I wasn't always a Christian. I was born of flesh, lived as flesh without knowing any different. I gave my life to the Lord when I was a little girl. I was at church with my family, and they excused the kids to children's church and I didn't want to go. So I stayed with my parents. They played a video and I watched it. At the end, they had what is commonly known as a time of invitation, and I nudged my mom and told her I wanted to go up to the front because I wanted to accept Jesus. Long story short, I did that evening and later committed to baptism. I chose to follow God out of fear because I didn't want to be left behind, like the video showed. I was scared and wanted to go with God. A lot of my life after that has been reliving that moment in my head. I actually at times doubted if the reasoning for my commitment was enough. What does a little girl know about God and His son Jesus? And do you know what kills me...what I most fondly remember?...the fear I felt. I don't remember the love, I don't remember the desire, the coming to Jesus moment everyone later speaks of, I don't remember that. I knew what choice I had made, I even remember being baptized when I was a little older. Could I really appreciate and totally understand what Jesus had done for me? Probably not. Now as an adult, and having been very lucky to grow in Gods word through the bible, I understand the love, I understand the desire that God wanted in marrying His existence with mine.
When you become a parent, your child has no clue what kind of sacrifices you would make for them, nothing will stop you from being supportive, loving, understanding and an unconditional support for them. Your child on the other hand has no clue what substantial amount of love there is for them, all they know is that someone is always there for them, providing for them and protecting them. It's that simple and that basic. The older they get, the more they begin to see and understand. That same growth in learning for my worldy parents I eventually had and understood is ultimately the same growth in learning that I have had for my Heavenly Father. That same promise He had for me as a little girl exists still, and is alive in me. Now as a grown up I understand that the fear I had in me wasn't the kind of fear where you're backed into a corner and forced to choose, or else, however the fear was rooted in the possibility that I could be forever without Him.
As I've mentioned before in other posts, I am a very, VERY picky when it comes to public speaking and especially when it comes to picking a church, I need a certain type of speaker behind the pulpit. Just a personal preference, and in case you're wondering my speaker of choice is expository. I never knew that it was called that, all I knew was that I really enjoy when a pastor preaches from the bible, chronologically and references present day to make it relateable. I am not a fan of, what I like to call "topic" preachers, those that pick a topic to preach about, then go and find versus in the bible to support it. If you are familiar with the word of God, there are many staple statements, popular to mention a few and many, infinite amounts really, that need the preface to see the picture and point in its entirety. Our generation, present company included of course, have become a breeding of casual Christians, and no true accountability exists within our pastors. The obligation to lead a church and its people is one to not be taken lightly and used as a never ending opportunity of teach. I think that is why I feel so strongly about their gift to have the attention of many and to take stories in its entirety and TEACH it chronologically. The bible is His commandments for us and it should be used as our only reference.
I called my dad last night because I couldn't remember for the life of me where this particular verse in the bible was, I remember being in Sunday school as a kid, and then even older and hearing this particular verse as well. I've even heard it preached from the pulpit. It is a common one at that, but I couldn't remember where it was and I can always count on my dad to know. I also just didn't want to put this verse out there and then not give a proper set up. It's the new testament, and Jesus is in the thick of it with His disciples. In this particular portion in this chapter the disciples are asking Jesus, who will rank highest when in heaven. You have to understand the foundation of who Christ is, He was sent to earth to teach and to be the ultimate salvation, in the time where he was immersed with His disciples they were extremely inquisitive and came into contact with situations that gave Jesus the perfect platform to inform them and teach them. This was one of those times. So they asked Him who will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven,
And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:2-4 NASB
I challenge you to read this to see what Jesus was truly saying. I have the New American Standard Version, but there are many to choose from, that however is what I like and in reading, it's easier for me to comprehend.
I was just telling my dad yesterday as we found it, him really, that in my search for it, I read over a few chapters in John thinking it was in there, and man, MAN...I forget how alive the bible becomes when I read it. I am one of those casual Christians that needs a kick in the face for taking advantage of what God has done for me, shame on me. I don't need to question my commitment made as a little girl. What I need to do, is truly be grateful that I accepted the simplicity of Gods love and remember that it was my innocence as a child that brought me to His lap.
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