Keep thy heart with all diligence; For out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23 KJV https://bible.com/verse-of-the-day/pro.4.23/36063
My story (I apologize for the length of this but I felt that I needed to put it out here so others would see my life before and after Jesus came into it)
Over fifty years ago my world was turned upside down. The lady who was keeping me while my mom went to school was having an affair with my Dad. I didn’t know it at the time and wouldn’t recognize it for what it was if I did, I was only four years old. But…I can distinctly remember my Dad coming over while I was there and I saw them kissing on the couch. My child’s mind didn’t think much of it at the time and I promptly forgot about it for a while but the memory of it came back crystal clear later.
After my parent’s divorce, my Dad had our trailer brought to Mississippi and parked it near my grandparent’s home in Coxburg.
Life from that point on would never feel quite right. I went to school for a while without a care in the world, like you do when you are in elementary school. But by the time I had reached my teens, I suppose the idea that we weren’t wanted by my father had begun to fester inside me and I didn’t know what to do about it. I didn’t know who to turn to. We went to church on some Sunday’s but sometimes we just watched it on the TV. There wasn’t much talk about religion or Jesus in our house for some reason and I never asked why.
Although, every time a Billy Graham crusade came on TV we watched it, and we even went to the stadium in Jackson in 1975 (I think) when their was a crusade in Jackson, MS. Ethel Waters sang “His eye is on the sparrow” that day. I went down with lots of other people and got the literature that was given our, but I didn’t know what to do with it. I got a Bible at home and tried to read it but it was hard to understand, I was thirteen at the time. I prayed that Jesus would save me but I didn’t know from what and I didn’t understand why.
From that point on, I was confused about life, about my father and mother being divorced and the more confused I felt the angrier I became. I kept it inside mostly but I began drinking with some friends at school. I had at least one wreck between that time and my graduation from high school and it was a good one. I suppose I passed out on the way home from a football game on a Friday night. I hadn’t gone there to watch the game, I went there to get drunk and I did. I only remember bits and pieces of it but I do know that I went into a ditch, jumped my mother’s car over a driveway and the car flipped over when it came down on the other side, breaking every window in the car. This was in the fall of 1977, just over 1.5 years from my graduation from Central Holmes Academy.
Suffice to say my teenage years were mostly going through the motions, doing what some of my “friends” did and not caring about the future or whether I would survive to have one. I wasn’t in a very good place emotionally or spiritually. I was depressed and angry, at what I’m not sure that I knew exactly. Sometimes I would lash out at someone for no reason, usually at my Mom or my grandparents. Life during this period of time was not a memory that I want to experience again. Especially the feelings and the anger and frustration which I found out many years later was directly tied to my parent’s divorce when I was five.
So much of my life from over forty years ago was really “messed up” and I didn’t know at the time, nor did I care, if there was a way to fix it because I didn’t think that anyone, including God, cared enough to work with me through it.
Fast-forward a couple of decades and I was beginning to understand who I was and why I was here. But, I’m not going to go into all the “gory details” of my later life. God used the deaths of my grandparents and my mother to bring me to the point of knowing that I truly needed Him in my heart and on the throne of my life. After I graduated from college and became a Dad to a wonderful red-headed boy, I knew that I needed to get my life turned toward God in a big way. Especially if I was supposed to be a real Dad to my son. I knew that I couldn’t be a real Dad if I didn’t know how to be one, so I began reading the Bible during the down times while I worked in the lab at a couple of hospitals. I would listen to the Bible on CD on the way to work and on the way home. God’s Word is amazing because even when you aren’t sure about what you are reading or even what it means, God’s Holy Spirit can reveal it to you in more ways than you can imagine.
Is it hard to be a Christian? Yes and no. Yes, because Satan doesn’t quit hitting you when you accept Jesus, he just turns the heat up. No it isn’t hard to become a Christian because it is as easy as saying, “Lord, come into my heart and change me into the person that you want me to be for You. I’ve messed it up for a long time but I know that you can fix all of my broken pieces. So, in Jesus’ mighty name please make me like You. Amen” The problem that most people have is that after they say this prayer and even after they get baptized many times they aren’t taught how to go through each day with Jesus. It is a process. I mean you are saved if you meant what you said in your prayer and repented of your “old life”, but now you have to learn more about your Savior. If you don’t you won’t know how to try to live your life walking in His footsteps.
The only way to learn more about Him and His Father is to read and study the Bible…daily. Today, that is fairly easy because you have the Bible on CD and on an app for your phone. You can listen to it read chapters of the Bible while you drive or while you are at home or wherever you can listen to it with your headphones. God loves each of us and cares for us and He has cared for us since before creation. I pray that everyone who reads this blog will seek Him out as your Savior…soon. Time is running shorter each day.
And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. Revelation 5:13 KJV https://bible.com/verse-of-the-day/rev.5.13/77329
I know this sounds like a silly question and to many people it may be, but all of us need Him. We need Him for our soul and the comfort that He brings to our heart, even before we accept Him. Jesus never leaves us, even when we haven’t accepted Him as our Savior, He is only a prayer away. He is near you during your best days and He is close to your heart on the worst days of your life.
God told many people in the Old Testament and in the New Testament that He would never leave them or forsake them. Why can God say this? Because, He knows what is going on your life and He knows the purpose that He has planned for you. God loved each of us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for ALL of our sins. Every sin that you have done in your life, regardless of what kind of sin it might be, God loves you! He hates the sin, but He has always loved us, because all of us are sinners. The thoughts of sinful behavior will still attack your mind even after you give your heart to Jesus, but He gives each of us the strength to resist the temptation to sin.
This is the reason that I write here this blog and the messages that He gives me. None of this comes from my own mind except by the Holy Spirit’s influence. Just as He gave me the sermons that I spoke for over nine years as a pastor at a local church. I can’t come up with all of this on my own but God can give me the words just as Jesus and the Holy Spirit gave the words to all of those writers in the whole Bible. God loves each of us, but He doesn’t love the sins in our lives. Truly, even one sin is enough to keep you out of Heaven if you haven’t repented of your sins and asked Him to come into your heart.
I illustrated this one time with a sheet of paper, as white as possible for a sheet of paper. But I took a fine point felt pen and touched it and I said that one dark spot can come between you and an eternity with God if you haven’t asked Jesus to come into your life to cleanse you from those sins and forgive us of those sins…large and small. Stealing a pen or a bag of chips breaks one of the Ten Commandments and that is enough to keep you from Heaven. Jesus can bring you salvation through your acceptance of Him as your Savior and your belief in Him for that Salvation…no matter what kind of sin you have been in. He can pardon you, forgive you and make you whole again. The empty place that you have felt most of your life is the place where the Holy Spirit is supposed to be. Invite Him in and give your life to Him today.
Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9 KJV https://bible.com/verse-of-the-day/ecc.7.9/288
Anger can cause many problems in your life. Allowing it to become more than an annoyance could have drastic and even tragic consequences. Ask God to help you with this problem because many people have the problem of uncontrolled anger, I did. Thankfully, it didn’t get too out of control but it could, so beware of it. Seek God’s help with it and you will be successful in turning your burner down in a manner of speaking.
A friend loveth at all times, And a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/pro.17.17.KJV
Life is too short to go through it without either one, so we should be that friend and brother to each other. Especially during the time that we are living in today. With all of the uncertainty and the fulfillment of the prophecies of God, His Word is Truth and it will come to pass even if the media and most of the world around us ignore it. Stand with your friends and your Christian brothers and sisters because our Redemption draws nearer and nearer each passing day.
In Psalm 23, David writes that God is always with us regardless of where we may be or the kind of trouble we might be in at the time. God loves us whether you have known this in your life or not, He truly does. He has known you since before He formed the universe so He knows your problems and your abilities. He knows your fears and your hopes. He knows how you feel right now and why you feel that way. Regardless of the time of day or night, God is always near. If you haven’t asked Him to be your Savior yet, He is still nearby waiting to hear your prayer and your cry for Him to answer. Don’t turn away from Him because someone tells you that He isn’t the God Who formed you. Because He is the Creator and your Savior and He knows you better than you know yourself. He loves you more than your mother or your father do and He can heal your broken heart and mend your sorrows no matter where they come from.
Read it in the New Living Translation and you can feel God’s love for you. I pray that you will seek Him as your Savior soon.
1 The LORD is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along the right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley, a
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the LORD
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. Isaiah 54:10 KJV https://bible.com/verse-of-the-day/isa.54.10/60134