Jesus Would Never Abandon His Followers

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John 14:15-21

15 “If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. 

19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. 20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”

                                

Jesus gave these encouraging words to His disciples on the last night that He shared a meal with them before He was killed upon a cross the next day.  It is very clear throughout the whole evening of this Last Supper that the disciples really did not know what was going on right then, nor were they ready for what would happen next.  They were clueless.  Jesus knew this, and so He gave to them all of these precious promises.

Let’s make a list here of the wonderful promises that awaited the disciples beyond the crucifixion of their Lord, once He had risen from the dead.  Jesus told them:

    • The Father will give you an Advocate/Helper who will never leave you.
    • The Holy Spirit would lead them into all truth.
    • The Holy Spirit will live within you.
    • I, [the Son of God], will never abandon you as orphans — I will come to you.
    • You will see Me again.
    • You also will live again [both physically and spiritually].
    • You will know that I, and the Father, and you will all be united together.
    • I will love you.
    • I will reveal Myself to you.

    

It was very important that Jesus spoke these words of encouragement to the disciples that night, for it was only a few hours later that Jesus was arrested, tried and condemned to die upon a cross.  I’m sure that the disciples must have gone through some very agonizing emotional and spiritual conflict when their great Master was killed.  Truly, they would have felt as if they were abandoned, that they had become spiritual orphans.

These words of Jesus though, were not meant to apply just to these early disciples long ago.  Notice how Jesus ends his talk with promises for “those who love Him”.  This moved the scope of Jesus’ talk beyond the scope of just the Upper Room, and is meant for any person throughout history who has come to know who Jesus is, and has accepted Him as Lord and Saviour of his/her life.  We too can receive all of these same promises which Jesus gave to his first disciples, for we too who believe in Jesus are also His disciples today.

    

I can testify to the truth of these promises which have been real to me in my life.  When I accepted Jesus into my life at age 12, it was not just some mental assent to a doctrine about Jesus.  No, I had come to know Jesus as a real Person in the months that I spent reading the Bible to discover Truth.  I knew that when I put my faith in Jesus, that He indeed did send a Comforter to help me and guide me in the path of righteous living before God.

In addition to the inner prompting from the Holy Spirit as to how to live my life and what choices to make, I often also have felt the presence of Christ being with me.  I knew that when I gave my life to Jesus, that He would be my companion and Friend in life.  And that was something very huge for me, as my growing up years were difficult and lonely in so many ways.  And yet I never ever really felt alone, as I knew I could always talk with Jesus, and He would comfort my heart and heal my emotional wounds.

    

Now there are still many people who do not accept Christ or believe in God who would say that “religion is an emotional crutch for those who are psychologically weak”.  I take offense at this statement as I cannot deny all the times that God has acted in my life in very real ways that could never be explained away as some “psychological delusion”.  But there is one part that I have to agree with here in that statement.  “Religion” is not the answer.

You see, “religion” is for the most part, man-made rule and rituals that have been developed over time by those who want to control and define the “spiritual”.  This was the great problem of the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders who could not accept Jesus because He did not fit within their narrowly defined ritualistic set of rules.

But Jesus did not come to set up new rules.  In fact, these “commandments of mine” that He spoke of were not really new.  His two great commandments were “to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind”, and “to love your neighbour as yourself”.  What Jesus was offering was not rules and rituals, but genuine relationships of men with God, and with each other.

    

And so I ask you, “Where are you my friend in your spiritual life?  Are you still pursuing rules of religion in the hopes that God will accept you?  Or are you basing the future salvation of your soul on a relationship which you have built with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?  I pray that you are doing the latter.”

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Jesus Saves & Grants Full Satisfying Lives

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John 10:1 – 10

10 “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”

Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

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This parable, or illustration, of Jesus is a good example of how Jesus used the events of every day life to help drive home some deep spiritual truths.  In verses 1-5, Jesus described in very simple terms what life was like for shepherds in the middle east and their sheep in the 1st century.  The listeners are most likely the “blind” Pharisees we read about at the end of chapter nine.

These Pharisees heard this story, and then it says that they did not understand this illustration.  Most likely, due to all their previous encounters with Jesus, the Pharisees knew that Jesus never told “simple” stories, just because they were nice stories.  No, they knew that there was some deeper meaning involved here, and they wanted Jesus to speak clearly as to what meaning He had intended for his audience to get out of this story.

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What is most interesting is that even though Jesus was asked a fairly straight forward question, his response is anything but a clear answer.  He used much of the same figurative language in his response to the Pharisees as He did in the illustration above.  Jesus still used metaphorical language of “sheep”, “gate”, “thieves and robbers”, and then adds “pastures” which suggests that the “sheep” will be well fed and nourished.

We just finished the last chapter where Jesus was basically accusing the Pharisees as being “blind” religious leaders.  This leads right into this story about those who are the “thieves and robbers”.  The leaders believed they were helping the people by imposing all the religious rituals that they thought would “save” them from sin.

Instead, their regulations and rituals kept them further away from a meaningful relationship with God.  And so, what they thought was for the good of the people actually was harmful to the people.  Thus they could be compared to “thieves and robbers” who destroyed true faith in God for the people.

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On the other hand, Jesus is the Good Shepherd, which we will see that more clearly in our next article.  Jesus is the One who truly cares about the people.  He leads them into places of refuge and safety (the sheepfold within the fenced area).  And He will lead them out into “green pastures” (see Psalm 23), where there is an abundant supply of very nourishing food.  Jesus is the source for us as we hunger for spiritual nourishment.  He will meet our spiritual needs.

But note one very peculiar thing here.  Not only is Jesus metaphorically our Good Shepherd, but He is also the Gate, through which all the sheep (which represent us as people) must go in order to find protection and salvation (going in) and find sustenance and nourishment (going out).  Jesus is both the Shepherd of the sheep and the Gate for the sheep.

This should seem a bit odd, that Jesus was referring to himself as both Shepherd and Gate.  And yet, at the same time, it should not be that odd.  For you see, Jesus was both man (formed into a human body) and also God incarnate (the fullness of God living among us).  This seems to be a paradox, but only because the human mind cannot fully grasp the full reality about the nature of God.

And there is one more mixed metaphor that is definitely worth mentioning here as we consider who Jesus was and what He is able to accomplish for all mankind.  Using the picture language again of Jesus being the Gate, it reveals a truth to us that we can only come to God by going through Jesus.  In John 14:6, Jesus said, ““I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

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We know by reading the New Testament that the means by which Jesus was able to save people from sin was to die on a cross to pay the punishment for our sins.  He was the “perfect sacrifice” offered up to God.  But He rose again, and so is still able to act as our mediator between us and God (see 1 Timothy 2:5).  That means that Jesus was and is both the priest who offers up acceptable sacrifice to God, and at the same time is the perfect sacrifice offered to God.

What a great message is contained for us in this passage.  Jesus is both our Sacrifice and our Savior.  He is our Guard and our Guide.  He is our Helper and our Healer.  Wouldn’t you like to get to know Him better and to experience the full life that He can offer?  Please feel free to write back to me if you have any questions about all this.  And may God bless you richly through Christ our Lord.

God’s Timing Can Be Confusing

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John 7:1 – 13

7 1 After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death. 2 But soon it was time for the Jewish Festival of Shelters, 3 and Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! 4 You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!” 5 For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.

6 Jesus replied, “Now is not the right time for me to go, but you can go anytime. 7 The world can’t hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil. 8 You go on. I’m not going to this festival, because my time has not yet come.” 9 After saying these things, Jesus remained in Galilee.

10 But after his brothers left for the festival, Jesus also went, though secretly, staying out of public view. 11 The Jewish leaders tried to find him at the festival and kept asking if anyone had seen him. 12 There was a lot of grumbling about him among the crowds. Some argued, “He’s a good man,” but others said, “He’s nothing but a fraud who deceives the people.” 13 But no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders.

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As we read the opening verses of chapter seven, we can see that things are just about to come to a head between Jesus and the religious leaders of the Jews.  We see clearly in verse one that the Jewish authorities have made up their minds to kill Jesus.  They just need a good reason to arrest him to make it possible to lay the grounds for Jesus to be executed.  But the Jewish leaders are not the only ones who are not too pleased with him.

Consider how Jesus’ brothers speak to him.  They basically challenge Jesus to get himself seen publicly and display his “miraculous” powers and so become famous and popular with the people.  It is very possible as we read their words, that they said this to Jesus in a condescending and sarcastic way, seeing as “even his brothers didn’t believe in him.

And then there are the general population within Jerusalem, Judea and Galilee who have critical opinions about Jesus.  There were some though who wondered if Jesus was the man whom God had sent to help the nation, or simply that he was a “good man”.  But it would appear from our passage that many more people were now considering that Jesus was just some religious freak, “a fraud who deceives the people.

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And so we see that nearly everyone was upset at Jesus for all kinds of reasons.  His brothers believed that Jesus should take the situation forcefully into his hands and make people believe in him.  The crowds of people simply wanted some kind of sign or confirmation that all their waiting and hopes for a promised Saviour was not in vain.  But could Jesus be this Man?  And the Pharisees wanted Jesus to play by their rules, or not at all.  And since Jesus didn’t follow all their traditions, then killing him was their answer.

What was not understood by anyone of all these participants in this event, was that no one could make Jesus fit into their mold, not could they push him into doing any action if it had not been first ordained and directed by God the Father.  That is what it means when Jesus said, “my time has not yet come.”  Jesus had not come to make himself known, nor to gain glory for himself.  Jesus came to teach people the truth concerning God and His Kingdom.

Pretty much everyone then went up to Jerusalem to celebrate one of their greatest Festivals.  The “Feast of Tabernacles” had become a reminder of when the Jewish people had wandered the desert and had to live in tents (also called tabernacles).  It was a reminder of how God had taken care of His people during a very difficult time.  And when Jesus did come later, after first avoiding public appearance, He would late in the week of the Feast talk out about how He was the source of living water to people who believed in Him.

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So what can we learn from this passage?  It’s clear that almost everyone is upset with Jesus, and yet He does not seem to let this bother him.  Actually, his delay in coming and revealing himself to people primed the people so that they would truly take note of him and what he said when he finally did stand up publicly.  You see, as he said, his time “had not come yet”.

How often do we have the similar thoughts in our heads, when things are getting tense and life is full of challenges and unknowns.  We know that God exists, and that the Son (Jesus) is there at the throne of God asking for help on our behalf.  But God’s hand of help or healing seems to be delayed.  What do we think about that?

Don’t we challenge God at times to “show Himself” to us, and resolve the situation we are in?  But God’s understanding of the big picture and His sense of timing of things is so much greater and wiser than our own ways and thoughts.  So then, even though we may not fully or ever understand God and His ways, we must learn (from Scripture and experience in life) that God is never early when He does something, but He is also never late.  Let us allow Him to do all things “when the time is right”.

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Becoming Children of God

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John 1:9 – 13

Jesus: The Life-Giving Light of the World

9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Light!  What a wonderful thing light is.  What would we ever do if there was no light for us to see where we are and what was around us.  We probably don’t give it much thought at all since for most of us, if we wake up in the dark or enter a dark room, we simply reach out and turn on a switch.  And then, “Presto!” we have light.  We go from being in the dark to being in the light so quickly that we don’t even give it a second thought.

There are of course some people who are born blind or become blind later in life.  No doubt their lives are difficult, but there are others around who can help them with what they need.  And so they adjust to being blind.  They find ways to live their lives and they accept their handicap.  Even so, I would guess that part of them still yearns for the possibility that perhaps there may be a cure one day and they might be able to see the world around them.

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So whether we have sight and rely on artificial means to have light at night, or we are blind and need special apparatus or others to assist us in life, we all depend on something else to help us out.  But what if we had nothing at all to help us?  What if we were in absolute total darkness, like the Egyptians were when God sent a plague of darkness upon them that was so bad, no one dared move about or leave their homes for three days?  Notice how God describes the plague that He sent:

“Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.”       (Exodus 10:21)

It’s hard to imagine darkness that is so complete that it seems like you can actually feel it pressing in on you and smothering the life out of you.  Only once in the five years that I spent in the jungles of Papua New Guinea did I feel this kind of sensation.  I had been at a special celebration at one village which was more than a two-hour walk from our village.  The event went longer than I had anticipated, and by the time I had walked halfway home, it was pitch black on a moonless and cloudy night.

As I stumbled along behind my guide, I was so thankful that I had brought my flashlight.  Now bulbs and batteries are pretty weak and low-grade in PNG, but I trusted that dim, flickering cone of light, no bigger than a softball, to keep me safe and to help get me home.  Until it died!  And that is when I felt the crushing weight of absolute darkness.

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I’m sure I would have totally panicked if my guide had not been with me.  Don’t ask me how he saw in the darkness, but one footstep at a time, he led me along the trail, down through a running creek, up the other embankment, through the old deserted village area and around the edge of the swampy area.  And then I saw it.  As we broke through into the open, there was my house about 500 yards away, blazing brightly with its battery operated fluorescent lights.  I was safe from that horrible darkness.

That is a picture of what John 1:9 is trying to tell us.  All of mankind was lost in the darkness of their sinful ways, hoping to find their way to God by means of their own feeble efforts, just like me using that mostly dead flashlight.  And then the Light of God broke through into History as Jesus entered into our world.  He who was the very Creator, was now going to live among those whom He had created.  He is the true light which shines and offers the hope of life and salvation.

The sad thing is, the Jewish people lived in the certain expectation that God would one day send a Saviour to rescue them, but when He came, they did not recognize Him for who He really was.  As we will see later on in John 8:12, Jesus says this about Himself, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

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But not all people remain spiritually blind.  God continues to move and work in people’s lives so that they will see the truth, that this man Jesus was much more than just a man.  He has come from God, and as we saw in verses 1 and 2, He is in fact God.  As such, He is the true source of life, spiritual life, eternal life.  He wants to draw us into Himself, just like the lights on my house drew me in from the darkness.

When we accept Him and believe He is God’s Son who has come to give us life, then we get adopted into God’s family.  God, who created us, now relates to us as He has always wanted to, as our Heavenly Father.  And that makes Jesus our Brother.  We all together become God’s Family.  How cool is that!

God Provides Oases – Part 2

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This article will cover the second part of chapter eight of Mark Atteberry’s book, “Walking with God on the Road You Never Wanted to Travel.”  The title of this chapter is, “Enjoy Every Oasis.”  The premise of this chapter is that no matter how difficult the road you are on may seem, there will still be many moments when griefs and sorrows, worries and anxieties will be suspended for a moment and we can experience again joy and hope that brings refreshment to our souls.

I have already summarized the first two of four sources that Atteberry says can help provide spiritual refreshment for us.  You can read about that by clicking here.  The last two sources are ones that all of us should look to, namely Refreshing Scriptures and a Refreshing Savior.  There are many ways in which these can be expanded, and Atteberry provides some good stories and illustrations of people who are at the “end of their rope” (i.e. spiritually destitute) and who find Scripture that speaks to them, and a Savior who cares about them.

Both of these examples are critically important, seeing as we would like all people to turn to God and to Scripture to find the Truth and be made spiritually whole.  But I want to take Atteberry’s ideas and apply them to fellow Christians, those who have given their lives to the Lord, but for some reason have found themselves on a hard-road journey and who also need this kind of spiritual refreshment.

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It is my hope that Christians in general do not view Scripture (the Bible) as simply the source book for preacher’s messages nor as just an evangelistic tool used to present the Gospel to unbelievers in order to “get them saved”.  This kind of view can easily result in Christians owning a Bible, but never reading the Bible on a regular basis.  Sadly enough though, there are many “Family Bibles” which are merely house ornaments, or place holders on book shelves.

In sharp contrast to this, my view of the Bible and its ability to be a source for spiritual refreshment rests upon the idea that the Bible is our Guidebook for Life, and is meant to be opened and read and reflected upon on a regular, if not daily basis.  Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:16,”All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”

I believe it is important for my fellow brothers and sister in the Lord to realize and accept that difficult times and dark days are a part of life.  But if we have been in the habit of reading God’s Word, and allowing it to soak in to the deeper parts of our being, then when these troubled times come our way, we have a pool of Scriptural knowledge to draw upon and to apply to our life.  Often, it is in these very times that we come to see the Truth of God’s Word come alive for us in a fresh and very personal way.

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Let me now turn my attention to Atteberry’s last point, that Jesus Christ is the very best source we can tap into to find our spiritual refreshment.  It is amazing, and almost shameful, to realize that for many Christians who are going through difficult periods in their lives, that often the last person they turn to for help and encouragement is the Lord Jesus Christ.  Shouldn’t He be the first Person on our “Emergency Contact List”?

And yet so many of us today get so frustrated and flustered and tied up in knots over the events and circumstances of our lives.  In fact, we allow ourselves to be held hostage to our circumstances, our personalities, and our old nature.  When we do this, we take Christ off the throne of our hearts and we put ourselves there instead.  We must reverse this, remember who Jesus is and what He has done for us, and let Him be Lord again in our lives.

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Now contrary to popular belief, when we truly give our lives over to Christ and let Him be Lord that we are most free.  I know this sounds contradictory, but it is through submission to Him that we gain our freedom.  To understand this, we must realize two aspects of our freedom:  there are certain things that we are “freed from”, and similarly there are certain things that we are “freed to”.  Let me explain.

When Jesus died on the Cross and we gave our lives to Christ, there were things in the Past, in the Present and in the Future that Jesus freed us from.  From the time of Adam until now, there has been the inherited nature of sin, and the consequent penalty for sin that we could do nothing about ourselves.  In the Present, as much as we would like to not commit sinful acts, in our own strength we still do that.  And without Christ, we would face the fear of death and eternal punishment.  But Christ saved us from all that.

When Jesus died to pay for our sins and we accepted Him by faith, then the old nature was done away with and we became new persons in Christ.  By the power of his Holy Spirit within, we have found we can live a life of righteousness.  And we can look forward to everlasting life with God and an eternal reward for those who serve their Lord well.  That is what Jesus freed us to.

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And what is my point here?  Namely this: when we who are Christians find ourselves in the midst of difficulties and the trials of life, then we must more than ever before turn our focus upon Christ, who has saved us from so much that is evil and saved us towards all that is good.  And if we can keep our eyes on this “Bigger Picture”, then we can ride through these storms of life so much better.

I Turned 50

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Today I mark my 50th Birthday.

A lot has happened in recent days, and I would like to share this with you, both in words and in pictures.  Two years ago (plus 5 days) I received the official report that I have a degenerative muscle disease.  Another personal crisis hit me within days of this announcement, and I truly felt my life was over.  Then over the last year, I have had a bit of an identity crisis and I wondered after all my globe-trotting, whether I really had any personal friends of not.  But these past few weeks have reminded me of all that I do have, and who are my friends.

In recent months, I have learned to appreciate my family and have been more in touch by phone, by email and Facebook, and personal visits.  Considering how many families are truly messed up, where members will not speak to each other for months, or even years, I am glad I have a mother and two brothers who stay in touch.

And speaking of Facebook, I recently made the leap into the great world of “Social Networking”.  I currently have 325 Friends (not bad for a new User), and I am finding more and more friends from years gone by through this program.  And I have been thrilled by all the people who have wished me a Happy Birthday today.  If a “score” is equal to 20, then I literally have had “scores and scores” of people sending me their well wishing.  Let me say in return to all these friends of mine, “Thank You!”

Of all those whom I consider special, I have to mention just how much I love my immediate family.  God has blessed me with my loving wife, Jill, and two absolutely fantastic sons, who have grown up into wonderful young men of God.  We think of Glen as our “gentle giant” who is so good with people and loves his Lord Jesus.  And we are all so pleased that Eric has found a beautiful Christian wife in Esther.  So whether it is for my birthday, or for just any old reason, we love to get together and have a party.  (Usually pizza, pop and a movie.  Yum yum!)

But of all my friends, my closest and best friend is Jesus.  For 38 years now I have had a daily relationship with Jesus.  There have been many deep and dark valleys that I have walked through in my 50 years, but I know without a doubt that Jesus has always been with me by my side, guiding me, comforting me, encouraging me, strengthening me.  My prayer for all my readers, is that each of you too may know how deep, how long and how wide is my Saviour’s love.  Be blessed my friends.

For My Tears, Jesus Died

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One of the categories I am going to use on my blog that I am excited about is going to be called “I Remember”. There will be lots of things I can share under this category – funny things, sad moments, unusual events that occurred.  Above all though, there is one thing that I want to remember well, and share with any who will read this blog.  Namely, to remember the many times that God has been good to me, and the times that He has been close to me.  And even as I thought of this new category, it caused me to remember the very first time that God was really “real” to me.

I was attending my first youth conference in Northern Alberta.  It was in October of 1972, and I was only 11 years old.  I was thrilled to be out on the highway on my own so to speak.  (Actually we traveled as a Youth Group and filled a big yellow school bus.)  I thought it was so neat to go on a weekend trip where over 500 young people would gather to have fun.

Now this conference was sponsored by our churches of Western Canada and some northwestern States.  I knew there would be Christian “stuff” happening as part of the weekend.  But I was just going to have a good time.  And that’s exactly what I did, not caring much about anyone or anything until the evening banquet on Saturday.  I hadn’t listened to any of the preaching or teaching up till this point, but God found a way to still reach this stubborn heart of mine.

It was a song.  But not just any song.  The lights in the auditorium went down, only candles on each table gave out a little light, and then the girl stepped up to the microphone and sang her special solo.  I will always remember what happened next.  Something broke within me and my stubborn heart which refused to hear God’s strong voice began to melt as I heard His voice in the beautiful quietness of that song.  And I silently wept as God spoke to me through that song.   The song that night was “For Those Tears I Died”.

I still know those words today, and they still speak the same message to me.  I was a sinner, and yet Jesus died for me.  I tried to ignore Him, but He was there, inviting me to drink deeply of his love and saving grace.  I knew for the first time that Jesus was real, and as I wept tears of repentance for my ignorance and rebellion against God, I heard the message – that for my tears He died.

“Saviour, I give you my heart and my soul.                                                                                                        I know that without you, I’d never be whole.                                                                                                Saviour, you’ve opened all the right doors.                                                                                                    And I thank you, and praise you, from earth’s humble shores,                                                                  Take me I’m yours.”

“And Jesus said, ‘Come to the water, stand by my side.                                                                                  I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied.                                                                                                    I felt every teardrop, when in darkness you cried.                                                                                       And I strove to remind you, that for those tears I died.’ ”