but many others walked down. Over 1,000 people signed their name symbolizing their commitment of accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Something that made an impact on me from Saturday’s message was when my pastor asked the question “when did you meet Christ?” Not when did you just pray a prayer, get baptized, or go to church all your life. But when did you meet Christ and know that when you walked away things were going to be different. That your past was your past but it wasn’t going to define your future. I know when I got married and I know when my birthday is and I should also know when it was that I became new. I’ve shared bits and pieces of my story on here but lately I’ve been feeling like I need to share more.
When I was 9 years old I prayed to accept Jesus into my life and meant it as much as a 9 year old can know and mean it. That’s when I was saved. However, I grew up within a lot of religion and “works” type of mentality. The kind where as long as you looked the part, talked the right talk, and attended every church service on Wednesday night, Sunday morning, Sunday night, and didn’t cuss, smoke or drink... you were doing good. But as I got older into my High School years I started questioning certain things. There were things that I had been taught that didn’t make sense and there wasn’t anyone that I knew who could help me make sense of it. Because anyone that I knew to ask all believed and had been raised within the things that didn’t make sense. So I came to a place literally, where I gave up…I remember even having a conversation with my mom (or more like a teenager argument) telling her that I couldn’t be good enough. I was going to screw up and I felt defeated from the start bc for a lot of years I had tried my hardest to dot my i’s and cross my t’s but every time i always fell short. No one ever told me that I would always fall short bc there was nothing I could do to make it right…that’s why I needed Jesus.
The straw on the camel’s back was when I asked the question one day “well what if I say a cuss word right before I get into a car accident and get killed, where will I go. Heaven or hell? To which I was told probably hell. I had questions but not the right answers... but still such a desire to know and live for the Lord. Until one day, I had a conversation with my husband’s step dad, who is a pastor, and he explained to me that there was nothing I could do or ever do to be plucked out of Jesus’ hand.
John 10:29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
He shared with me truth and I began to make sense out of the nonsense that I had been taught through the years. Then when I was 19 years old I remember sitting in a service where the pastor had us ask the person on our right if there was anything in our life that was holding us back, anything we needed to ask forgiveness for, and I knew there was. So that person held my hand and we walked forward and I got it right between me and God. I needed forgiveness and I received it and when I walked away I knew that the questioning and nonsense were behind me. Jode and I left the family church_ where I had grown up, where everyone knew everyone_ and plugged in at a great church where we started to grow, develop our gifting’s, serve and be used.
God is so good and to me nothing compares to seeing someone’s loved one stand to their feet in surrender to Jesus. I see the brokenness on their face and the love and sheer joy that follows on their loved one’s face as tears flow…..there’s just nothing like it. I pray that God never stops using me to invite or tell another about what the Lord has done in my life…and in my family’s life.
This week I was reminded of the time I walked in old and then out new.
I was reminded that Jesus uses people and to never stop inviting that person that's been on your heart to come to church. You just may be the invitation they finally accept.
We shed tears for a friend who crossed over from death to life this weekend and I believe too, heaven threw a big ole' party.